Living with Lenny #3: Lenny’s woodland adventure

by Hannah Moss

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

Cuddles and comfort

It had been nearly 3 months since Lenny came to stay and he and Baby Lenny were fully settled into life in Eastbourne. We enjoyed watching our favourite TV series together in the evenings and cuddling up in bed at night.

Lenny and I were a great source of comfort for each other and often knew when one of us was feeling particularly sad and needed an extra big cuddle. We were in touch with Allan regularly, too, hearing how he was getting on at the monastery and filling him in on our news. When we spoke to him on the phone and Lenny heard Allan’s voice, his eyes became a little brighter and his smile a little wider. It was the highlight of his day!

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

Lenny in springtime

The end is nigh

It wasn’t long before I realised there were only a few weeks before Allan was due to come out again. And, from how things had been progressing for him, it sounded like he was unlikely to stay in the monastery for good. Which meant… he was going to want Lenny to go back and live with him again when he came out. Nooooo!

As this realisation dawned on me, I was flooded with a mixture of emotions. And I thought, ’Right then, we better have some adventures and create more memories!’ Plus, Lenny hadn’t left my flat since he’d arrived and he was ready to get out and about. Lions go a bit stir crazy if they stay indoors for too long, you see.

A woodland adventure

So, we decided to go for a walk in the country. We packed some water and snacks into a rucksack and got ready to head off. I had to take a bag that was big enough to carry Lenny in too, as he doesn’t like to draw attention to himself in public places.

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

Setting off on our woodland adventure

We left the flat, walked into town and jumped on the No.12 headed to Brighton. It was a beautiful day and actually happened to be the Spring Equinox. The sun was glistening across the sea as we headed up over the cliffs and down to Seven Sisters Country Park. The view of the snakey river as you come down that hill is one of my favourites – and Lenny said he liked it too.

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

A beautiful view of the Downs and sea

Can lions climb trees?

We got off the bus and headed into Friston Forest. As soon as we were amongst the trees, Lenny got very excited and started hugging them and wanting to climb them. Lions aren’t the best at climbing trees but what he lacked in skill he made up for in enthusiasm.

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

Lenny loves climbing trees. He doesn’t tend to get very far without a helping hand though…

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

Lenny the tree hugger

We had fun meandering through the forest, with Lenny climbing over tree stumps and finding that shelters and other structures people had made acted as perfect climbing frames! As we walked through the forest we were both quite sad to see all the trees that had come down, presumably in the recent storms.

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

A ready made climbing frame!

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

Lenny loved clambering over the tree stumps

We sent Allan a few photos along the way to let him know what we were up to, which I think he really appreciated, as he said they made him smile. He knows Lenny loves to get out on adventures and even climbed a mountain with him once. We found a nice log to sit on to eat our lunch and both had a cheeky pee while no-one was looking too!

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

Time for lunch

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

Woodland adventures with my bestie (or should that be beastie…?!)

Mmm, coffee and sheep

After we came out of the forest, we walked down into the village of East Dean where there’s a nice pub and cafe by a village green. We treated ourselves to a coffee and cake on the green and it was so nice to take off our hot boots and feel the cool grass under our feet. Lenny felt a bit self-conscious as we were in full view of lots of people, so he stayed hidden to sip his coffee (decaf of course – lions don’t tend to handle caffeine too well).

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

Lenny’s favourite thing – coffee

It was still early and the sun was still high in the sky, so we decided to keep walking over towards the cliffs at Birling Gap. We were surprised to find how still and calm it was up there, considering it had been blowing an absolute gale the day before. There were a few sheep up on the cliffs and, of course, Lenny wanted to chase them, so I had to keep him on a tight leash.

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

Lenny’s second favourite thing – sheep

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

Down, boy!

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

Admiring the view over Birling Gap

Making memories

Eventually, time was getting on and we were actually due to have a catch-up on the phone with Allan when we got back (a doubly exciting day for Lenny!). But we just had time to have a quick lie down on the hillside to enjoy the glorious sunshine and views of the glistening sea beyond the cliffs.

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

Catching some rays

As we headed back to East Dean to catch the bus home again, we both reflected on what a wonderful day out we’d had, full of adventure, fun times, connection and nourishment. Although it feels sad to think of us parting ways soon, at least we’ll always have these happy memories to look back on and remember in our hearts.

Lenny's Woodland Adventure

A beautiful end to a beautiful day

Ride the wave

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