It was a day of delayed birthday action today.
Tilly’s dad was back from his travels and whisked her off to Alton Towers for her postponed birthday treat. She was very, very excited about going, and a tad apprehensive I think. She has not been on many thrill rides in her life (up to now), and there was a time, not so long ago when she was petrified by the mere thought of them.
She must be growing up though because despite her dad’s enthusiasm for thrill rides, this was a place she picked, not him.
Through the day he kept sending me pictures to my phone of her looking interesting shades of green and/or white, and with her hair in even more than usually alarming disarrangements. It was quite droll.
She was fizzing when she got back this evening. She enjoyed every minute of it. I am so pleased.
In the meantime, Oscar, Tallulah, Jason and I had a rather more sedate trip to Charlecote Park, where we were meant to go last weekend on Tallulah’s birthday. Jason’s neck is in slightly better shape, so we ventured forth, but I had to drive, which made me more than a bit nervous.
I am alright with most things now, driving wise, and I have been to Charlecote before with Oscar, so I knew where I was going, but my nervousness increases tenfold when I have to drive Jason anywhere. I worry that I am not living up to his exacting standards, and then consequently I definitely do not live up to his exacting standards.
And to be fair to him, he does not have exacting standards. It is what I am telling myself in my head as I am driving along that causes all the stress, not what he is actually saying at all. He isn’t saying anything. He’s too busy winding up the kids to worry about what I’m doing.
I have convinced myself that he is doing this to put me at my ease, whilst secretly spying on me with his other brain/eye/group mind.
By the time we got there I was slightly clenched with stress in a way I haven’t been for ages with regard to my driving, even when nearly getting mowed down navigating round Spaghetti Junction.
Still a few hops over some puddles:
Some mad bouts of croquet:
and a large piece of millionaires shortbread in the cafe set me right.
I would post a picture of the cake, but I ate the cake in such a hurry and only thought about photographic proof after I had scoffed it down.
Amazingly it did not rain, but it really had tipped it down earlier, and forever by the looks of the river. The Knot Garden had barriers up where you walk down to the river because the stone steps were underwater, and swans were swimming on a lake that had previously been a field.
Everything squelched, and I was very, very glad we hadn’t decided to picnic, like some brave souls braving the hour of dryness we were gifted as our summer allocation today.
The children did napkin folding with a re-enactor in the Victorian kitchens of what is in the main a Tudor building. They made lotus flowers, which they were very thrilled with, until they got them outside and dropped them in a puddle, mesmerised by the National Youth Folk Dancing display that was going on outside.
Well they might be.
It wasn’t so much a folk dance as a massacre. Hefty sticks were used and bashed against each other with such force that one young man’s stick was shattered and he was left prancing about with a splintered stump until someone braved the melee of whirling, beating sticks to give him another, more durable one.
Oscar turned to me, his eyes shining: ‘I LOVED that dance!’
Since being home I have been evil parent and refused to let either of them go outside in the garden to practice with the pea canes. ‘You’ll have someone’s eye out’ was my mother’s eternal call as we hammered away at each other with various items of weaponry when we were children. Never a truer phrase for today I think.