700 miles were covered during our UK baby tour week, which began a day late due to the weather. It was fun though and not half as stressful as we had envisioned. The baby was excellent and yesterday afternoon she notched up her 5th flight in her short life after we flew in from a cold Gatwick to a still blustery Bermuda.
We spent time in Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Essex, Kent and East Sussex with family and friends and yesterday after I said my goodbyes to my son I felt as homesick and upset as I have felt in the seven years I have been away.
My son was 10 last Thursday and I took him and his friend to Go Ape in Bedgebury
, set in the Bedgebury National Pinetum
, which even in the rain was a stunning setting. I had never heard of the Pinetum, but I set to find out and it's 300 plus acres contains the most complete collection of conifers in one place anywhere in the world and apart from Go Ape it is a beautiful place to bike, walk, run, take the dog or horse ride.Go Ape
is basically an obstacle course set high up among the trees. Using ropes, ladders, tunnels, walkways and
zip lines to clamber around fully harnessed at heights of up to 42 feet (13m) moving from section to section it took around three exhilerating hours to complete the course. My dodgy knee aside the most disconcerting thing was after a 15 minute safety lesson we were allowed to set off on the course unaccompanied with me being tagged as supervisor, my only qualification being that I was the oldest. The boys loved it, and so did I although on a particularly wobbly and high sodden wooded swing walkway at section four, love was not the first four letter word that was occupying my mind.
It was also bloody freezing and the tomato soup waiting for us in the Pinetum's cafe was very welcome as we sat there together caked in mud at the end with wide smiles.
I managed to take in a couple of films last week. The Invention of Lying
was Ricky Gervais at his most adept and we also saw Avatar in 3D
, which my son described as the best film he had ever seen. We were probably watching different movies to be fair but one cannot hide from the fact the special effects and it's vivacity were incredible and left one to wonder how far the cinema can go in the next ten years.
James Cameron would disagree no doubt but the film's success is not about the storyline but I do think he passed up a wonderful opportunity to dig deeper into the American pschye of evil big guy v little good guy. However it kept my attention fully for almost 3 hours, which is not easy. If you haven't seen it and are considering it, then watch it on the big screen in 3D, I don't think the DVD will be as part of cinematic culture than ET was 20 years after it came out.