Sunday, April 13th.
With Emma having just finished two night shifts, on the bounce, I decided to take Erin and Keilyn out for the morning, so that Emma could catchup on some sleep, knowing that she had to work tonight, too.
So, with provisions packed for myself, Erin and Keilyn, we set off along the Ebury Way, this time in the direction of Watford, rather than our usual route towards Rickmansworth. The sun was in full radiance and, as we moved through the shade of the Ebury Way, the breeze dropped, making it a pleasant stroll. Keilyn was quietly cooing at the trees and clouds, from her seat in the battlewagon, while Erin explored the path ahead. There were quite a few cyclists, heading in the Rickmansworth direction, and the odd jogger or two, but otherwise it was a quiet trip.
We followed the Ebury Way, crossing Wiggenhall Road, until we reached the River Colne, at the bottom of Oxhey Park. Having forgotten how steep the climb is, to Oxhey Park, I pushed Keilyn up the steep incline, thankful that Erin was walking, as I don’t think that I would have made it with her in the battlewagon, too. Erin barely seemed to notice the hill that she had to climb, as she was busy picking daisies, all the way up. When we reached the top of the mountain, I noticed a large sphere, over two-metres in height, with spikes protruding from it at odd angles. As we drew closer, I could see that it was actually a giant conker, fashioned from wood. Close to the Conker was a carved oak bench, shaped like a leaf, that Erin had to go and sit on.
Oxhey Park is over fourteen hectares of parkland and wooded dell, that has been a public park since 1924. It turns out that the bench and conker were both designed by designer David Gross, and were commissioned to celebrate the rejuvenation of Oxhey Park. The bench is made of oak, but has a weighted base, while the conker took over three and a half months to complete and weighs over two tonnes.
The playground, at the top of Oxhey Park, is quite substantial, but was quite a disappointment. There are swings, a zip-line, a roundabout, a see-saw, rubber hills with planks to walk across, tunnels, a trampoline and a slide, amongst other things. Keilyn was in her element, as she just absolutely loves to pushed in a swing, while Erin will attempt everything, especially the slide. Unfortunately, the slide which is the same height as many other slides that she has been on, was impossible for her to use. She either had to climb to the top via a tough looking wall climb, or attempt three tiny steps which were attached to a pole, which was over a foot from the slide. There was no simple steps so I had to lift her up to the platform, while keeping an eye on Keilyn, who was walking around the base of the slide. After only two slides, Erin got fed up with not being able to climb the slide herself, so went off with Keilyn to jump on the trampoline. Then it was back on the swings, before Erin had one last look around. I could tell that Erin wasn’t happy with the park as, when I suggested that we head off to eat lunch, she didn’t kick up a fuss and run towards the nearest swing, slide or whatever, she just held the gate open and then followed the battlewagon.
As we reached the giant conker, I convinced Erin to stand in front of it, so that I could take a photo of her with it. Keilyn was busy munching on a sandwich, so wasn’t much interested in the weird, wooden thing that she couldn’t eat.
We followed the path along as it dropped back down toward the River Colne, where we turned right and headed towards the park entrance at the Lower High Street. Sadly, the grassed area was in too much shade, so we headed back under the railway arches and found a bench by a bridge that links Oxhey Park with the rugby fields, on the opposite of the river.
While Erin ate her sandwich, followed by a packet of cheesy twirls, I fed Keilyn spaghetti bolognese, followed with an apple and strawberry dessert. When both girls were suitably stuffed Erin took Keilyn for a wander across the bridge and back again.
Erin spotted some ducks, sleeping on the riverbank, so I gave her my phone and she happily took some photos of them. I then walked Keilyn along the footpath, while Erin pushed the battlewagon, until we reached Wiggenhall Road, where Keilyn started to get stroppy. Realising that she hadn’t had her morning nap, I strapped her into the battlewagon, and she promptly fell asleep. Erin, too, was showing some signs of fatigue, but refused to surrender.
Instead she led the way along the Ebury Way, warning me of approaching cyclists, until, almost at the point that we turn off for home, she decided that she wanted to sit down. So, with both girls strapped in, I pushed them both the short distance home. In those two minutes Erin fell asleep and the two of them began snoring, in unison.
Another nice relaxing Sunday stroll. Roll on next weekend, when it will be Easter, meaning more chances to go wandering.
Until next time, May It Be Well With You.