Saturday, 14 May 2011

Slow day

'Slow down' says Dig. I peer at him on Skype and say, 'Not bloody likely'.

England will slip out my grasp in only three months. And my eyes are greedy for green. Do you know how many greens you have here, in every hedgerow, every field and every tree? You have purply-greens and yellowy-greens and greeny-greens and-

'I worry' says Dig. What about, I'm not sure. Burning his income at 2000C, possibly. Or thrashing about the countryside in the ever reliable gritmobile? Or never a day at home to sort out the rotting cellar like I promised, almost certainly.

I can't help it. I am a driven woman. Once it was despair but now it is time. I want to throw myself at this beautiful country and experience what a wonderful place it is. Too soon I will have to stare at the departing end of a village vehicle and the $78 price label stuck on a packet of cereal. While I am here I want to see and feel chalk hills and moors and woods and jiggedy-jaggedy coastlines and five-bar gates and pink banded snail shells and wavy wobbly mouse-tail grass and-

'What are you doing today?' asks Dig. Well, I can set his mind at rest there. Today I had planned a walk round College Lake because they have a Discovery Day and I want to discover things, but the children all wanted to Stay Put in the garden and repair a unicorn's allotment.

So that is what they did. They mended fences and drew up a peace treaty called The Treaty of Spark's Allotment. They're very proud of it. I went outside to see what all the quiet was about, and saw Squirrel sat in a hole under the tree while her sisters towered over her. For a moment I thought things had gone badly wrong and maybe they were burying her, but apparently it was all going fantastically well and she was defining the territory by bum prints. It was generally agreed this was a good idea if you are uncertain about where an allotment's borders should be.

Of course I had to leave them to it. Negotiating the politics of territory has to count for something in a young girl's education.

But I couldn't stay at home staring at the cellar and wondering how I'm going to hoist an old soggy chest back up the stairs. I just couldn't. I had to creep out. So in the evening I took the kids to Milton Keynes Museum for their wonderful story evening, with a teller from Word in Edgeways sharing some fantastic tales in the chapel.

There. Dig, you win, sort of. And I drove at 30 all the way.