When the boys are on their school holidays, I try and strike a balance between getting out and about and chillaxing at home. So this morning saw me pottering about the house engaged in the menial and humdrum, while Olly played with PlayDoh and Lego. We have been blessed with beautiful weather in West Cornwall. All sunshine and blustery wind. Lovely to wake up to in the morning. Brilliant for hanging out the washing. Fantastic if you happen to be here for the Easter holidays. It makes me love living here all the more. We have spent quite a lot of our time at the beach. But we don't have to go. We can pick and choose. And today we chose not to.
Olly and Alfie wanted to walk to Steeple Woods. I was happy to oblige, as it's one of my favourite walks to take Honey. It's long enough for a good run out for her. There is lots to occupy a little boy en route, so the uphill climb doesn't seem so hard on his legs. And the lanes are safe to navigate, so loads of running like loons. There's lots for me to look at too. The sun was very bright and so taking photos of wild flora proved difficult. But there were carpets of celandine, wood anemone, bluebells, violets, gorse, blossom and buds galore. There were bees and butterflies busying themselves and the sound of birdsong was glorious.
Knills Monument is situated on a hill overlooking the town. Built in 1782 by John Knill, it is a triangular monument made of granite and stands over 50ft high. Knill was a rather eccentric mayor of St Ives, and this was to be his mausoleum. He actually died and was buried in London, but the monument remained. It's undergone some restoration recently and was looking rather magnificent in the Spring sunshine.
The area surrounding the monument is heathland.To the south lies Trelyon Downs and below is Steeple Woods. These three form the Steeple Nature Reserve. It's a rather special place, and you often hear people in St Ives talking about "Going up the Steeple." The view from the top is spectacular - a 360 degree panorama of the surrounding area. You can see for miles up there, and apart from the Atlantic, it is a rural landscape. While St Ives swells with the day tripper, Steeple Woods is a reminder that there is space around us. It's a real get away from it all kind of a place.
The boys love the tree climbing possibilities. And the rope swing in the woods. I watched as Olly challenged himself and followed his brother up trees and on the swing. I resisted the urge to stop him, and only helped him when he asked for it. Boys need these physical challenges, and I am loving how Olly is really pushing his own boundaries. The delight on his face as he overcame initial reticence and swung on the rope swing was priceless. And by the end of the afternoon he was as quick as a cat along the low lying branches of the trees.