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Not according to plan!

April 14, 2013

Today it was forecast to be 20 degrees … after the – 1 degree walk to the park a few days ago this seemed fairly improbably … but no, the day dawned brightly, and the temperature gauge on the car already read 18 degrees at 10am on the way to church … “hurrah”, I thought, “we can have a picnic”.

Hope and I enjoyed church, we sang lustily to some really big hymns and then I had a cup of tea and a custard cream while a cheerful small person crawled in high speed circuits around the church … it’s great, a huge space with a long blue carpet down the middle and lots of people to watch over her. We emerged happily into the sunlight 20 minutes later, me with a giant rip in my blouse where I’d stretched to pick her up and she’d squirmed round in a circle suddenly and I’d had to over reach to get her, and Hope with pleasingly stained tights from the wooden floorboards and a very chocolatey mouth after someone had given her a piece of Bourbon biscuit. We drove to the farm shop to buy some bits for our picnic, ham for Hope, or “am am am am” as she now calls it, and some smoked chicken and a very gooey chocolate brownie and some pink lemonade for me. We stopped off to deliver a few bits to Granby and to change Hope’s nappy and then sallied forth up the hill to find the bench we’ve discovered at the side of our GogMagog Hills walk … perfect last time, just tucked far enough into the hedge to be out of the wind, in the sun and with good crawling places and no brambles.

Parked the car, unloaded Hope in the car seat, her small pink football and a ‘match the Mummy and baby animals’ card game, two blankets and our picnic. Laden down and stumbling along like a pack mule at the end of a long long day we came to the first hazard; the gate was broken and instead of having a metal catch that opened when you pushed against it there was a bit of blue rope that needed to be lifted up and off two wooden posts … so …. put down car seat and blanket and opened gate, picked up the above and walked through gate … bit of blue rope blew off so had to dump everything and run after it go back and shut gate.

I picked everything up but then sunglasses dropped off my head onto ground, dumped everything and picked them up again … turned to walk to our bench and got hit in the face by a very strong wind indeed. Hope had the same experience and started to cry … resolutely soldiered on telling her that when we reached our bench we’d be sheltered and able to loll in the sun.

I lied … the wind was blowing directly at our bench. We marched to the next bench which had the wind blowing across it and a better view … set up camp there sitting with back to the wind to protect Hope who by then looked like a small and much more appealing Boris Johnson with a wild mop of fair hair like straw in all directions. She objected to being held and crawled off to the other side of the blanket and began piling up small twigs … wind then blew small twig pile away, Hope cried, wind eased twig mountain construction project started again … same thing happened again. I decided it was milky time … Hope set to and started cheerfully slurping away and we had a bit of a perfect Mummy moment until an elderly couple in tweeds and a rowdy group of lads in hoodies walked past, Hope looked up and at the same time the wind blew my blouse up and all of them got a perfect view of Hope’s left side milk dispenser before I could tuck it back into my bra and slump forward hiding the offending breast. The only thing to note was that the horrific sight seemed to unite the hoodies and the tweedies for a few fleeting minutes and Hope and I heard a round of tutting as they passed us. Hope was so cross she started to cry … so I tried to give her a bit of her “am am am am” but she didn’t want any and pushed the box out of my hand and the “am” and everything else in the box caught the wind and blew across the picnic blanket.

“OK”, I thought resolutely, and pulled out the football for Hope to play with, she hoofed it so hard from her seated position that it rolled off down the slope and out of arms reach. I got out the Mummy and Baby cards which provided about 10 minutes entertainment and then the baby seal card became something that had to be chewed and the baby zebra blew away down the slope following the football. I put Hope in the car seat and did it up and ran after the ball and the baby zebra. When I came back Hope was nodding off in the car seat. I turned her out of the wind and sat back to enjoy my pink lemonade and my chicken … two minutes later it started to rain.

Suffice to say, in the mad scramble to get everything together and all back down the hill, through the long grass, “swoosh swoosh swoosh”, over the chalky path, “crunch crunch crunch”, through the gate, “creak creak creak”, across the car par, “thud thud thud”, and into the car, “slam”, I dropped most things (other than Hope) at least once and then realised I’d left the car keys on the original bench.

Panic took over from picnic and the pack horse shambled back across car park, through gate, over chalky path and through the long grass (yes yes thud, creak, crunch, swoosh etc) and thank goodness there were the keys on the edge of the bench alongside grey rabbit … back we went (swoosh, crunch, creak, thud, slam, groan) to the car a bit wet from the rain, very wind swept and a little bemused as to how such a wonderfully well planned but spontaneous picnic had gone so off plan!!!

Hope was fast asleep before I even turned the car engine on and by the time we got home she was snoring gently with a peaceful look on her face.

“Did you have a lovely picnic”, Granby’s voice echoed down the corridor when we came in …

at least we got some fresh air!!!!

and 24 hours later 20 degrees before the wind picked up!

…and 24 hours later 20 degrees for a brief instant before the wind picked up and the rain came down!

In the pram with Albert the Giraffe on the way to the swings in minus one degree temperature

In the pram with Albert the Giraffe on the way to the swings in – 1 degree temperature

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