Saturday, 1 August 2009
Idylls of the Dad
Thursday was marked by one of my best moments since the day we were first sent home with a small pink alien. The weather was my favourite kind: a sunny day with a few clouds in a blue sky, and a decent breeze to make the trees wave and keep the temperature comfortable. I took Squirmle I up to the swings, a walk which started extremely slowly as we ambled along, pushing the empty buggy and inspecting plants, stones, and lamp posts. Eventually he tired of this, and requested a ride. We had an energetic swing in our favoured fashion (with me holding the swing back and counting to the requested number before letting go). As is now usual, this was followed by a short walk through the woods to the railway. As we reached the fence by the track, I noticed some discarded fruit on the ground, and a tree hung with small round yellow things. I thought it might be a crab apple, and sauntered over in case it would be a useful source for jam-making. It turned out to be laden with small yellow plums, just ripening, and twined below with a lethally spiky bramble, also just coming into season. Somewhat to my surprise, the Squirmle (whose unvarying response to raspberries and strawberries is to say "Daddy eat it") consented to accept a proffered blackberry and gingerly nibbled his way through it. He wasn't even perturbed by the deep purple colour of his fingers after this process. I ventured to offer a plum, and he solemnly ate that too, while I munched my way through about four, all the while watching him nervously hoping that he wouldn't swallow the stone. We were greeted by a friendly passing spaniel, whose owner said that he had played there as a boy and was off to look for his former den. And we saw five trains, including a goods train.