Z is granny for the day

I just tried to remember what I did on Saturday. It took me a couple of minutes to realise that it is Saturday. Ronan and the children came over, which usually would happen on a Sunday and – well these things happen.

The youngest in the family, Perdita, has just inherited her brother’s bike and she cycled up and down the drive several times. With stabilisers, but I don’t think it’ll be long before she jettisons them. She’s small but strong and has good control of steering and managed the upward slope on the way to the road. One doesn’t really notice the slight slope – nowhere near a hill – until using a bike.

We had various meats, fish and cheese with salads for lunch. The children are used to lots of different foods but they felt a bit adventurous in trying smoked prawns, mostly because of the shells. Their father shelled them for him and gave them a quick rinse in a finger bowl so that there wouldn’t be any bits of shell or feet left. I hadn’t, admittedly, provided the finger bowls and felt quite upstaged. Anyway, the prawns were gorgeous. I encouraged everyone to finish them as a pack is too many for me to manage and I’ll be out all day tomorrow.

Schools don’t really appreciate that parents have work to get to, even though it’s been over three decades since mothers went back to work when their children were small. There’s a ‘taster’ session at Perdita’s school before the end of term, just an hour for the child and parent to see the school and take part in various activities. But an hour at school means at least half a day off work. It’s Ronan’s week, so he’ll probably juggle his time – his employers are understanding about his childcare responsibilities and he catches up in the evenings when he needs to – but it means a day off nursery, so he’ll try to get an alternative day rather than waste the money. It’s like walking to school – Ronan can as he works from home, but when Dilly had a child to get to school, another to nursery and then work by 9 o’clock, there was no alternative but to drive, even to the village school 500 yards away. It’s no wonder that parents feel such pressure – and that more people decide against having children at all.

But anyway, I’ve offered to help if needed – Perdita and I can have a jolly in Norwich after her school hour, or go to the park if the weather is good.

Tomorrow, as I said, I’ll be out all day. We’re going to London, to the Queens’ Club tennis finals, Wink is keen on sport, mostly tennis and rugby, with a nod to cricket too, so I’m happy to go along (mostly to the tennis). I’ve been letting the chickens out recently, having rather lost my fortitude for a while as I didn’t want any more chicks. Now, we don’t have any cockerels, so no risk of that, even if they do lay away. But so far, I’m counting 18 out and 18 back again. Tomorrow, they won’t be pleased with me as I’ll keep them in their (very big) run. At least they enjoyed the prawn heads and shells this evening.

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