So this weekend we tried out camping with kids for the first time ever. In days gone by it was something The Man and I did quite regularly. We used to volunteer with a youth organisation, so as well as personal camping trips to Wales and the Peak District, we would accompany Duke of Edinburgh expeditions to do spot checks, waypoints and basically make sure they knew how to pitch tents, cook porridge and not get up to any mischief. The most fun was taking the new recruits out on Initial Expedition Training as it was far less hardcore and they would have such a good time.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I recently had a baby. Nine weeks ago our daughter came into this world and has made our lives richer in so many ways and (so far) our three year old son is also one of her fan club.
But (and there’s always a ‘but’, isn’t there?) he has not been unaffected by her arrival. For several weeks previous to the birth, and in the nine weeks since, he has been horrifically violent – to almost everyone but the baby.
The clumps are something of a local legend. Whenever the sun is out, whenever someone wants to run the steam out of a hyper child, or walk a dog, or show visiting family the sights of the area then it is recommended they visit the clumps.
Previously known by such suggestive names such as Mother Dunch’s Buttocks or the Berkshire Bubs the (now much more boringly titled) Wittenham Clumps are two hills, crested with woodlands and surrounded by fields and more woodland and cared for by the Earth Trust. From the top you can see across half of Oxfordshire, from the Benson weir to the Didcot cooling towers, Dorchester Abbey to Culham fusion reactor.