Hooray for a day of no rain! we've been outside for most of the day, and feel SO MUCH BETTER for it!
Before I go on, for those who read yesterday's post, The Parable of the Butterfly with a mind of His Own, I am pleased to announce that our last butterfly has today flown off into the big wide world (sniff - I was quite fond of him by the time I finished writing yesterday's blog entry!) Knowing that we were going to be out all day, we put his net enclosure out into the garden and opened the lid just before we left this morning... when we got home at teatime he had gone. So, we were a little sad to miss the big moment, but pleased for him that he'd made the most of the privacy that he obviously liked, and fluttered off to freedom :)
Anyway, back to today. We were seriously overdue a lovely family day out in the fresh air, so I'd had a search online yesterday and found the Ashridge Estate, Berkhamstead. We took a picnic and had a good explore, including all climbing 172 steps up the very tall (33 metres) Bridgewater Monument to enjoy the views from the top. Well, I say 'enjoy' - I really am not good with heights, so I was hugging the wall at the top somewhat, but was determined to set a positive example to my boys (Eldest and Middle weren't keen either) so did it anyway and tried to concentrate on looking ahead to the horizon instead of down! Then it was time for an icecream and wander through the woods, taking lots of time to repair a falling-down den, and practice balancing on fallen logs (and jumping off them).
All relaxing at home now - Middle and Youngest are engrossed in Richard Hammond's Blast Lab on TV (nice bit of Science there), which Eldest is also half-watching while assuming the usual 'nose-in-book position. Something has changed in him by the way: he's gone from being a boy who almost exlusively read reference books, to really getting into fiction - such as the 'Secret Seven' book that he read start-to-finish in one afternoon the other day! Middle has also started picking up books to read for himself far more frequently lately, rather than bringing them all to me. I think his confidence is slowly growing - it's so great!
Anyway, we're pretty tired now - but in a healthy way: not the tiredness that comes from being a bit fed up of our confinement indoors for most of the week, but the tiredness that comes from stretching our limbs and stimulating our minds with new experiences outside in the fresh air :) If we hadn't had our day out today I don't think even I would have enjoyed our traditional 'lazy Monday' at home tomorrow. Now, I feel my equilibrium has been restored by our un-rainy day :)