If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Messing around on the river

“There’s nothing––absolutely nothing––half so much worth doing as messing about in boats.”  The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

Or for me “There’s nothing––absolutely nothing––half so much worth doing as messing about on the river"

A grey morning but with blue skies and sunshine in our hearts, we loaded the car with a picnic, changes of clothes, waterproofs, the children and Dylan the Dog and headed south. We met up with my parents beside a cobbled cove in Minehead for bacon butties and hot tea and coffee from a flask, the grey clouds were floating away but there was still a cold snap in the air so we sat in the boot of the car just out of the wind with our hands wrapped around the steaming hot drinks in their little plastic cups. The children and dog of course were allowing the waves to chase them up the beach squealing with delight as they just escaped those puffs of icy cold foam. Then back into the cars for the final leg of our journey to meet up with my sister, two of her boys and friends. This final step is the climb up Porlock Hill across the amazing moors and down into Lynmouth. As we crossed the moors the sun came out highlighting the purples and greens of the stunning landscape, England at its best. The fields roll over until they reach the cliffs that tumble down to the blue blue sea and in the distance Wales shimmers in the sunlight. 

We parked up by the river Lyn and all pile out of the cars donning on our waterproofs as the cloudy weather front closes in. The odd shower won't be a problem as we will be protected by the canopy of trees that edge the river as we stroll towards Waters Meet. The children love it here as I did as a child. I spent many a summer holidaying in North Devon, not always remembered fondly I'll admit but the River and the nearby peaks of the Valley of the Rocks hold many memories of my childhood. 
All the children from the tinies to the hulking 17 year old love messing around by the river, they paddle, splash and rock jump, we always follow the riverside walk to a tea room, stopping to explore the many pools and coves on the way. The dogs run on ahead sniffing out exciting trails before returning to herd us altogether to keep us en route. 

We cross bridges, climb the trails, clambering over tree roots and ducking beneath the branches. The waters are either still and quiet in the pools or roaring over boulders and rocks carried down over the years. The sun comes out just as we arrive where the waters of two rivers meet in rushing waterfalls. The children stop for hot chocolate with lashings of cream before they once again play in the water, all of them getting wetter and wetter. We eventually head back to the beginning of our adventure for an amazing picnic, sitting under the canopy of branches, now to offer shade from the midday sun whilst the children mess around in the river again. When it is finally time to leave they all need their changes of clothes and wrapped up in blankets and towels they doze in the back of the cars dreaming I hope of adventures like those of Rat, Toad and Mole or Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

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