When the forest paths turn to slippy, ankle-deep mud in the winter months, we like to take our four children stream-walking.
This is one of the forests to the north of the village we live in and we like to visit after heavy rain, when the tiny streams are full and running much more quickly.
We have to be very careful with our littlest, and whisk him onto the bank where the water gets a smidgen deeper, and threatens to flood over his wellies.
The stream leads into the middle of the forest, where a short climb takes you up towards an old quarry. You arrive in a high clearing, and the tree-lined basin is usually waist-deep in dry leaves for most of winter. With soft ground underneath, the children can jump in from a height.
The sunlight shines down on the frosty ground, and I remind myself that even though I’m willing on springtime, I’ll miss this sight when the weather heats up again.
Then we regroup and run down the other side of this hill together and the it’s time for an early Sunday breakfast on the go – usually gingerbread or fudge – and then we’re ready to go back home to put the kettle on and warm up.