Embracing the great outdoors a perfect antidote to screen time
PHEW! What a week! The October mid-term break is always one I look forward to. As the days wound down to this year’s annual week off, I felt rough around the edges and in need of a relaxing break.
With excitement levels at fever pitch with Halloween, I struggled to keep up with the pace of getting enough of everything in to the house. The vampire make-up set and costumes were organised but the logistics of Halloween night and trick or treating posed myriad problems.
For one I forgot about the pumpkin. A cardinal sin! Having missed out on the bargain bin pumpkins, I ended up almost paying €9 for one, before saving Halloween and buying a cheap but solid pumpkin which was cut in the nick of time for Halloween night.
Two huge bag loads of sweets and crisps later, we arrived home to demands for Halloween games. The ‘ boring brack’, as The Little Fella calls it, was cut and there was great excitement at all the warm promise that the ring brought for the Whirlwind Wonder.
Coming in to the week I had a mental list, somewhere, of things I wanted to achieve, from the ridiculously simple but annoyingly evasive, to the ambitious. The latter being an action packed weekend home in Kerry.
I awoke with a Halloween exhaustion hangover Thursday and didn’t manage to get on the road until an hour later, having a new ‘ don’t stress, you’re on holidays’ shifting mindset.
The boot was packed to the brim with way too much clothes, (although with Kerry’s weather you can never arrive over-prepared!).
Having glanced at the phone I saw, to my horror, lots of blue rain ticks over grey clothes on my weather app while above the skies blazed blue and yellow.
The journey was punctuated with ‘are we there yet’ and ‘how many more towns left Daddy’ requests from the back, along with calls for Madness songs, Our House being their current favourite.
I had only told a few friends about my impending arrival and their availability is not what it was, so the long weekend yawned before me. After a few scoops Thursday night which resulted in the hangover from hell the next day, I found myself awake, at 6.30 a.m., with two excited faces staring at me expectantly. The rain, as expected, was bucketing down and, as anticipated by my wonderful charges, we had over two hours in the play zone, followed by toy and arts and crafts shopping. Conking out on the sofa that evening I resolved to reclaim the holiday for myself and by 10 a.m. the next morning we were on the Kerry Camino being blown along hillsides and over river bridges. The children loved every second of it and I, for one, loved the communion with nature that few outdoor activities can match. Set up for the day there were more visits with cousins and friends as my mental check list was ticked with brio.
The next morning we absconded for mountain lakes just outside Tralee, the sun having mercifully emerged with renewed brilliance from behind the gunmetal grey clouds. Joyful affirmations of ‘best day ever’ could be heard ringing out among the peaks as two flush faced children completed the 40 minute looped walk, before skimming stones on the lake.
Back in work mode and skimming through social media on Sunday night the thought occurred to me how much time we all spend on screens not noticing the wonderful around us.
Getting away from the screen and outdoors to Glanteenassig lakes made our mid-term.