We are in the queue for the Boating School at Legoland, Sam and I. James is with his mother in the queue behind us, trying to decide if he really, really needs to go to the loo at just this precise moment when we have
been queuing for forty minutes and have almost reached the head of the queue.
Sam says I don’t need to do anything when we actually get into our boat. He
will steer us (he says) and he is sure he is tall enough to reach the pedal so I don’t need to worry about that either. He does concede (when pressed) that he had a little bit of trouble on the Driving School but this was because the Lego car he was
driving had two pedals, a brake and an accelerator and he kept getting them muddled up. There will be no such difficulty with the boat. “All you need to do is to relax!” he tells me.
It is our turn – we have reached the head of the queue. We are beckoned forward by a smiling member of Legoland staff. I wonder if they had to pass a “Smile Test” before employment? We clamber aboard
the boat – or rather Sam skips and I clamber. I am a trifle concerned to note that our boat is Number 13. Not that I am at all superstitious, you understand, but it does not augur well.
As well as relaxing, Sam tells me, it would be good if I could count all the Lego animals and birds we pass as we make our way around the “river.” Apparently we are having a competition though I’m not sure who with.
I do make a start on the counting but soon my attention is fully taken up with attempting to help Sam steer the boat without ever seeming to interfere with his mastery of the steering wheel. We manage to steer into every bank, on every bend and
I am wondering if anybody has ever actually tipped out of one of these seemingly unsinkable boats. Sam, is completely unperturbed as we run into the bank for the umpteenth time – “How many animals so far, Nanna?” he wants to know. “Thirty-eight!”
I reply. Yes, you’re right, I made it up...
Ah, Legoland! Such fun we have. Especially when I try to disembark from Boat Number 13 and have to be unceremoniously
hauled onto the landing by (still smiling, grimly) members of staff. Also I have to admit, on account of the bitter cold, that one of my favourite places of all is the Hill-top Cafe where Mr B and I could sit in the warm, enjoy a hot cup of coffee and
gaze across the stunning views of Windsor Castle. This is doubtless a Sign of My Age.
Back at the hotel and I have promised to take the boys to see Winnie the
Pooh’s house which Young Morgan and I had discovered on our walk the previous day. The Nature Trail which had been deserted the previous day is over-run with children on an Easter Egg Hunt. I feel rather guilty that our boys are missing out
on some fun but they don’t seem bothered, being more interested in knocking on Winnie’s door to see if he is at home. “I am sure I can hear footsteps,” says Sam, stoutly. We knock again but nobody comes.
In the playground the boys make friends with Madison, who is five and bossy. She and Sam are on the pirate ship deciding who should be the Pirate Chief. Madison declares that she is the
Pirate Chief but I’m interested to note that six-year-old Sam stands his ground. “Basically,” I hear him tell the Young Upstart, “I am the oldest person here.” Madison gives in with surprisingly good grace which only goes to prove
that it is possible to win an argument through straightforward and irrefutable logic. They turn their attention on James to seek his compliance. “I’ll be the Pirate Dog!” he declares, happily.
Pirate Chief and Pirate Dog. I love my boys.