Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Helping The Medicine Go Down

Today Olly had his pre-school booster jabs. Olly is a fearless little boy, but he really doesn't like going to the Doctor. I have no idea why. The only time he has been are for his vaccinations and a couple of visits for the usual infantile bugs. Now he is older, I felt it was only fair that I told him that we were going. You can imaging his reaction to the news. The procedure was unpleasant and stressful for him. The nurse was lovely, but Olly rebuffed all of her advances. He did, however, take the sticker she offered. The boy's no fool. Stickers are a badge of honour for any four year old, and he will be wearing it with pride to nursery tomorrow I'm sure. I also gave him some chocolate, in lieu of a spoonful of sugar. That was polished off fairly quickly too.

We went for a walk. To turn a not so good start into a little adventure. I knew just the place. The grandly titled King George V Memorial Walk in Hayle. It's a recent discovery for us. But it is a lovely way to spend a couple of hours, as there is so much to see and do. The Hayle Town Council website describes it thus:

"This beautiful Walk at Undercliff was purchased in 1936 by Phillack East Urban District Council from the Great Western Railway. It was laid out as a formal Walk to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary. With an Art-Deco Arbour and three Fishponds, one of which has a fountain, it is approximately ¾ of a mile long. With its panoramic views across Copperhouse Pool it quickly became a popular venue for walkers and bird watchers. Waders and wildfowl can easily be observed without disturbance from the path which follows the entire N.E. bank of the Pool. The Memorial Walk was chosen as the town' s main Millennium Project and the Victorian-style Lamps, new benches and the Scent and Touch Garden for the Blind were added as part of the Hayle 2000 celebrations."  

It is just a lovely walk. It is a sensory delight, with lots to see, touch, smell and interact with. I'm glad that I had forgotten Olly's bike, because it meant that we could have a meander through all of the little nooks and crannies of the place. My favourite bit is the sensory garden and the quite frankly fabulous bug house that the gardeners have built. I have decided to build two similar ones at the allotment and in our garden.

Olly was fascinated by the pools, which were teeming with tadpoles. He drew some pictures of the plants too. He has taken to carrying a little pencil box and jotter everywhere with him. He set up his studio in the middle of the path, oblivious to anyone walking past. Luckily it is the most wonderfully friendly place too. There are dog walkers, joggers, perambulators, municipal gardeners and those carrying their shopping back home from town. Everyone says hello, and passes the time of day. It is the kind of place that encourages you to slow down a little and interact.
It's not just the people, it's the abundance of wildlife too. There were birds singing in the trees and foraging in the borders. There were birds out on the estuary dipping and wading for food. There were insects buzzing in and out of plants. Some really chubby bumble bees and little flies skimming the surface of the pools. The planting is a real mix, with sub tropical plants sitting side by side with more familiar shrubs and flowers. What I really love is that the wildness of the steep bank has been allowed to mingle too. So you have dandelions and other wild flowers in the mix. It makes for a harmonious whole, and is just as a public space should be.
I taught Olly the Sticky Bud game, as there was an abundance of this wild plant growing along the walk. I don't know it's proper name, but when my sister and I were little we would often see how many of these sticky plants we could place on my Mum's back as we went on our walks with her. We improvised, there being only two of us, although Honey did become the unsuspecting victim a couple of times. And while we looked at the tadpoles, I told him of the minnows and sticklebacks I used to catch in The Malago stream that ran through the open spaces - 'The Valley' - where I grew up. Further along the walk, we saw two older ladies blowing dandelion clocks. "I haven't done that since I was a girl," one said to the other.

Maybe that's what a walk like this does. By slowing one down and alerting our senses, it also recalls to mind the simple pleasures of times gone by. It certainly seemed that way today.

Leanne xx


Can I just thank everyone who commented with words of support, solidarity and general amusement on my last post. Marc has reluctantly put away his halo, and has already started his new job. I am very aware how fortunate that is. I am very aware that Marc's job affords us the luxury of living here, and for me to look after the boys full time. It is never taken for granted. Well maybe it is just a little bit. But the uncertainty of the past four weeks has certainly put it all into perspective for me.
And hello to new followers. You are very welcome!



  1. First of all, that is great news about Marc getting another job! I had meant to comment on your last post, but have had a busy few days with guests.

    You are such a terrific mom. This might be the best post-jab day I have ever heard of. Chocolate and nature - what could be better than that? I love how Olly sat on the path and sketched what he was seeing around him, and that you were able to share some of your childhood memories. I'm sure by the end of the day his jab was long forgotten! :-)

  2. I'm really happy for Marc. Everything will be okay, you'll see. I'm with Olly, I absolutely despise going to the doctor. I do know why, though. He will not have to worry about my why, fortunately. I think the walk was a perfect idea. I would love to go there myself. If there were a way to somehow see the doctor while there, that would be ideal for me. :)

  3. I'm so glad that Marc has already started his new job - well done him! I hope that he enjoys it and that it settles life a little for the homebodies. What a lovely walk you and Olly went on! I remember the sticky buds, but I can't remember seeing one for years, probably because I haven't been looking for any to stick on anyone. Perhaps I better have a go at that game again! Hope that you are having a lovely day today - it is sunny here after the rain which is nice. xx

  4. That looks like a fabulous place to go!

  5. Just lovely, sometimes it's great to have a walk with some little legs to slow you down x

  6. So glad Marc has a new job, I do hope it goes well. Poor little Olly, it's no fun being stuck with needles. You found a beautiful spot to go for a walk though. We like to stick that plant all over each other too, we call it goosegrass or cleavers. The other day when we went for a walk I filled the eldest's hood with dandelions one by one when he wasn't looking. That was fun too. I blamed it on someone else, and you have just reminded me that I never actually owned up to it.

  7. I want to go and do this walk, it looks so much fun! I particularly like the sensory garden part. I once went to a museum in Switzerland called Sensorium and it was all about experiencing senses (vision included). It was amazing. We all love the Sticky Bud game up here but we call the plant Sticky Willy. It is not ready yet, a few more weeks before we play the game. I hope the sticker doesn't fall off or accidentally ends in the washing machine before Olly can show it around at nursery. You are such a lovely mum, taking him on an adventure after the immunisations. I am glad all is looking up for you now. It is really difficult if your livelihood is threatened. xx

  8. That looks like a very lovely walk, what an idyllic childhood your boy is having. You are a fab mum. I love that you are making the most of your time with him before he starts school, it reminds me of me and Angus this time last year... :-) xx

  9. It was a delight to see these images. We discovered this wonderful walk when we came down on holiday so it was fantastic to revisit it again. When we were there we saw a few of the volunteers working on the gardens, they make it look so wonderful. Olly will remember these special moments and the tales you have told him. Hope Marc's first week was OK. Sarah x

  10. How utterly delightful!! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful visit.

  11. What a wonderful place for an adventure, I would like to go there myself! How lovely that Olly stopped to draw some of the plants, and that you saw two ladies blowing dandelions too - so sweet! Hope your having a great weekend. xx