Water fun comes in all shapes and forms and it is much sought after in the blazing heat these days.
We head off down to the animals as early as possible to avoid the midday sun. At 10 am, however, it’s already scorching hot. We find respite under the thick shade of the silver poplar that stands in the chicken run and this gives us a good excuse to spend time attending to our birds.
Excited squeals can be heard from the pony’s paddock, as it has been decided that Bobo needs a bath. Brushes and sponges are brought out, a bucket is filled and the children set to work. They take turns meticulously brushing his fur, combing his mane and tail and trying out the hoof pick. They sponge him down and he seems to enjoy all the fuss. To finish off the job, the hose pipe materialises and he gets a good showering down. Water is splashed about, one thing leads to another, and soon delighted children are running through the spray trying to catch a rainbow.
Other children have been tending to the vegetables. With full watering cans in hand, they rush over to join in the fun.
There is time to dry up on the walk to our picnic spot, where ice cold lemonade awaits us. We stick to our no sugar policy, of course: the lemonade is freshly squeezed and sweetened with pure raw honey from our bees!
Summer pruning is under way in the vineyard and a few of the children drift over to where the action is. They soon become immersed in a lesson in viticulture and do their bit pulling off secondary shoots.
Back at the hut, the pond is a huge attraction, but other things have been brought into play to rival it. Dishes of soapy water to make giant bubbles with; colourful ice cubes and water in spray bottles to paint with; water bombs to throw against the wall.
Quieter games unfold beneath the eucalyptus trees and the mulberry, safe and dry and shielded from the summer sun.