Finding the sleeper bridge

It strikes me that being the youngest of four boys is a tricky thing.  You get swept up along with the rest of the family from the moment you arrive.  So every few days, I like to take our youngest for a walk, just the two of us, and see where he chooses to go.  It’s not always a wilderness walk (the other week he just led me straight to the village bakery) – but today he chose the fields.



These fields lead away from our home towards the main roads and the city.  You start to hear the sound of traffic in the distance … but there are still hidden places to discover.

At one point he calls “over here!” and points at a gap in a hedge.  I follow him as he pushes through the branches, over a stile and past a very old footpath way marker.   We find an odd rudamentary bridge, where a long time ago, someone has used a railway sleeper and some wooden planks to make a crossing over a stream – completely overgrown and unused, because a better path now runs the other side of the hedge.  The water runs through a gully underneath the hedgerow; it’s really pretty, but I never would have known it was there.

We find the path doesn’t lead anywhere, however we pause to look at the hawthorne blossoms, and watch the sparrows darting in and out of the brambles, before we retrace our steps.

Our way home takes us across a bridge made of paving slabs and industrial iron tubes and girders – not picture-postcard pretty, however when my little one makes another sudden turn off just before we cross, following a little robin as it hops along the bank, I turn back and see that, from the right angle, it’s beautiful.

After an hour, it’s almost dinnertime, and starting to lightly rain.  It’s time for him to set a course straight for home.


    1. Thank you Derrick πŸ™‚ I loved your post today too, a great idea to use a phone box for photographs. We’re currently looking at a way of displaying our own village archive, so I’ll have to remember that one πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you! I’m really glad you enjoyed the photos, there have been several people contact me to say how much the rural shires in middle-England looks like Upstate NY – I had no idea πŸ™‚ I love your website too, makes me want to pick up a needle and thread again.

    1. He loves that backpack. He used to insist on wearing a captain’s hat everywhere he went too (even slept in it) – which is how he ended up with such a nautical looking coat to match it πŸ™‚

  1. Your intrepid little adventurer will thank you when he grows old enough to appreciate the special time you give him. Perhaps he already does. I applaud your sensitivity.

    1. Thanks Robyn, that’s really kind of you. My older two boys are already enjoying seeing their adventures written down on the blog, (they say it’s like being characters in their own adventure story) and reading all of the comments, so hopefully our littlest will soon too πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Eddy! – very true, and it definitely took me a little retraining, as a busy adult, to remember how to pause, look around me and slow time down a little πŸ™‚

  2. What an enchanting place you live in! I am sure these precious memories will stay with him forever. I feel as though I’ve just read a little piece of a storybook, and I’m looking forward to the next chapter! πŸ˜›

    1. Aww thank you. The other websites I look after are for other people/charities and it took a lot of nudging and encouragement for me to finally start writing a family blog – it’s really heartening to get feedback that people are enjoying the stories & recipes πŸ™‚

      1. I actually love the idea of keeping a family blog. It’s so much better than just keeping a journal, or storing random files of photos on your computer. I’m sure it will be a very fun record to look back on! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Emilio, yup re bakery – he has his priorities in order πŸ™‚ The staff there know him so well, they usually have his order of a gingerbread man ready for him to collect.

      1. A stupid question, really, but when he eats the gingerbread man, does he start with a foot or hand? I used to save the head for last. I’m sure a good therapist could explain why! πŸ˜€

  3. I love this post. It sounded like the little guy had fun time being alone with you. Your pictures are fascinating. They capture the mood of the story very well. And thanks for visiting my blog.

    1. Thanks very much Keng, for the lovely feedback. We’ve really enjoyed reading about your travels in the RV … when our kiddies are a bit older, we hope to be going further afield and your site is great inspiration πŸ™‚

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