It is the time of the Festival of Archaeology, which I had only half-acknowledged, since I am temporarily a ‘single parent’ and the rainy days are a rule not an exception. When asking if my friends wanted to go for a picnic on Sunday – the weather forecast did not predict rain – they said they were heading to the Bury Camp in Ratby. For some time I have really wanted to visit that site that is on private land; taking advantage of an organized walk would make sense. However, knowing Number One Son made me hesitate.
I have seen other people taking part into site tours with energetic little boys and this usually turns out to mean that they are not really taking part into the site tour but running around in the fringes of the site. This walk would have involved leaving the car in the car park of a nearby pub and walking to the earthworks further afield. I have the Bury Camp marked on Google Map so I checked and found out that the walk would have been such that I should have taken a stroller. Number One Son probably had opposed to any longer stretch and could have wanted to be carried; he just begins to be too heavy. The soggy grassland would have been a nightmare with a stroller. I could have hoped that Alex would have run to the right direction following his friends but any wish from his part to stray from the tour may have resulted with a tantrum. In the end, all I wanted was a lovely picnic and running around without a need to go anywhere particular. The site tour would have been for me and I would have imposed archaeology on Number One Son on one of the rare nice days this summer.
The weather was not full-on sunny and it was not hot but it was not raining and there were sunny spells. Number One Son also had new trekking boots on that I had thought would be an ace thing to have on for some rock climbing on the Bradgate Park shale outcrops. Number One Son starts to be of an age for climbing, which I truly loved as a child myself. We marvelled the rapids of the waterfall, with a much stronger flow than normally, and ate our picnic in a civilized manner sitting on a park bench. There were deer and a large kite to entertain Number One Son. Not to mention the obligatory ice cream provided by the customarily sellers. And no, Number One Son did not want to share but to lick it all himself!
What I did find out was that my motherly sensibilities overran any wish to let Number One Son to climb freely. Any cliff looked twice the fall and unwillingly I ended up dragging him away from the edges. Not quite the dream of letting Number One Son to roam freely. Luckily, there were smaller outcrops where he could entertain himself. He turned out to be even a better climber than I expected. Those babygym sessions did their trick after all. The lovely day came to an end with a quick visit to the Bradgate House ruins and bothering a peacock, one of two summer residents there.
This visit taught me that I was not as ‘hardcore’ as I thought. The Bury site visit would have coincided with the time of the day Number One Son often takes a small snooze. I may have gotten away with carting him around in the stroller. However, I could not be sure and the situation in reality would not have necessarily turned out to be funny for me or other participants. As with the rock cliffs, I turned out to be a wussy.