Over the course of the lockdown I have tried to remain reasonably active and, after some trial and error, this has meant going for a walk for an hour every day. It helps that we live within walking distance of Totterpad so I can enjoy some pleasant scenery at the same time.

Normally, on a weekday, I would go immediately after I have shut down my work laptop for the day. That isn’t going to be possible today so I went at lunchtime instead.

It’s surprisingly peaceful on a Monday lunchtime, presumably because most of the kids are back at school, and some of the local fauna were out and about.


I knew there was deer in the area and have even glimpsed them on occasion (most notably the times when I have had to wait until late evening before going out), but this is the first time that they have hung around long enough for me to pull out my phone.

I should go out earlier more often.

Of beer and beavers

Sunday saw Macsen competing in the Flemish karate championship, which left me at home with William and Alexandre. After a morning playing board games, we decided to take advantage of the bright, dry (but cold) weather and head out to the Totterpad, a nearby nature walk.

Bernard the beaver lives in his beaver castle next to the visitor center. When he wakes up one morning, he notices unknown footprints around his castle. He decides to look for the maker of those strange traces. Along the way he has to walk over a tree bridge, crawl into a bird’s nest, do a totter trail and much more.

It’s a nice walk, and one we have followed a fair few times. It’s not too long, but there is plenty of opportunity for exploration and several activities along the way.


I am also rather fond of the fact that the walk ends (or starts) at the recently refurbished visitor centre and bar, De Watermolen.

The pub was a lot busier than I’d expected so, after having ordered a drink each for all of us, we had a bit of a trek to find an available seat. While looking for a seat, I kept hold of the hot chocolates in order to minimise the risk of hot drink spillage in a crowded bar. This left the twins to handle everything else.

I think the sight of a nine-year-old wandering around a bar, beer in hand, may have raised a few eyebrows.


The walk home was shorter and more relaxed, the boys having finally burnt off some of their energy, until we reached the point at which we exited the path. Here there is a dry ditch surrounding a picnic table and the twins thought it would be a good idea to roll down the hill.

It’s been dry all weekend, so I thought nothing of it. Until they stood up. Covered, from head to foot, in mud.

This is why we have a washing machine.

Macsen came fourth in the championship. A good result that only just missed his being on the podium.