Z’s week

It’s been a busy week so far.  It’s the half term holiday and Zerlina and Gus have been to stay with me.  LT was down at his house.  As I said the other day, Stevo has been doing some clearing, so I’ve been juggling my time between entertaining children and supervising him, with some joining in on the part of all of us.  Gus especially is very good at practical things.

We went to Norwich on Tuesday afternoon – I’d thought we might go to the museum, but was rapidly put right on that and we went shopping instead.  And we went to the zoo yesterday.  The forecast had been for sun all day until the dull and damp morning arrived, then it said it would be dry between ten and four.  I looked at the weather app on my phone, where it said zero chance of rain right now, and then at the rain outside.  If it was raining, did they still want to go? I asked.  Yes they did.  So I assumed things would clear up but took a brolly anyway and the children had raincoats with hoods.

There was a surprisingly long queue actually and it took well over half an hour to get in, but I chatted to a nice mother and daughter, with a very beautiful baby boy in a pushchair.  He had huge dark brown eyes, long lashes and a charming smile.  His father is American, working in the Middle East so his mother had come back to England to stay with her mother for a few months.

Later, I asked the children what were their favourite animals.  “All of them:” said Gus expansively, while little z had a very long list, including meerkats (babies!!!), giraffes and the bald eagle.  I was enchanted to discover that the female cheetah, waiting to be fed, mewed in exactly the same way that Eloise cat does when she’s hungry.  And that the zoo donates to Namibia to fund the provision for guard dogs in farms, to fend off attacks by wild cheetahs.  Other highlights were the five month old zebra, the fabulous colour of the scarlet ibis and the beautiful markings on the giraffes.  And the lemur enclosure was brilliant!  They are free to roam around and quite happily sit on the railings while you walk past.   I suspect most of us are ambivalent about zoos but there are certainly animals that would be extinct by now if they did not exist, with effective breeding programmes.  And at their best, they give the animals a good life in as natural surroundings as is feasible.

Once I got home, I checked the *health* app on my phone (it’s just there, I didn’t download it) and discovered that we’d walked 7 km while we were there – and been on our feet considerably longer, of course.  As ever, I’m so thankful for my new hip.  I couldn’t walk a single kilometre – just over half a mile – before the operation, not even with a walking stick.

Afterwards, I drove to Norwich and so did Weeza and we met in a convenient car park to hand the children over.  I came home, fed the cats – I’d left food for the chickens as I knew I’d be back after they’d gone to roost – and went to fetch the post from the front porch.  As I returned to the car to fetch my bag and keys, I noticed RasPutin walking across the gravel.  He limps nowadays, a bit, he’s lost a few fights.  He was obviously going to check the food situation and I couldn’t leave him.  I knew his children would have finished the food I’d given them.  So I plodded over and dished out another half tin for them all, including him.

I’ve been tired out by the evenings.  One night, I was asleep by 9 o’clock and, though I was awake for an hour or so in the night, then slept until after 7.  That night, I’d munched the children’s leftover macaroni cheese and just fallen into bath, then bed.  The next night I did manage to cook a meal but was still too exhausted to do anything much else.  However, a good deal has happened here this week and LT – who arrived home this afternoon – is duly impressed.  There are more clear spaces and there is a Plan.  Wince, our lovely gardener, always asks every week what is my Plan.  Today, it was mostly supervising Stevo and Noah as I was going out to lunch, mind you.  But we’ve got the children again tomorrow and I needed some recreation.

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