In another post dedicated to my kids, Benji and Ollie, today I want to tell the story of their first trip out in six weeks. For six weeks they’d been hidden behind closed doors. I’d been looking forward to this moment since the Spanish Government announced the relaxation of lockdown restrictions last week. I actually woke up feeling positive instead of ‘Oh my God, how do I get through another day holed up indoors?’
I’d had to buy Ollie (2.5) new shoes in preparation for this day as he’d grown out of his last pair since the lockdown started. I’d forgotten how long it takes to get the kids ready to go outside: Ollie always fights being clothed, so we let him run around indoors in his pyjama top and nappy. But the rules had to be a bit stricter for going outdoors. It’s around 20 degrees here in Andalucia today, but there’s a cool breeze so we had to layer up the clothes. After about an hour’s battle, we were finally ready to go outside.
It’s funny how time passes differently during lockdown, at least for me. It only seems like yesterday we were out for a family walk, but it was two months ago. I asked Benji (7) if it felt like long since he’d been out and he said ‘Yes, of course!’ For me the last 6 weeks has passed in a blur, I’ve lost track of time and space and everything really. Poor Ollie was a bit frightened by the outside world at first – he was terrified when a car drove passed us. But he soon got into the swing of things.
Sheep on the trail
We’re lucky to have a country track near the back of our building, so we headed off-road in order to get back to nature. The first thing I noticed was just how many flowers were in bloom, and how bright the colours were – almost ultraviolet. Whether this had more to do with my eyes adjusting to the outside light, or the better quality of air due to the lack of pollution, I have no idea.
The next pleasant surprise was to have our walk interrupted by a herd of sheep which were being sent to pasture on the hillside near our home. I haven’t seen many sheep since we moved to Andalucia, and yet today I was given this warm, pungent-smelling reminder of my native Cumbria. Hopefully there’ll be some lambs next time, which would be sure to delight the children.
To the Sea, Again
Yes, six weeks after the poem was writ, I made it. It wasn’t that long to wait, really, but it was definitely the highlight of the walk. By the time we hit the beach, Ollie was well and truly in ‘back to nature’ mode, destroying Benji’s sandcastles (much to his annoyance) and ploughing through the sand in his typical bulldozer fashion.
The beach was littered with small blue jellyfish, urchin shells and red algae, again not sure if this was a natural phenomenon or a result of less human interference, but every single detail was interesting and worthy of appreciation. Being locked down has certainly given me a renewed respect and gratitude for nature. And being let out has resulted in tired but happy children having half an hour of (almost) guilt-free screen time so mammy could write this post.
Happy Sunday everyone!