Monday, 31 March 2014

The Grand Old Dick of Yorkshire

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year in the Lake District where we were spending my pre-birthday weekend.  It was therefore the obvious moment to put our big coats on and travel about three squillion miles underground to experience White Scar Cave, "the longest cave show in Britain." Good call.

The previous day, we went to a wildlife park where, first, Jamie was almost swallowed by a bear.

And then Charlotte narrowly avoided being pecked to within an inch of her existence by a giant bird.

But they're both still with us so no lasting harm done other than psychological.

Which leads me onto today and my actual birthday when I've been trying to combine a bit of work with some extra family time. Later, I'll drag Jamie to his swimming lesson.  But earlier, I took Charlotte to "Gyminis."

Now, I'd not been to this phenomenon before.  But, as I understood the brief, it involved Charlotte and other toddlers playing on some gym equipment.  And because this was the last session before Easter and a bouncy castle had been brought in, the latter would dominate proceedings and I could sit back and read the paper. It turned out I was mistaken.

To be fair, it started as expected.

Here you can see the promised bouncy castle with Charlotte (in pink) getting stuck in. But then events took a turn for the worse.

In the second picture you will note that the bouncy castle has lost its bounce.  You can also see an army of mothers moving things around. Yes, they're clearing the area for the musical section of proceedings.

This was not a surprise to any of the mothers present (note no reference to fathers, because none were there other than me).  Nor, indeed, would it have been to Charlotte's mother had she been in attendance.  Because they do it every week.  And when I say "they" that's precisely what I mean.  But Vanessa (wisely) thought it best that I didn't know.

A couple of minutes later, I was prancing around the room to the sound of The Grand Old Duke of York.  I was absolutely mortified.  Like pretty much every other living Ulsterman, coordination is not my strong point. This is a fact I'm very acutely aware of, making matters worse. So when the mothers were up I was down. And when they were down I was up. And when they were only halfway up I muttering obscenities under my breath.

Next on the playlist was Here We Go Looby Loo.

I'll not even expand on what happened during Ring a Ring o' Roses other than to confirm that we did all fall down - eventually. It turns out it's not that easy when you're heavily pregnant.

But even that wasn't the low point. No, that was when one of the mothers farted and I was the only one who laughed.

Anyway, it's over now, I did my bit and tonight I can have some nice food and drink.  For once I think I've earned it.