Celebrating dad’s talents

Boats in the mud at Canvey Island, Essex: the girls were 9 and 12 and claimed it was the first time they’d seen a boat up close.

This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. This post considers what to do on a dad and child day trip. For more info about my book Homemade Kids, with lots of ideas about parenting click here.

Great excitement in our house as The Joy of Essex by Pete May is finally published (Nov 2012). This is the book Pete (dad of our two girls) has been wanting to write for years; it’s also been the reason Pete kept offering to take our two daughters on Essex day trips to Southend’s pier, or the chip shop at Leigh-on-Sea. It inspired him to go to the secret nuclear bunker (Kelvedon Hatch) and then talk about it so much that some of the other dads at school took their kids…

If you’re a Londoner then Essex is very close – we mostly use the train to get there.  During Pete’s research phase (ie, in addition to growing up in Brentwood which is where the popular TV show TOWIE seems to be based) we found so much to do, whatever your age. For starters Essex is a vast county, with a long coastline and thus long beaches. It has lots of wild, flat countryside making it good for cycling. And it’s full of surprises – I now know where the biggest mirror is in Essex (Loughton), the best bluebells (Billericay) and the oldest UK town (Colchester, depending on whose side you were on).

My only concern is that now Pete’s finished this project just what will he dream up to the lure kids off for just-as-good dad and daughter day trips?

Over to you
What do you like best about days when someone else shares their knowledge and life experience with children? For me it’s the happy texts that come during the day, and the slightly guilty expressions when recounting just what they all ate…

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7 Comments on “Celebrating dad’s talents”

  1. Pete May Says:

    My next book will be on the Solomon Islands… should be good for day trips!


  2. What good news! I don’t have a specific answer to your question, but this reminds me, I meant to ask you before whether your children lean towards writing at all? With two authors as parents, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they did!

    • homemadekids Says:

      Thank you, Pete is v pleased with The Joy of Essex. Both my girls are voracious readers and they do write well. But the eldest always starts a sentence along the lines of “i don’t want to be a writer”. I suspect she’ll give in to it around 30+ years, but we say nothing – otherwise she’ll have far too much material for her therapist (which of course she doesn’t really have…) LOL. Nicola

  3. Kate Says:

    Congratulations to Pete! What an extraordinarily talented pair you are, and such great role models. And I sort of empathise with your eldest; my parents are both doctors, and my teenage self was absolutely adamant to anyone who asked that I was not going to be one too 😉

    • nicola baird Says:

      Hi Kate, definitely best not to force teenagers to do anything… but thank you too for your generous comments as I don’t think either of us feel very talented – just have an endless desire to interview and write. Oh yes and to read great stuff including your lovely blog. Nicola

  4. Pete May Says:

    My dad wanted me to be a farmer and I ended up being a writer! Enjoyed the chips throughout Essex…


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