Friday, August 02, 2013

"Boys Day" revisited

A decade ago we faced two problems. One was that the company I was working for were having a difficult time, the second was that we had something of a child-care crisis. The solution for me and my two sons was obvious, I would have to drop a days work and look after them - everyone's a winner! It wasn't long before the boys nicknamed these times without their Mum as, "Boys-Day". These were good times, going out, seeing things like mountains, castles, rivers, fields, harbours, boats and people, and climbing things too. "Boys Day" came to sudden halt eight years ago though when we had a baby daughter whose presence somewhat changed our family dynamics!

My daughter has gone on holiday for a week with her Grandparents (London branch), and it was while the boys and I were cycling through the Perthshire countryside yesterday afternoon, that they both independently cycled alongside me and said, "Dad - it's like boys-day again!".

Boys day has changed a bit in the long interval since it was mothballed! It doesn't seem that long ago that I was walking along the harbour wall at Pittenweem, passing round fresh crabmeat, and taking great care to hold the hands of the little toddlers to stop them tumbling over the sea wall. Yesterday however, our afternoon was spent on a 60km/37m bike ride to the beautiful town of Dunkeld on the River Tay, and back to Perth. While cars speed along the busy A9, National Cycle Route 77, follows lanes, and tracks all he way from the North Inch Park in Perth to Dunkeld railway station.  While my 13y old cruised it, this was a new and big challenge to my 11 year old. I was delighted that on the three good climbs (each way) to Dunkeld, he didn't give up and get off, even when it was hard going.

The inducement to this outbreak of exercise was the promise of fish and chips at the Dunkeld Fish Bar! It seems my sons are highly motivated by the promise of good old-fashioned deep-fried food. (It was great, by the way). The other thing that inspired tired legs to climb the hills between Bankfoot and Dunkeld was the thought that maybe we could catch a train back to Perth. The Scotrail service from Dunkeld isn't great however, and it when we checked it was almost two hours until the next Southbound service. So the two tired 11yr old legs, had to once again start to peddle, and propel the bike back up the long climb from Dunkeld to Waterloo.

It was great to reconstitute Boys Day (although I am missing my daughter). I put it to the lads that having done 37m, our next target should be 50m. This suggestion was met with very doubtful looks from them though.

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