Nothing beats nature for its health-giving benefits | Verity Lush

My husband and I are keen runners and we are also keen walkers. The keenness for the latter came about five years ago.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 5:04 pm
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 8:43 pm
Verity and her family love walking through Staunton Country Park. Picture: Graham May

We also enjoy forcing our children to accompany us and, in fairness, they too enjoy a good stomp now and then.

Walking has always been a big part of our lives – we have dogs so it’s a necessity – but also our kids like the great outdoors and getting a bit mucky.

I like the fresh air, the health benefits and the therapeutic nature of walking, and it seems like good behaviour to model for the kids.

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In an age where some families drive to the corner shop, it’s nice to remind your children that they do have legs and the ability to function without electricity and gaming.

We often head out with the girls to local woods and country parks.

As the seasons change I always love seeing the little differences that herald a new period in nature, and truly experiencing them.

Each one brings something new.

At the moment it’s the bulbs and daffs peeping their wary heads through the ground, and soon enough we shall be in spring.

Thanks to our walking endeavours, our children have learnt to read maps, use a compass, and run fast when the tide comes in quicker than their parents expect.

We have discovered new routes together, such as the old Upper Lake in Staunton Country Park, espied red and white spotted toadstools, deer leaping across our paths, an owl hooting, a fox hunting and myriad other little splashes of nature.

I really do hope these expeditions and adventures will stay with them as they grow older.

That they will look back when they have children of their own, and tell those children about the walks that they went on with their mummy and daddy; that they will remember the wonder of nature, the gentle sizzle of the sausages on the camping stove, and also that mummy had told daddy the tide was coming in soon.

Sorry darling, but I had to have the last word on that one.

The key to life is moving with the changes it throws up

My eldest daughter will be 14 next month and, looking back, the speed with which the babies and toddler stage of my life has flown by is astounding.

It is accompanied by a mournful, yet paradoxically joyful, farewell to all that was once looked forward to.

Joyful because I have my beautiful daughters and my little family, yet mournful because something that you take for granted, has gone. I have done it. That part of my life has ceased.

It is a strange acknowledgement around which to get one’s head. But that is the key to life. We have to move with the changes and the challenges it brings. Life is always unexpected, always on the turn, a curve ball around each corner.

Ant or Dec? Did anyone know the difference before 2018?

Am I the only person in the world who doesn’t believe Ant and Dec are the amber nectar of television hosting?

That nobody has been a better host of television than them for two decades? That Graham Norton, for example, who has a natural penchant for humour and questioning, has not surpassed the always-the-same Ant and Dec?

Or, as Bill Nighy so wryly put it in Love Actually, ‘Ant or Dec’. Let’s face it, until Ant’s public humiliation, did we know who was who?

Speaking of which, how can somebody who did not present any television for half of an entire year back in 2018 still win an award for being the best presenter of that year?