photos by stuart tonge
The weather was looking so fantastic this week-end that the family and I headed out for an early adventure on saturday morning. Hubby and I were avoiding eye contact and still holding curled up lips and displaying growling faces after he dared to tell me just how terrible my navigational skills are. Ever the diplomat, the very lovely Zach enthusiastically blurted 'let's go to Knowle Locks, I know the way there'. (thank you first born son, were it not for you I could have sulked a whole lot longer!!!)
Exploring the locks and walking along the canal with the sun on our backs waving to boats passing by and greeting fellow walkers was just ... perfect! Along the canal walk, we spotted what seemed like a random collection of animals at a nearby enclosure which after further investigation we discovered was Heronfield Animal Rescue Sanctuary. The boys took charge of the map of the sanctuary (seriously, even they wouldn't let me near it!!!) and had a wonderful time seeking out animals big and small. The owls, the chipmunks and the monkey were definite favorites, my personal favorite was the Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig, hubby couldn't take his eyes off the four very large owls who put on a superb performance for us, flying and swooping, so beautiful so powerful. The weather being on our side for a change, it was such a delight to be able to be leisurely and let the boys take their time and really soak up their day.
Just as we were about to round up our visit Zach decided to climb a slide that was in a small play area filled with cars you could ride, a couple of play houses, a see-saw and a few other toys. We had already walked past the area several times, Elliott had enjoyed a couple of turns in the car but then we had moved on. But just then, as I looked up to see Zach as he came down the slide, my heart began racing with excitement - a slide that actually SLIDES!!!!! This was a slide like no other, a proper old style 1970's frame, really high up and fast, really FAST!!!! Before I knew it, I was climbing those steps with gusto and as I came down the slide for the first time I heard myself shout 'WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE' and it felt every bit as good as it did back in the old days. Again and again we all went down that slide and we all agreed, it was and is the BEST slide ever!!!!!