We're off tomorrow, the spud and I and my Mum, who is currently somewhere over the Atlantic trying to cram her 6 foot long legs under the seat in front of her... they ought to make her check those babies in as extra baggage or at least buy them their own aisle. I pick her up in a few hours and tomorrow we drive down to Devon to a little cottage on a farm somewhere near the edge of Dartmoor, leaving the Frog and Sammy to luxuriate in a Spud-free week. No little bear to wreck the stereo or pat an old boy a little too hard on his fuzzy head... or torment the cat at that... I reckon that by the time we get back they'll have changed the locks and be ensconced in front of the telly with a pile of seafood pizzas, happily shedding into the sofa together.
Sammy has recently had some sort of a rejuvenation it seems... just as he was beginning to worry us by sleeping too much and being a little vague he has perked up, packed on another pound and started begging for food, food, more food and the chance to lie on our chests blocking any chance we have of reading a book in bed.
The spud meantime continues as usual however with a few embellishments. One of his favourite things to eat is peas. Take a few out of the freezer, thaw them and put them into a snack pot and he will happily wander around munching them down like sweeties. I have been fondly holding on to the notion that I have a little health nut on my hands however recent events have indicated that peas must swifly come off the menu. Yesterday while pottering about in the kitchen as the spud sat happily forking up fish fingers and fingering up peas, I heard him sneeze. Several times. The Mums among you may have worked this one out already. After a few more hearty sneezes I turned around to see him with a finger up his nose and before I had any time at all to formulate thoughts about what he was doing he sneezed again. And a pea flew out of his nose. And then another one.
I went trundling over to him just as he was shoving another one up there at top speed. I bent his head back gently and there, lurking up his nostril was pea number three, stuck beyond finger reach. A swift go around his face with a damp cloth a gentle administration of mouth-to-mouth and I was rewarded by a snotty pea hitting me in the cheek. Just what I always wanted.
Peas, the snuff of the legume kingdom. Who knew?
Clementines are also good spud-quieters and today he thrilled me to bits by peeling one while standing in front of the open bin throwing away the peel. He also picked up a cloth and started wiping down the table and is obsessing over the broom so this is my second lesson for the week; that while he may not be speaking or particularly solid on his feet, my little darling has all the makings of a certifiable neat-freak.
Later: Mum is here and everyone is asleep so I am heading to bed. Tomorrow the two elder statesmen of the house will breathe joint sighs of relief as I, my Mum, and the Spud, who is a match for both of us put together, head off to the West Country where my brother and I grew up.
Ted Hughes once said (or something like it) 'when you cross the Avon, you're leaving England' and while we may not be taking passports, I believe I may have to leave my sanity at the border.