Team Honk Blogger Relay
In December, I spotted a call to arms to join the Team Honk Blogger relay around the UK. I was keen to get involved and signed up immediately without really knowing what I was getting into. And then I discovered that I was going to be part of the East Kent (or Dover) Team that would be hosting the baton as part of the relay in the middle of January. A lot sooner than I’d expected.
As the day neared, the panic rose as I realised that our team was very small and had to factor in work hours as well as small children.
My teammate Becky from the Mummy Adventure blog and I brainstormed a plan over (very good) cake and we eventually came up with a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe walk with our little people – although we had hoped to get hold of the grown up one they have to have a go ourselves, but it wasn’t available. It was rudimentary and didn’t sound as challenging as some of the other participants plans, but it could work around our limitations.
So on Wednesday 22 January, I drove to Dover Castle to meet Chloe from Cookie Jar Life who had cycled, run, walked and taken trains to get the baton from Ashford to Dover all by herself. Her effort put my 40 minute drive to shame!
It was quickly getting dark, so we took some photos of the view (unfortunately the castle was closed so we couldn’t actually go in!) and then headed our separate ways.
The following day we’d planned to do the walk with the Cozy Coupes that Little Tikes had kindly sent us to use. But real life was against us. Bunny was really sick and spent most of Wednesday night throwing up in a bucket valiantly thrust in her face by me. And torrential rain was forecast for the short window we had to make the walk between me finishing work and Becky starting. We decided to postpone and make the most of our free time on the following morning.
Instead, I took Bear and the baton for a short walk on Botany Bay and while Bear was keen to take a photo of me holding it, she couldn’t quite get the idea so instead, I snapped her waving it in the air.
Friday morning arrived and I crammed our Cozy Coupe into the front seat of the car and headed to Becky’s house which had become a Crazy Coupe factory with pieces all over the place hurriedly being put together. Finally we had a car for each toddler and crammed what we could into the three big cars we had – four Cozy Coupes, four toddlers, one baby and four already slightly frazzled mums!
We unloaded on Ramsgate seafront and tried to coax the now tired, hungry and suddenly reluctant toddlers to get in their little cars and go for a Flintstones inspired drive along the clifftop. They weren’t keen. There were tears and tantrums and eventually bribes. But somehow, we managed to make it along the seafront with our toddlers riding inside the cars or helping to push them.
It took a long time to go a very short distance so this easy option actually turned out to be quite a challenging one, especially when our route took us down a very steep hill! The cars looked fantastic, and on their own the children were all over them and loved playing with them, but as a group they did not want to work as a team. But that’s toddlers for you!
After a morning spent trying to coordinate children and wheeled ride-ons, the final stage of the Dover and East Kent team’s baton relay was relatively easy. I bundled my family: dog and still slightly sick child included, into the car and we headed up to Gravesend to meet Mari from Mari’s World who would be taking the baton across the Thames. Unfortunately, the meeting place wasn’t dog friendly, so we had a quick drink (and cake of course) before officially handing the baton over. And then I headed home, exhilarated by my brief involvement in what has become a legendary relay, but certain I could have done better as I’ve watched fellow Team Honkers humiliate themselves in public in the name of charity. Next time…!
The relay continues as I write this and will reach its final destination in March so there is still plenty of time to get involved or donate. Over on the main website, there are photos from the teams that have taken part so far showing the level of creativity and brilliance Team Honk as a whole has demonstrated. And links to lots of posts from the Team Honkers to give an even better idea of the work, determination and sheer wonder that has been and is, Team Honk.