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On the run up to this Bank Holiday we did not have anything planned, other than the usual children ferrying business, and I was really looking forward to it.

However…Saturday rolled around; husband did the ‘Dad’s Taxi’ bit in the morning (I pretty much refuse to drive on a weekend, on account that I have to drive ‘cross country’ Monday to Thursday for work (I may exaggerate, but only slightly)) and we ended up doing the usual of having to fob the kids off ‘just while we do this…’ and ‘let me just sort that…’, I think we all ended the day a little peeved and hadn’t really achieved anything.

Fast forward to about 10 o’clock on Sunday morning, my lie in day – I love Sunday mornings!  And we decide to go out after swimming.  The plans that follow are quite haphazard because we hadn’t really planned at all.  This is not good.  A mad dash to sort lunch, dry hair, put the whole chicken in the slow cooker, because, obviously, it has to be used that day, and get together the necessary paraphernalia, which luckily, isn’t as bad as it used to be because our kids are 5 and 7.  I’ll admit I do still tend to take wipes with me everywhere I go and do have a mild ‘moment’ if I forget them, we’re out and any food is involved.

So, an hour later and we’re ready to go (I can tell you’re impressed – I was too).  Our destination?  The Roaches, which I have since found out is in Macclefield, only 1 hour and 20 minutes away?!  Husband got the bright idea from his brother who went recently (his brother does not have kids).  My husband is largely motivated by photographs.  A lot of what we do and where we go revolves around what shots he can get.  He’s very good (in my humble opinion), it saves me having to bother and we have lots of wonderful memories backed up with pictorial evidence.  It also means I have to pause mid-way through cooking a lot, the kids and I are usually way ahead of him wherever we go and there’s not that many pictures of him, whereas there are thousands of us!!  Oh well, a small sacrifice in the name of art?!

So he puts ‘The Roaches’ into the maps app.  I, foolishly have left him to it.  Husband is very good at remembering how to get to places after he’s been there once, not so good at getting there for the first time, (this does not & will not make me drive at the weekend though), so at one point we may have been on a cliffs edge and very much fearing a car coming the other way.  There may also have been a couple of Austin Powers type 50 point turns involved.  A phone call to the brother, a picture of where we were sent to the said brother,a bit of ‘it must be this way’ and we arrive, at the really big rocks.  We spend a good hour or so exploring, both kids enjoyed it.  Our little boy was wonderful at being the leader (I had a couple of heart in mouth moments), our girl, who isn’t the most forthcoming when it comes to climbing also gave it a really good go.  We went from one set of rocks to the other, there was rain and sunshine, some very stunning views and some comical photos (of course), we decided to head back to the car as it had started raining.  We headed to the path down only to find it had disappeared!  Don’t you just hate it when that happens!! We had gone further than we have thought and had to go straight down from where we stood (it was really raining by this point).  We got back down, all was fine, we were going home, rained on but smiling and pretty pleased with ourselves, the adventurers that we had become!  All of the cars in the lay-by we were parked in were facing the opposite direction to us so we thought we’d try the way we were facing, yep…that was right by the main road, we’d actually passed that to go along the scary cliffs edge – might have laughed a bit hysterically when I realised this.The Roaches

On Monday we went to Bradgate Park.  It was fantastic.  It was arranged last minute, not as last minute as Sunday’s escapade but last minute for us – we tend to have these things planned for weeks, especially as we went with a friend family.  At 10:10am I received a message from my friend telling us where they were.  We were late leaving (should have been out the door for 10) but there’s no way we could have been there for then, it takes 45 minutes!  We rushed around, again, getting everything in the car, including the kids, doors looked, engine on, we’re ready to go.  Our boy has a big drink, most of which, it appeared, went down the wrong hole resulting in a quite comical wet patch, do we change him or let it dry?  It should be dry by the time we got there, no, can’t chance it, trouser change and off we go!

On the journey, our girl taught us all what a ‘homophone’ is – every day’s a school day!  Well she was teaching it to our boy but 4 ears in the front seat pricked up because we thought she was explaining something else.

We had a great day!  Collecting ‘drawing stones’ ‘no don’t take the stones out of the wall, only off the floor’ ‘but they’re the best ones for drawing on’ ‘it doesn’t matter, the wall could fall down’, we saw deer running about, I got pooped on by a bird, that was a definite highlight – it’s lucky isn’t it?  We trekked up a massive hill to go and see a castle – husband insisted (pictures, or course), when we got to the top our girl asked to go in, when we told her you couldn’t, it was only to look at from the outside, she wasn’t impressed and said ‘we did all that, for this?!’  (she’s 7 going on 17).  Us grown ups had a little sit down, ‘admiring the view’ (catching our breath) while the kids played on a seemingly, innocent, gently slope, yeah, it wasn’t.  When we decided to make a move we realised it was quite a drop.  We’d actually stopped them playing on a tame set of rocks for fear they could really hurt themselves to the point where the boys were conspiring to runaway, while they were abseiling down a mountain – who said males can’t multitask?!

Bradgate

So we got home, to, not quite a shit-tip house, but the dinner things from the night before hadn’t made it into the dishwasher (because it was still full with the breakfast and lunch things), the washing will have to be washed again because it didn’t get put out and the thousand and one things that wouldn’t have gotten finished even if we had stayed in all weekend are still waiting to be started.  But our kids had a brilliant time, they were mostly well behaved, had a few selective hearing moments and we all have lots of new memories to cherish.

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