There was quite a hard air frost this morning and the Sage cleared the windscreen of ice, then I did, then I had to stop halfway down the drive and clear it again as it froze as I drove. It froze again in patches, but by sitting straight and tall I was able to look through a clear patch, and of course the de-mister sorted it out after a couple of miles. Tall is a relative term of course, as you’ll know if you’ve met me. At least, with five grandchildren under 8 and Dora in the family (Dora is teeny as well as adorable), I’m no longer the shortest.
By lunchtime, Gus had perked up enough to eat a good helping of cucumber and red pepper while the pasta was cooking, which I served with pesto stirred in and grated cheese on top. I know, darlings, the mark of the middle classes – indeed, I couldn’t find the grater (turned out to be in the dishwasher) and so I shaved the cheese with the potato peeler, which is even worse. Then he ate fromage frais and half a banana. Which went further down the same route, but indicated he’d eaten a good lot overall,. Then we went for a walk. There’s a nice little wood near their house, which I hadn’t known about before. Gus walked quite a long way, but if I held his hand he would suddenly pretend to stumble in a “Vic, I’ve fallen” way (which will only mean anything to you if you watched Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out some 20 years ago.) and want to be stood up again, which was not amusing for me for quite as long as it was for him. Eventually, I put him in his pushchair and in due course he fell asleep. Sadly, he didn’t stay asleep when I put him in his cot at home, but he was very good, only flagging for a bit at about 4.30. I gave him bread and water, it seemed to do the trick. I’d sung to him too, which he bore patiently. I can hold a tune, though listeners sometimes mistake the tune I’m holding, but I’m no singer. Nursery rhymes and music hall songs are mainly my repertoire, though I know quite a lot of tunes that I don’t remember more words of than the first line. Not only does it not interest me, but I can’t hit the high notes, so am useless as there are gaps.*
He was a very good and loving little boy and, when I picked him up, he put his arms round me and hugged me tightly, making the hard carapace round my old and withered heart crack with love and almost soften. So it’s just as well that Weeza isn’t working tomorrow, because I need to keep my defences up and two days could make me an emotional heap of affection.
*The alternative is singing alto. ‘Nuff said.