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  • Sally

Work, Life balance

So here I am sat realising that it has now been 3 months since we last posted on our blog! (Feeling a little guilty) I am looking at the calendar wondering where to begin with this one, so I thought I will give you a quick run through of our work/life for 3 months.

JUNE 2019 - What a mixed bag, for the past 2 years June has been our busiest month. This year we noticed a lot of our repeat groups were booking in for July so we were already aware June may not be as busy. Well it was! We had lots of local uniform groups come for raft building and climbing sessions. Two stand outs in amongst those for me…watching a leader within a group come into their own and seeing their hard work pay off. Watching a child with individual needs absolutely smash the raft building when others expectations of their involvement was low, completely taking the lead within the rest of the group.

Personally, we didn’t have much time to do anything but we did make it to a lovely family wedding which meant a good catch up with everyone. Joey did have a brilliant time joining Army cadets from Harrogate as an assistant instructor for two epic days of canyoning. We have both had a go personally over the years so when Joey got the chance to get earn some money whilst doing it there was no stopping him. I think he only returned with 1 massive bruise! Meanwhile, I was left to my own for the first time to milk 160 cows whilst they were short on staff on the farm…scary…pleased to report the cows seemed happy with it and they didn’t sack me so I cant have done too much wrong.

JULY 2019 – So Busy!! Our busiest on record, we had all sorts going on, Birthday parties, Charity groups, School groups, School leavers, Corporate, Care homes and even more parties. We had it all! With such a huge variety it takes a lot of work to make sure that all the activities are tailored to the specific group. A lot of session planning went on the last week of June (I definitely don’t want to be a teacher)! I did enjoy it a lot though as those who know me will know how much I love a itinerary and a week planner! With some bigger numbers in the groups visiting we were able to welcome another member of staff into Round Ponds. Scott worked with us in our previous lives and has continued to work in the outdoor industry, a hugely qualified paddler and climbing instructor he was perfect. The kids love him his enthusiasm just keeps on coming so he has certainly been a welcome addition with great feedback. Stand out moments of July…watching a group of year 6 pupils having their final class experience together, seeing a group of teenagers who have never done anything like this before have an amazing time. Families having fun together, realising we managed to deliver another great corporate session to a company that keeps returning. Finally, just that somehow me and joey opened a business and managed to fill July so much that we forgot what a day off was.

Personally, not a lot, Joey managed to get a couple of days in working with children visiting a respite and outdoor activity centre. He would go on to do some work with the children in respite in August but for his first trip he spent 3 days running a problem solving, orienteering mission through Kielder with a group of students from NCS. (If you have a teenager and haven’t heard of NCS – look it up its worthwhile). I didn’t get many opportunities to get out of the office or away from the cows this month, My younger brother competes in downhill mountain biking, he was chosen to represent GB in Italy…WOW! The unfortunate task of planning the trip and paperwork fell on my desk (he knows how much I love itineraries). I managed a Sunday off to go and watch him race in Shropshire, unfortunately not Italy but fingers crossed for next year.

AUGUST 2019 – When it all fell quiet, contrary to what you might think August is actually a very quiet month for us. Most outdoor centres close over the summer holidays so its quite unusual for us to remain open. You generally won’t get your uniform groups, schools or corporate over the holidays for obvious reasons. We also find its quiet for parties too as they are so difficult to plan with people being on holiday. We still get private bookings and run drop in sessions, but it is always a month to get caught up on maintenance and advertising for autumn.

Personally, Joey took the opportunity to book in two weeks of freelance work, one week he spent in Kielder working with guests staying at the incredible respite centre. He came back full of stories and in awe of the work they do. If you are ever up there, they take general public bookings through the holidays and the zip coaster is not to be missed! I spent more time than ever milking cows, as one brother was in the dolomites after his race the other is now on route to an endurance race in the borders. There has been so many lovely moments on the farm with new life being born all the time, so nice to watch.

We did something FUN!! We had a weekend in the lakes with Joeys family, camping at Wasdale head. A different but nice experience to our usual very quiet camping as we wouldn’t usually go in school holidays but by doing so it meant we got to spend a weekend with our lovely niece and nephews. We had lots of fun walking, kayaking, wild swimming and then a very sketchy end with the handbrake snapping on the hardknott pass!

So now we are up to date…Joey has got another week away this time with his favourite Scot, he will be building an indoor climbing wall which he is of course very excited about.

As you can tell we haven’t had much time off, so we are so so excited to be disappearing to Scotland very soon! You will find us in lost valleys, in the bill or on the ben, mountain biking at Torridon, surfing off Lewis, looking out for orcas, at the Harris gin distillery, on top of Clisham, running for miles on the beaches of Uist, kayaking around Barra, catching up with old friends and then maybe sleeping when we get home 😊.For all you Bob fans…he is also ready for his holiday, I’m pretty sure he’s even packed his bag!

So next time you wonder why the gates aren’t open you will know why, Round ponds was never opened to be a huge commercial venture it was opened to support and enable to do what we love. There will always be nay sayers who don’t understand the life that we live but that’s ok because we do. I sometimes have to remind myself that it’s an achievement to even be sat here after 3 years, and for as long as people visit and give us positive feedback we will be here.

I will be back in September to tell you about all the adventures we plan on having, See you soon!

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