The Wildlife Trusts have started a campaign called ’30 Days Wild’, and the idea is to do something, well, wild every day in June. Apparently, there are some wallcharts and stuff to give you ideas and inspiration, and no doubt we’ll be seeing what they have to offer at some point, but for the very first day, I decided we’d do our own thing. It had to involve a train ride somewhere – anywhere – to keep Mungo on board.
From Stroud, we caught the train to Kemble, with the idea that we’d toddle on to the excellent playground there (with its super, whizzy zipwire), but I had another idea up my sleeve that Mungo didn’t know about.
Yes, weird as it may sound, Kemble (between Stroud and Swindon) is just half a mile or so from the source of the Thames. I thought I’d challenge Mungo to a game of pooh sticks on the upper reaches of England’s longest river. OK, longest river that only runs through England, if we’re being pedantic.
The playground was fine, and then I said we were going on a little walk. “Is it not a long walk?” Mungo asked plaintively. No, I assured him, quite a very short walk.
We soon found some dandelion clocks to amuse ourselves.
There were swallows zipping around us, and a chiffchaff chiffchaffing away from within a small copse.
Then we found the Thames and the bridge we were going to use for our game of pooh sticks.
Disaster – it was just dry riverbed. Actually, it wasn’t that surprising: this close to the source, the Thames is usually dry during the summer, but (with the weather the way it has been), I kept forgetting it was actually 1 June. It felt more like 1 April.
On the way back, we tested Mungo’s liking for butter.
Peanut butter, that is…
Suddenly, the weather closed in, and a rainy squall hit us hard from nowhere. It was every man for himself…
We rushed back to the station to wait for the next train back to Stroud. It was another Cross Country, not the hoped for Intercity. Ah well, you can’t get everything you want.