The Sage took Ro and Phil with him to the shooting range today and they had a lot of fun. Phil had never shot before and he and Ro are keen to do it again and Weeza is tempted too. I think that’s a brilliant idea, a good way of spending a couple of hours on a Sunday and then they can come back here for lunch.
While they were out I was in church. I was playing the music today, but felt the songs weren’t really suited to the organ so played them on the clarinet. We’ve recently updated the sound system and, for the first time, I was amplified. Sounded quite good from where I was standing, I rather hope I might be asked to do that again sometime. I like playing the clarinet and I like playing the piano (although to a very poor standard nowadays) but I have never been an accomplished organist and I rarely enjoy it.
Weeza and Phil brought fish pie for lunch, Ro brought apple strudel and cream and I provided a chocolate sponge pudding and custard, and the vegetables (carrots, cauliflower and courgettes, if you want to know) and it all went down well. I sent them home with some fairy cakes that I’d have served with tea if Al and family had come through, but they still aren’t at all well and Weeza and co certainly don’t want to catch their bug, so better not mingle if there’s still a risk.
After lunch, Gus was tired and started to cry, so I picked him up and took him out of the room. A few minutes later, I returned with a sleeping baby. The secret of my success? A single recitation of The Walrus and the Carpenter did the trick. He was asleep by the time I mentioned the ‘shoes and ships and sealing wax.’
I’m not sure that I’ve ever mentioned (although I may well have, if you’ve been reading all this nonsense for the past six years there is little of my life that you do not know) that I have two ways of keeping young children quiet while waiting to be served in restaurants. The first is teaching them that particular verse of the W. and the C. – it takes children a surprisingly long time to pick it up accurately, possibly because it is more-or-less nonsense (I’ve never yet had to move on to Jabberwocky) and the second is napkin folding. I teach them the waterlily and the slipper, both of which are quite simple to do but take some practice to learn. When I was quite small, my mother used to get me to fold the napkins when she had friends round for dinner. I realise, of course, that it was just to get me out of her hair so that I wouldn’t try her patience by ‘helping’ in the kitchen. But that’s okay. It’s proved its use over the years.