2nd Andover Sea Scouts win Night Hike!

The Boy recently took part in the Scout’s District Incident Night Hike.  A couple of weeks ago I had no idea what an incident hike was; now I am better informed.  An incident hike is a hike that has various activities during the hike to develop leadership, teamwork, attitude, etc.  Throw in to the equation that the hike takes place at night (with a dark sky heavy with rain clouds and not even a glimpse of moonlight), then it makes it just a little more challenging. Continue reading 2nd Andover Sea Scouts win Night Hike!

The Boy’s bad day with liquids

Having dropped off the Eldest for her final JDC hockey training, we decided to go on a walk to find Odiham Castle – not a particularly long walk, but enough to fill in a couple of hours with a promise of hot chocolate afterwards.  It all sounded so straightforward.  We found a route via a great app called iFootpath which has the Ordinance Survey map plus photos and text with directions.  Having parked the car in the jam packed car park of The Mill House in North Warnborough, we headed off to the start of the walk, just a short distance and away from the road.  The weather was overcast and dull, but dry and relatively mild.

Continue reading The Boy’s bad day with liquids

Halloween on the Beach and we’re not in Dubai!

Having had a half term of birthday celebrations (yes, they did become somewhat extended!) and a lot of sport for all the Tribe, it culminated with a ridiculously balmy day at the beach – at the end of October!  How fantastic.  Hengitsbury Head was our destination rather than the usual Mudeford.  Bizarrely we found an almost totally empty car park costing an even more bizarre £1 for the whole day!  From the car park a short sandy track took us to the long, wide and virtually empty Solent Beach (previously known as Hengitsbury Head). Continue reading Halloween on the Beach and we’re not in Dubai!

A Teenager in the Tribe

Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday!

Life seems to have run away with us recently and we have been overtaken with sport, school and birthdays.  The most recent birthday was that of the Eldest; we now have our first teenager!  Family life hasn’t changed in the slightest of course; she is still the same person she was before, but for her, it is a big deal.

The Eldest's choice of 'life' photos on reaching 13
The Eldest’s choice of ‘life’ photos on reaching 13
Her passion
Her passion



For all the opportunities that children have today, I also think that the world that they are growing up in has so many more pitfalls.  With social media such as Instagram and Snapchat (Facebook is ‘sooooooo last century’), we have attempted to teach the older two about thinking very, very carefully about what they wri

te online, as whatever you do write, will be there forever – a lesson that some adults should learn too perhaps.  The UK is now taking cyber bullying pretty seriously unlike some other parts of the world – this is from some rather unpleasant personal experiences.  I suppose that’s the reason that I try to get them to take notice of the natural world around us.  But back to our teenager.  Sometimes she appears far more grown up than her age, but then I see her friends and actually, they all seem more mature.  I guess the world today is just a different place than when I was growing up (and din

Just happy
Just happy

osaurs still roamed the earth!).  However, there are certain things that really haven’t changed – a girls’ humour for one.  Over the weekend, she and her friends watched back to back episodes of Miranda and found it absolutely hysterical.  As I do too!

She is still a child (obviously), but we can see her growing, developing and maturing.  Since moving back from Dubai, it has not been plain sailing for her.  Friendships have changed, friends have moved on, she has managed to cope with moving schools three times in the last year and she is playing more competitive sport than ever before (this is her passion).  The other day as we were laughing together over something, I realised that I now really enjoy her company, not just because she’s my daughter, but because I like the person that she’s becoming.  It is most definitely not all easy – how can the complexities of family life ever be easy? – and we have our rubbish moments as much as any other family, but I’m realising that there is far more good stuff than bad.  And she does make me laugh, because she is very, very funny.