Firstly, I want to thank everyone for their kind words following my post about my failing confidence in my body and it’s ability to do as it should. I was bolstered by the wonderful responses and even more determined not to let this illness beat me. I don’t want to deprive the children of experiences because of my fears. After careful consideration I decided to see if a little bit of preparation would help me to feel more secure during an outing.

We visited a local nature reserve yesterday. It is nearby if I should need to get home quickly. Research told us that is relatively flat and has plenty of benches for me to sit and rest. I got my walking stick and we rooted Peanut’s pushchair out of the garage. She hasn’t used it for some time but we thought it would be useful to store things in and for me to lean against. Peanut doesn’t call them wheelbarrows for nothing!

We loaded  Junior, Bobbins and Peanut into the car and set off early in the morning (OJ was out with his friends, a much more important activity for a teenager he informed us). As soon as we arrived the kids made a bee line for the sensory garden. As we progressed I lagged behind more and more, but didn’t really mind. I used the opportunity to take some photos and to soak in the marvellous scenery.

The Wolseley Centre is a nature reserve run by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. It has 26 acres of grounds, a visitor centre, play trail, sensory garden and a boardwalk over lakes and wetland. It has the welcome bonus of being completely free to park and explore the grounds. There are various activities along the trails for the children to do as you walk around.

Swinging around - and Bobbins loved the giant swing

Hiding in the bushes - were plenty of dens built in the trees for the children to explore

In the bird hide - the bird hide with Daddy

Splashing in the ford - all loved having a good paddle and a splash

The stream - I took lots of photos I didn’t get as many of the children as I’d have liked. This was because I couldn’t keep up with them and moreover they have an annoying endearing habit of strange poses when asked to be still for the camera.

Gnarly branch - is one of my favourite images. I was trying to get a close up of the texture. I love how the branch in the middle is in focus but the rest is blurry. I have to be honest though, I have no idea how it came out like that. Never mind. I love the shot anyway!

After a pit stop for a drink the heavens burst and we were forced to leave early with still over half of the grounds to explore. We will definitely go back. Next time we will go on a sunnier day and take a picnic basket.

I am so glad that I went outside of my comfort zone and went on this outing. The children had a thoroughly marvellous time and are already asking when we can go back. Today I very much paid the price for my efforts and my speech and balance have been all over the place. I haven’t been able to hold a proper conversation or stand up for long without falling, however, I still have a wonderful sense of pride and achievement. The children had a wonderful time and that is really all you can hope for as a parent.

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