Map: None Used (routes are available at College Lake if you're desperate, but it's very much a case of following signs!)
Time: 1 hour
Rating: Easy Walk
This walk was a first for me, because it was the first time I did a walk with the Chap on my back. It's been coming on for a while - I got to the end of Willen Lake and thought "oof, my back", so I've been working up to doing extended walks with the Chap on my back, and this was the first 'proper' walk I've done with him there. It takes a bit of practise to get them up there - I have found it easiest to 'Santa Toss' him over my head rather than scooting him round my side, as he's just got too tall to fit comfortably under my arm. However, I can get him up there without incident now, so long as he isn't wearing anything big like a coat that tend s to get rucked in the back and make the back of the Ergo sit a bit low, but I now know what that feels like, so it can be dealt with.
You will shortly reconnect with the main trail, and we continued along this until we saw the gate leading off to the left through the fence, marked with a 'permissive footpath' white arrow. As this was somewhere I hadn't been before, I decided to go and have a look and see where it took us.
I really enjoyed this part of the route. It feels a lot quieter than the main path, and takes you along the edge of the nature reserve through the trees. It was also completely deserted apart from a photography crew who were taking promotional pictures for the reserve, who grinned as I went past with my load.
In wearing the Chap as I go for walks, I manage to do what I want at the same time as feeling like I'm ticking the 'Proper Parenting' box. It was the same when we went and enjoyed the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum the other day - I enjoyed the dinosaurs before I had a child, but now I'm not just indulging myself. I'm Being A Parent. In knitting, I perform the role of being his mummy, even if what I'm doing is just sitting on the sofa drinking beer and shouting "Oi love 'ee, Mr Frodo!" at various opportune moments at the TV. Now, obviously this doesn't mean I'm not his mother when I'm doing this, but it seems to me that again, this is a self-indulgent act when what I should be doing is watching him sleep and composing odes to his restful slumber or similar. Left brain knows this is tosh. My left brain understands that one can still be someone's mother as you cry "You were robbed of that Oscar, Mr Serkis, robbed, I say!". So, knitting is a salve to the incoherent babbling of my right brain - I am performing the act of being a mother, therefore it's fine. It doesn't matter that I am knitting because I enjoy it, or I like the challenge - if that wasn't the case, I wouldn't do it. I enjoy it, but it also helps on the occasions when he comes home from nursery knackered, goes straight to bed and I hardly see him. It's either knitting or watching little videos we've made of him and crying. I know which option is provides a more conducive household environment...
Things I Learnt
- After I changed to the 'santa toss' method of getting the Chap on my back, all my back-carrying problems have been solved!
- I can knit, it seems. My next plan is for something a bit more proper than a beginner's pattern... something that involves a tension square to start off with...
- You can get a number of quite varied walks out of College Lake. When I first went, I was pretty sure it was a straight march around a circuit job, but I am glad to find that there's a good amount of choice. It's also good for building up confidence if you're not used to baby wearing for walking.