Weekly Report – w/c 16/11/2015

Well winter definitely arrived this week. After a mild start, the temperature plummeted at the weekend and we’ve been having to wrap up warm before venturing out. Here’s how we got on:

Monday started well, with a woodland walk in the morning. Well sort of a walk. Tom was in charge, so in fact it was more like the same patch of woodland over and over and over again. But he seemed happy! We popped to the playground in the afternoon and Tom enjoyed some playtime with a friendly 2 year old.

We started Wednesday back at the playground, which had been invaded by a preschool group on the hunt for autumnal goodies. They had a work-sheet and everything. One kind little boy tried to get Tom involved, only to be met with a blank look. Tom then toddled off mid-explanation. Those social skills have a little way to go!

We had planned a trip to Brooks Farm that afternoon, but it was grey, wet and miserable. Mr Techno was very reluctant to go out, so we made oobleck to play with instead. I thought it might interest Tom for 15 minutes or so, but in fact he was enthralled and played with it for an incredible hour and a half. The adults were pretty interested too.

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Thursday was clear for our walk in to nursery. In the evening, Tom explored happily. He was especially pleased to find a massive puddle, which needed to be walked through repeatedly. With giggling.

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Friday was much the same, though colder. I was a bit concerned about Tom’s hands, which he kept insisting on dipping in cold puddles. He was probably fine in fact, but my overprotective mother head kicked in and I made him get back in the buggy. Of course this did not go down well. I think it’s about time I read up on techniques for keeping calm in the face of tantrums.

We were amazed on Saturday morning to see snow falling. Sadly, it didn’t last long, but it did highlight a rather gaping hole in Tom’s wardrobe – his rain footies are fine for the wet, but wouldn’t be warm enough in snow if it was too settle. Time for a pair of barefoot shoes after all.

We wrapped up warm in the afternoon and headed to Lloyd Park in Walthamstow. Post to follow on our adventures there.

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Sunday was another cold day. So cold in fact that I could see my breath inside the house. Mr Techno gently pointed out that this was probably not healthy, so the heating is now on two hours in the morning and one in the evening, which has already made a huge difference. We spent the morning in Leyton Jubilee Park and I was hoping for a nice long walk in the afternoon. This was rather scuppered by Tom taking a three hour nap. By the time he woke up and we had done milk and nappy change, it was 4 pm and starting to get dark. Boy must be about to have a growth spurt or something!

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I have to say, I’ve been a bit uninspired this week. Rather a lot of time at the playground and being scared off by the weather. Time to buy some warmer clothes and head out for more exciting winter adventures!

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Outdoors in East London with a Toddler: Walthamstow & Leyton Marshes

London has a good amount of green space generally, but we are especially lucky to live just by one of the largest areas of common land in the city. The Marshes are semi-natural wetlands, part of the Lee Valley Regional Park. Though parks and playgrounds are great for kids, it is wonderful that we have such easy access to a space that is a bit more wild.

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There are paths cut through the long grass to make it easier for cyclists and walkers to navigate the terrain, which are also ideal for buggies and toddlers who can’t quite manage long grass yet.

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There are plenty of walks of different lengths, which you can find here. Whilst we’ve explored a number of different routes by now, we have our own preferred walk, which takes us down behind the WaterWorks Centre, over the river, under Lea Bridge Road, and out the other side behind the Ice Centre.

During the summer, events like Countryside Live are often held behind the Ice Centre. It’s a bit quieter at this time of year, but there is still the occasional activity, normally guided walks. There is a cafe at the WaterWorks Centre, though we’ve never actually used it, preferring to save our pennies by bringing snacks or popping back home for a cup of tea. During the early autumn we made great use of the copious numbers of blackberries growing round the area.

During the week the Marshes are usually really quiet, which is great for us as Tom can explore without worrying about being run over by cyclists. It gets busier at weekends, but there is plenty of space for everyone – I just have to be more careful to keep Tom out of the path of oncoming bikes. Rainy days tend to be pretty quiet as well.

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Friends of mine occasionally take riding lessons at the Riding Centre. Tom is a bit young (and it’s an expensive hobby!) but we do enjoy hearing the horses neighing as we walk past.

The Marshes are the perfect antidote to city life, especially with a toddler encouraging you to take your time and explore thoroughly!