The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

The Great British Outdoors

on November 13, 2014

If there’s one thing I’ve really enjoyed about being back in the UK, besides from being with all you’s lot of course, it is being in The Great British Outdoors.

You may wonder what on earth am I talking about with having lived in Singapore for the last six years where it is eternally between 26 and 32 degrees. How you would trade a grey rainy day for sunshine and temperatures like that.

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It’s just not the same. I doubt many of you could manage hours in The Great Tropical Outdoors without sweat dripping everywhere, getting sunburn and feeling like you’re going to expire and in dire need of a sit down and nap.

It is much more enjoyable being out in The Great British Outdoors over here, even if you do get a bit windswept and #2 and 3 turn a bit blue.

A cold, crisp air is far more energising and I forget just how much I miss being able to run outdoors in the cold. Although at first it takes a bit of motivation and layering up, once you’re out moving it doesn’t take much to get you all warmed up. Just as well I like the cold as I had promised #1, 2 and 3 a trip to Peppa Pig World.

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Peppa Pig and her family have long captivated #1, 2 and 3 with their rolling around in muddy puddles escapades. #1 and 2 couldn’t believe there is such a place as Peppa Pig World. Neither could I actually. They have been going on about visiting this place since before we booked our flights.

It’s a long drive from the In Laws to where Nana Moon lives. But along the way lives Lil Sis who came to Singapore in May with my gorgeous nieces Babs and Mini. #1, 2 and 3 simply adore Babs and Mini. They were highly excited to be visiting them and would have loved to stay for longer. It was hard work wrenching them away and only the promise that Nana Moon lives near to Peppa Pig World would do the trick.

Then just before we passed under the bridge to get to Nana Moon’s, we spot a massive billboard poster advertising Peppa Pig World, convincing #1 and 2 that Nana Moon does indeed live in Peppa Pig World.

Nana Moon is a connoisseur of high octane thrills. So is #2 and #3 has full potential to follow suit. I do not. I am getting worse as we move further Beyond Forty. I especially dislike rides that go round and round. My head spins on a basic playground roundabout then I have a headache rest of the day. I’m also rubbish at acting cool on rides and will inevitably be the one screaming from the top to the bottom of a slide. Much to the chagrin of #1.

But Peppa Pig World is amazing! I love it and so does Nana Moon. I’m pleased she did because a theme park with three children is not always everyone’s idea of a Sunday outing. They especially like her enthusiasm for going on all the rides. I like the fact none of the rides were high octane, except for the spinning clouds one. Everyone else is spinning in theirs except for us, until we discover the wheel you manually turn yourself for high octane spinning action. I felt sick afterwards.

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What is lovely about these outings is how much they really believe it’s Peppa and George they are meeting. Which is why it is rather surprising to find the cafe happily offers ham sandwiches as part of the packed lunch boxes you can buy. As pointed out by Nana Moon.

Another favourite of #1, 2 and 3 has been The Gruffalo. They were a little nervous about going to Alice Holt Forest for the Gruffalo’s Child forest trail walk until they realised there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo and it was all picture book cut outs.

Incidentally, whilst we were having lunch at the cafe at Alice Holt Forest, I overheard the conversation at the next table where the children were having sausage butties for lunch. One child asks ‘where do sausages come from?’. A Grown Up answers ‘from pigs’. Another Grown Up adds, ‘like Peppa. You know, where you’re going to tomorrow’. The child was silent for a very long time.

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In Singapore, we do have a fairly good outdoor life with the swimming pool, the man made beaches and parks but there’s nothing quite like a bunch of trees and a stream to play Pooh sticks. I’ve seen how much #1, 2 and 3 along with their friends enjoy having any patch of grass to run around on. They just love playing catch and they can go on for ages! I can feel myself burning off the calories just watching them. I wish.

It has been great to have spent time with some wonderful friends out and about. To go places together that neither of us have been to and just have our children play together. Or on the occasions where it has been raining without a break, it’s been great to catch up indoors with mugs of hot tea and pasta and marvel at how times have changed where once we caught up in some bar or other.

To enjoy The Great Outdoors, you don’t need sunshine, warm weather and t shirts. Don’t envy us the seemingly better Great Tropical Outdoors with it’s mosquitos, humidity and sweat fests. Sometimes it is glorious to have all that but I think I’d rather have something more varied. Something more like the change of seasons The Great British Outdoors has to offer. So that you can truly appreciate a warm hazy sun after a long freezing winter. Where you notice the small things like falling leaves and the new blossoming of a winter crocus. The bluebells and hay fever to follow and the long days of sunlight. Winter can be grey and dismal but there is much warmth to look forward to.

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