Last week my partner Serena and I enjoyed a rare day off work together.
It doesn’t happen very often as I tend to be working on her days off and vice versa.
Perfect, I thought, it’s a great chance for a family day out.
A quick check on the weather and the forecast said bright spells and a slight chance of rain.
Normally, the slight chance of rain bit would have put me right off of heading out into the great outdoors.
Not because I don’t like the rain, in fact I’m quite a fan of a nice storm, but the thought of not being near shelter and having to change nappies in the rain isn’t my idea of fun.
Also, when Caitlin sees a puddle she has that instant childlike instinct to take a running jump right into the centre of it.
But as this was our only chance for a while to have a family day out we decided to chance it and hope that the rain would stay away.
So then we had to decide where to go.
Caitlin loves animals so the first idea was to travel to Wiltshire to visit Longleat Safari Park.
But a two-hour drive from Portsmouth wasn’t really my cup of tea and I knew there would be several toilet stops on the way for Caitlin.
So I then suggested we should go somewhere a bit closer to home and Marwell Wildlife was decided as our destination.
It’s only a 40-minute journey from our house in Portsmouth and I knew we could probably do it without a single toilet stop.
So with a picnic made up and the car packed up, off we set.
On arrival, our first stop was the penguin cove and I did my best David Attenborough impression for Caitlin as I tried to explain a bit about the birds.
I thought I was doing quite well, remembering what I’d learnt from the TV show Frozen Planet.
I told her how some penguins turn to crime and steal rocks from their neighbour’s nest to build its own.
In my mind, if one of the Marwell staff overheard me they’d probably want to hire me straight away for my penguin knowledge, but in reality Caitlin wasn’t really interested in what I had to say. She was just enjoying watching the penguins swim around their enclosure.
Next we headed to a viewing platform to try and spot the cheetahs.
Caitlin asked if she could give him a cuddle but I explained that wouldn’t be a very good idea.
After three hours we’d reached the end and it had been a very enjoyable day.
Best of all we had two very tired little girls who went straight to bed when we got home, giving their equally tired mum and dad a well-earned rest.