Last summer, my friend Rene suggested a walk around the Chiswick Eyot (an island on the River Thames). I'd never heard of it so was really excited to try, if a little fearful as I didn't really know what to expect... We met up at The Old Ship pub, where conveniently there was a table tennis table and took the nearby stairs down to the riverbed. Immediately the kids (there was six in total) turned into little adventurers and explorers. Lifting up husks of crabs, picking up stones, looking for shells, and pointing out obscure debris.
As we walked towards the island, I suddenly remembered Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury's brilliant book We're Going on a Bear Hunt. The kids were all in wellies, there were obstacles ahead...
"We can't go over it, we can't go under it, we need to go through it. Stumble trip! Stumble trip! Stumble trip! This became our marching chant.
We had to climb up the Eyot edge, into a thicket of growth, through thick branches, back down the edge and sludge, through the mud and sand. It was really exciting, and a little bit hairy when I couldn't get over or under a tree section that was low-growing as Annie was in the carry-sling. But we made it in the end. Muddy hands and muddy feet. Happy as pigs in sh**.
Top tip: The island can only be reached at low tide, so a little intel is needed before you set off.
Top quote: "We can't go over it, we can't go under it, we need to go through it. Stumble trip! Stumble trip! Stumble trip!" We're Going on a Bear Hunt.