Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Great Outdoors

... I am so gladthat springseems to have sprung!

The weekend was good and went by very quickly because I was so busy working on my new blog and making up my list for the 1001 project that I stumbled on. It’s been a real eye opener, making me dig deep and sometimes being surprised by some of the tasks I set for myself, but it’s going to be fun to do and I am really looking forward to the next 1001 days.

For the first time in a long, long time I went for a walk yesterday. I was so fed up with being cooped up in the house – daughter in front of TV, hubby in front of PC and me well, getting more and more irritable. So at 4 p.m I announced that we were ALL going out for a walk ( I wasn’t taking no for an answer), bundled all and sundry into their jumpers and vests and we set off.

Now behind our house, literally just a stones throw away, is a hidden treasure – Countryside. You walk round the corner from our house, go through a set of heavy wooden gates and you are bang in the middle of the country side complete with running stream, little bridge and all. It comes as such a surprise to the first time adventurer because your heads telling you ‘Hey I’m in the middle of the City’ and your eyes are telling you ‘Hey, I’m in the middle of the countryside’ . It is absolutely fantastic. The air is fresh, the fields are huge and the horses wander around behind their wooden fences (paddocks?), coming up close for a little nuzzle or lump of sugar once they spot any human. My daughter was in heaven and quite truthfully so was I. Just the vastness of the space and rural-ness (my word) of it all is so liberating. I can’t explain it. By the time we got back home about two hours later, our shoes caked with mud, we all had smiles on our faces. And for the first time in ages, my daughter actually asked to be taken to bed – she was that worn out from all the running around in the fresh, crisp air.

This is what I miss the most about Nigeria – no, not the fresh, crisp air – but the freedom and space the kids have to run around in. When we visited Nigeria last year, my daughter spent every waking hour running around and playing outside in the huge garden with her cousins. By seven O’clock she was so pooped all she wanted to do was go straight to bed.
It’s different in the UK. The houses are pretty small and after a whole day indoors the walls start to cave in on you and there is little or no garden to speak of, so one has to rely on taking the kids to the park if they are to get any sort of outdoor life. Now this activity is ruled out for at least six months of the year, when the cold and wet weather descends. I really breaks my heart sometimes when I watch my daughter peering outside longingly, and I remember how I was always outside back home when I was a kid. Here, it’s the TV or the PC or some other indoor activity.

That’s why I am so glad that spring seems to have sprung and the sun is making a bit more of an effort to spread some warmth. This summer, I am going to live at the park with my daughter and give her as much outdoor life as I can!


Blogger Onada said...

i feel you. i so excited for the spring and summer and i've made it a point not to sit around and not do anything. I 'm going to do as much as i can while the summer lasts :)

Good for you taking advantage of your wonderful surrondings! i need a place like that around me :)

3:54 pm  
Blogger adefunke said...

On a different note, I see you have bookmarked 'Post Secret'. My favorite secret there would be the one of the person who said everyone who knew him/her post 9/11 thinks he/she is dead!

7:16 am  

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