Friday, 24 July 2009

Life by the lake

At this stage of the holiday we've uprooted to the cottage by the lake.

This means a very laid back and sedate life. Maybe sometimes too sedate for Alice. She wants action - which is normally ok - but we've had a lot of rain the last few days and this has limited the opportunities.

"I saw the opportunity and I took it.."
Alice is an opportunist. She has taken to visiting the neighbours. "Off to visit Hasse" as she runs out of the door. On the last occasion this was to go and help wash down a new flag pole.

Talking to the neighbours has been initiated by Alice from which we've learnt about the number of beavers in the lake (16 between ours and the neighbouring lake - maybe justifying it as the local town's symbol), a wolf spotting and being invited to share a raft in boat bingo around the

A European BeaverImage via Wikipedia


This was a lot more beavers than we have seen. There is a beaver dam just a few hundred yards from us so we'll have to explore again when the weather improves.

During a recent visit to the neighbours a bowl of sweets came out. Alice, alert as ever, asked if she could take it home and bring it back when it was empty!

There has been one dry/sunny day in the last week - so that was the only day for bathing in the lake. With the current rain continuing, Alice is understandably wanting to go and visit someone whenever it's raining.

The newly-built sandpit has not had any visitors - no one wants to be sitting out in a rainy sandpit...

So, fingers crossed for better weather.

Helping the neighbours
In the meantime the neighbours are going to get a lot of attention from Alice. This evening Alice made a date to help with the flagpole tomorrow.

"I'll come across as soon as I wake up and get dressed," was her assurance.

"Not too early! We have to have breakfast and read the paper first."

As she's leaving she confides, "I'll come alone." I.e. I'll leave the family behind so they won't get in the way. Not bad for a 4 year old!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Kids parties and big slides

The other week Alice had a birthday party to attend. It was at an indoor adventure playground. A great event that all the kids loved.

It was a hot day so everyone was dressed in shorts and sandals. Well there was one part of the adventure playground that the kids were not trying on their own. The vertical drop slide - well they were 4 year old. So, the parents were being coaxed into action to go down the slide with the kids.

Mum wasn't having any of it, so I was volunteered. I thought yep why not - I hadn't done one before...

Helen rushes past on the vertical drop slideImage by Michael Coleman via Flickr

When we were at the top I could see why a 4 year old might be reluctant to throw themselves over the edge - this is part of their education in the past 4 years - don't cross roads without an adult, don't jump into deep water without an adult nearby - and now - it was quite natural to not throw yourself down a vertical slide without an adult!

I sat at the top with Alice on my lap, we did a count to 3 and off we went. The momentary free-fall (maybe I pushed off too hard) was both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. Then contact with the slide. All good so far.

But, there were 3 points of contact on the slide - bum and 2 heels. Bare heels! Normally that wouldn't be so bad, but I had the weight of Alice to support - no amount of only-bum-balancing was going to work. Arrghhhhh...

Alice loved the slide - appropriate scream was attached - I could've let one out but for different reasons.

At the bottom I had 2 very warm heels. On closer inspection they were also very shiny and painful to walk on.

Then I looked at the other parents that had been down the slide - I could tell the ones that must've done it before - yes, they had socks on!

Later in the week we went to a swimming baths which had a couple of water slides, one tame and one faster.

Well the tame one was OK for us to go down together - this meant we went at reduced speed, although we did get stuck in some troughs. After a few goes of this - where we had to get by by bum-shuffling and pulling with the ankles - I noticed a few under-used muscles in my legs!
Not so bad, but to have a little rest we tried the bigger, faster slide - Alice was eager and it would give those newly discovered muscles a rest.

It was big and fast and good fun - almost. My tender heels hadn't quite recovered and no amount of water cushioning was going to help when I was supporting Alice on my lap.

Well, they would probably object to someone on the water slide with woolly socks!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

"I'm looking at the big mouse."

Kids are small. They don't have perspective sorted out.

Recently when we visited Kolmården, a wild-life park, we were looking at all sorts of animals. Alice got to ride on a camel, see a dolphin show, do a bungy-trampoline thing and go on a rollercoaster. There were plenty of memorable incidents, but one that comes to mind was soon after riding the camel.

Alice was away at a compound looking on intently. I approached and asked what she was looking at. "I'm looking at the big mouse."

Photo of a Capybara, formatted (and sized) as ...Image via Wikipedia

Yes, this was the sort of mouse that you'd struggle lifting up with both arms. It was a capybara...

Hopefully, perspective develops a bit - otherwise I'm very scared about the types of cats and dogs she wants as a pet!

Friday, 3 July 2009

Worried about blighty...

We're preparing for a trip over to the UK.

Alice is very excited about this, but she has some worries. In the last couple of days she's asked some telling questions:-

- Do they have sweets in England?

Try to ration this to Saturdays.

- Do they have ice cream in England?

Usually rationed to Fridays/weekends/holidays.

- Can you bathe there?

Just about every day at the minute.

A nice reflection on her priorities.