Sunday, 29 June 2008

A day out for Shark

Last night we screech to a stop in Hollywell Bay at 6pm, on the dot, to collect the keys to the caravan. Just at that moment the owner is climbing into his car to speed drive away, probably giving up on us ever showing up when we said we would, and in revenge contemplating forcing us to spend the first night sleeping in the car.

We dump the stuff at the van and head to worship the sand on the beach because it is not yet raining and every rain-free moment in the next week is a miracle to be treasured.

And today, when we wake up, the first thing we have to do is get into Newquay and spend all day in the Sea life centre. This is a promise to Shark, and if I break it, I may as well stab myself in the head because she will do it if I don't.

Shark is desperate to get here. She is literally clawing at the car windows to be let out on the seven minute drive into Newquay. We have toured Sea life centres in Hastings, Birmingham, Tynemouth, Great Yarmouth, Hunstanton, Brighton, Weston-super-Mare and others I have probably blasted from my memory in a haze of flippers and fins.

But at the sight of the Newquay centre, I can forget all the pain. Shark explodes in happiness because she loves fish. Fish are her friends. If she could climb right now into that tank to kiss that pig nosed turtle, she would. And because she is reading, and reading lots, she is suddenly bursting out with interesting information. Like 'The common cuttle fish has lateral fins extending on its left and right body margins'. And this after I have just asked her something like 'Would you like apple juice?'

But I am learning to be careful, because if I look at her stupidly, she will tut and roll her eyes and say scornfully 'Every idiot knows that'. But if I just pour the apple juice and grunt 'uhuh, oh wow, really, wow', even though I have no idea what she is talking about, she will follow it up with 'the shell is cream and capable of colour change red to black' and other stuff about tentacles and shoreline visibility.

And today we spend hours in the Sea life centre, oohing and aahing, and Shark even manages to track down one of the staff on duty and demand answers to questions like, How did you get to work here? and Where do you get the fish from? like she might be contemplating a life in a sea life centre as an extension to life at sea.

So here is Shark. The day belongs to her.

And the pig nosed turtle.


sharon said...

You should send her to Trevor, his triplets had a great day at the Aqua Centre at Hillary's Boat Harbour down here in Western Australia. It's so good when there's genuine enthusiasm, hope Tiger and Squirrel had an enjoyable time as well.

Michelle said...

Think the pig nosed turtle will make it onto the must see list for Cornwall when we go.