I love where I live. It’s hilly and green. There’s bare rock. There’s some water to swim in. There’s space and sky and weather. I can be in what feels like wild country within a few minutes of my house and yet it’s only a 40 minute train ride away from Manchester. I moved here for nature, and countryside but I found something just as important too.
Friends. Lovely, lovely friends.
We largely met through playgroups or school runs. United in the joy and frustration that being a parent entails. Bonding over thermal mugs of luke warm drinks whilst our offspring tore their way through paint or playdough or train sets.
It progressed to escapes to the pub and family friendly parties. I’m certainly blessed with a village full of lovely people.
My favourite thing about a lot of these friends though is that they moved here for the same reasons as me. The green, the hills, the countryside. They all like being outdoors. Some climb, some bike, some run, some walk, some swim, some just like hanging out outside. Something that bonds us beyond our kids or a fondness for a trip to the pub.
And so, a few years ago, before I was even a proper part of the gang an escape plan was hatched. A Mum’s weekend away to be wild. Not your classic girls weekend of dressing up, partying and spa relaxation. No. A weekend of doing adventurous things without our kids. Stuff we’d done pre small people but that now we had little time to fit in.
We try and do something different every year. White water rafting, long walks, high ropes courses, coasteering, a canoe river voyage, surfing and swimming have all featured. This year we gorge walked, paddle boarded, swum, scrambled and walked up a lovely big Welsh hill.
We aim to get slightly out of our comfort zones in what we do knowing full well that anyone who’s more confident will support those who maybe aren’t so sure. A real bonding opportunity.
We always stay in a bunkhouse, reverting back to collective happy memories of shared rooms and communal living………..even the snoring. There’s a bit of booze but rarely too much to prevent us enjoying whatever wild activity the following day promises. Enough to lubricate some amusing conversations though. This year we even had a fire pit to scare away the midges.
So Wild Women, I say thank you. For a wonderful wild weekend full of laughter, challenge, bruises, scrapes and fabulous company. You all rock, I can’t wait for next year!