In many ways that's because it didn't feel like our usual Wednesday walk. It was half term and we had all the children with us, and we also met up with my brother and his family, so in total we were four adults and seven children - the children ranging in ages between 1 and 11. The best place to go with that many people of such diverse interests was easy to agree on - Kew Gardens.
It was a freezing day and as we ambled around we were glad of our flasks of coffee. Particularly when we made the obligatory stops at the Badger's Sett and the alarming Treetop Walkway. My children don't consider it a proper visit to Kew unless they have clambered around both these features. I think the cousins and friends agreed.
The three 11 year olds, and the 4 year old, charged everywhere in wide zigzags all day, and by mid afternoon they had all hit a wall of exhaustion.
C confuses Forza Motorsports on the Xbox, with responsible pushing of his baby cousin in the buggy
C, T and F are all worn out
The baby and the girls were still doing pretty well though. The baby loved the floor grates in the Palm House, and pressed his nose to the floor to try and see what was underneath.
A and B having crawling races in the Palm House
I loved chatting with Gill and my brother and his wife, and as usual I came home feeling restored and settled. The children were utterly exhausted too, which is always a bonus. We loved the damp crocuses just blooming near the pagoda, but the orchids in the palmhouse were glorious too (and warmer to photograph).
The biggest excitement of the day for me though, was my brother's orange kitkat, which he kindly shared with me at lunchtime. Wikipedia tells me that the orange flavoured kitkat was introduced in 1996, which means it has taken me an outrageous fifteen years to discover this incredible delight. I have since stocked up on a multipack of my own, and now have a good supply to sustain me on the next few weekday walks with Gill. Tomorrow we're heading off to walk along the south bank of the Thames, through docklands.
I have both a desire for accuracy and a love of alliteration, and this has resulted in the re-naming of these walks from Wednesday Walks to Weekday Walks. There have been a few Thursdays and Tuesdays recently, and we've decided we rather like the flexibility.