The Lake

3 September 2012

During the school summer holidays I am missing my daily exercise of walking to school each day. I decided to try some early morning runs round Whitlingham Broad. I have been really enjoying these runs, it is so beautiful there in the mornings, so I decided to go one morning with my camera

As you can see there’s lots of bird life around. Some mornings I have seen mother and baby birds sleeping together at the side of the lake.

Very cute. I saw this swan with a honking signet.

It seemed it was honking for its siblings and was soon joined by them.

All stretching and shaking

We have also been going there during the day to practice bike riding. My daughters have suddenly got interested in their bikes (for the first time) and my oldest is trying to learn to ride without her stabilizers. This has been hard for her with lots of tears and gnashing of teeth but last time we went she managed 11 pedals on her own *proud mum*.

It has been quite physical for me, loading the bikes in and out of the car and holding her and the bike upright. This has been the workout for my arms. Just look at those muscles!

(they are more impressive in real life!)

We have also been collecting blackberries off the bushes when we stop for a rest

My youngest’s bike has just the place to hold the bowl

We managed a delicious blackberry and apple crumble that evening.


Talking of a parent’s strong arms supporting their daughters has put me in mind of a poem. Are you ready to get sentimental?


Lie back, daughter,

let your head be tipped back in the cup of my hand.

Gently, and I will hold you.

Spread your arms wide, lie out on the stream

and look high at the gulls.

A dead-man’s float is face down.

You will dive and swim soon enough where this

tidewater ebbs to the sea.

Daughter, believe me, when you tire on the long

thrash to your island,

lie up, and survive.

As you float now, where I held you and let go,

remember when fear cramps your heart what I told you:

Lie gently and wide to the light-year stars,

lie back, and the sea will hold you.


This poem is by Philip Booth and called ‘first lesson‘.


Is helping your child to learn to ride a bike, like helping them learn to swim, a metaphor for your role in life?