If I write the words 'Summer has finally come to England' in this blog then tomorrow it will surely rain. Today however, one could be fooled into thinking that this was finally true - although I'm not saying, you understand... not saying anything. Now, I know all you doubters out there across the pond... you can't believe that we actually get sunny days and heat waves over here, you've heard too many jokes and watched Mary Poppins too many times to envision this fair country with a heat haze and parched grass but it does happen. Sometimes.
My mother will deny this hotly in the comments section. She's been here four times in the last two years and will swear up and down to you that it has rained the whole time however this is simply not true. Not, you understand, that I am accusing my dear Mum of being a pants-down liar. But you know. She has a somewhat selective memory. It did, I admit, rain a lot when she was here this time but only for the final week. And a bit in the middle. But we did see the sun. Really. Anyway, so the entire country is happy today as we can talk about the weather without grunting.
Moving swiftly on, the upshot of all this sunny business today was the sort of day in which one takes ones offspring outside.
Firstly we mowed the lawn together, him with his favourite mower and me with the one that spits lawn clippings all over one's shins. Then we hung out the laundry, him handing me things from the washing machine while I dropped his nappies in the new lawn clippings. Then we had our lunch together while the Frog cracked off to do some grocery shopping. We sat outside in the sun swapping fingers of PBJ and hommous/carrot sandwiches and cut up peach. Then we watered a few things, set up the furniture and sat beside each other, covered in factor 40 sunscreen, each with our watered-down juice and a book. Once in a while he'd squint up at me and say 'haah' and when he was bored he got down and practiced his climbing skills on the back of the chairs.
Then the frog came home and after he had his lunch, we went to a garden centre and I carried a fast-asleep spud around which was good for the frog as it stopped me from buying a host of hostias and other plants about which the he was being very French... all shrugs and moues and mumbles.
Once the spud was up we offered him a trip to the park to which he gave his standard 'Yeah' ('Would you like a drink Spud?' 'Yeah'; 'Have you dyed your hair Spud?' 'Yeah') and since the paddling pool has opened, when you're talking park destinations There Can Be Only One. And this means that the rest of day went something like this:
This is the kind of day we like... and yes, that is my pin-head shadow with the deformed tummy. I was carrying a bag, people! People!
And then, after that we walked hand in hand down to the duck pond where the spud decided to lead me cross-country through the stand of trees where the parakeets live, under their rawcous squawks and up through the field to the tennis courts, then back down the hill to the playground where, part-way there, he begged to be carried. So I picked him up and we walked to the playground where he decided that maybe he had just a little drip of energy left and climbed everything at least twice but didn't in fact complain when I picked him up to leave. The park was gorgeous, elder-flowers, rhodedendrons and mock orange in bloom, irises by the duck pond, deep, cool grass with flower-heads waving, the church spires at either end looking positively bucolic. Families picnicing, marquees up and flying flags, big groups of people with food and wine and hundreds of kids laughing and running and shouting.
The spud went on to eat a big dinner and fall asleep after three books, followed by a short cuddle on his sofa with him dragging my head down so I could bat my eyelashes onto his cheeks and make him giggle and yawn at the same time.
Not a bad day, in fact. And this, folks, this is Brixton