Monday, March 03, 2008
More frolics in the Wye Valley, but a lot further down this weekend. Boy 2 was off to a birthday party on Saturday, so I suggested to Boy 1 that we load up the bikes and head out. I'd found a recently opened trail called The Peregrine Way, which is the old railway track between Ross on Wye and Monmouth. The cycle trail has been done so that you can ride next to the river from Monmouth to Symonds Yat and back.
Picnic made, we set off. It was glorious , we were passed by a few other serious cyclists (all dayglo lycra and go faster helmets) and passed the occasional jogger, but most of the time it felt as though everyone had vanished and we were the only people on the planet. It was wonderfully quiet. The river was deeper than at Builth, and faster flowing. We stopped to watch canoeists larking about in the rapids, looked like great fun.
We reached Symonds Yat and the sense of being alone vanished, it was very busy with tourists, but then it is very pretty. Last year, we put an offer in on a cottage overlooking the Wye at Symonds Yat. At the time it seemed to make sense. The village we live in has become crazily expensive for property, and although we love our house, the garden is quite small, and with two growing hooligans we felt the need for more space, so we looked further afield, where we get get get a lot more for our money, and settled on Symonds Yat. In hindsight, I'm glad we didn't get the house. Yes it was in a beautiful spot, but being there on a sunny spring day, made me realise just how busy it would have been. Also, we are very happy where we are, we have lots of good friends, as do the boys, and they go to a great school in the village.
We turned back and found this spot for lunch. (at top, cocked up positioning)
We cycled back stopping at the Biblins foot bridge. I'm not good with heights, and also the bloody thing wobbles like an excited jelly, but over we went. (cocked up again !)
It was a great day out, and I really enjoy spending one to one time with either of the boys.
Earlier in the week, we'd had parents evening. It went as expected, Boy 1 , a joy to teach, well mannered, doing well. Boy 2, hmmm. J is a problem, he has always been exceptionally bright. His elder brother is no fool, but he works very hard as well. J has set himself a mission, and that mission is to be the class clown, and he's succeeding, but succeeding at make himself a royal pain in the arse, disrupting the class and not going forwards himself. It was coming, his behaviour at home is fairly dire. The difficulty is, there's never any malice in what he does, he's a hugely affectionate and tactile little chap, but also a nutter. The thing is, we are strict. I cannot abide badly behaved kids, but J is turning that way. We have defined boundaries, and punishments for overstepping those boundaries, but it seems not to bother him. It causes problems with A and I, as we argue as to the best way forward, so the atmosphere in Gumpher Towers is generally rather frosty at the moment. The whole parent thing is a constant learning curve, and nothing I had done prior to being a father had prepared me for it.