This morning the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I set off for a walk. We left the youngsters working on their French (Jack) and Maths (Hazel) which was a trifle mean of us as I’m sure they would rather have
been tramping the highways and byways with their mother and me.
No so Mr B, who was more than happy sitting in the back garden with yesterday’s newspaper,
in the comforting knowledge that I would bring today’s back with me from our walk. I do believe that the world is divided into two groups of people – those who would be perfectly content never to read a newspaper again and those who feel the world
will fall apart if they don’t keep a check on what’s going on. Mr B falls into the second category.
The Son In Law, meanwhile, was busily looking out even more obscure and challenging books
for me to take home with me and read, after I turned down “Buried Alive” (written by a Cardiff doctor who specialises in treating arthritis. There’s no way he is getting his hands on my bones, dead or alive) on the grounds that I need to
be reading uplifting books at the moment. Though the Son in Law, who has an answer for everything, would doubtless argue that there are examples in this book where apparently Very Dead People have knocked on their coffin lids and been “uplifted.”
This is, I insist, not the kind of uplifting I am talking about....
Incidentally, this Son In Law, as the sole male in his Book Club, specialises in offering up
outlandish books when it is his turn to choose the group’s required reading for the month. Last time, apparently, none of the group could get past Chapter 1 of a book which even he admitted was “a little disturbing.” I dare say he is
paying them back for all the “chick lit” they force feed him.
So it’s just the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I who set off on our walk.
Two is company, we say. We stride off in good form, make it into the village centre in double quick time and buy Mr B’s newspaper – then agree that it is far too beautiful, out in the sunshine, to cut short our walk. On we go, the Y of the DDs
leading the way, because I don’t have a clue where we are going or how long it will take us. As we walk we do our best to set our world to rights. We talk about last night’s show and how brilliant all the young performers were, which leads
us onto a discussion about the publicity material I need to write for the next show – Seussical the Musical, you heard it here first! We talk about GCSEs and the Importance of Achieving a Work-Life Balance when you’re a teenager – and about
how my life (and its balance) has changed completely since retirement eleven short months ago. There are few things more pleasant than walking in the sunshine with a beloved daughter, chatting about anything and everything.
Back home we confess to each other that our legs are aching, accepting that this means we are Out of Condition and need to Toughen Up a Bit. We sit, companionably, in the conservatory drinking
Diet Coke with ice while watching Mr and Mrs Blackbird build their nest in the bushes. At least, we can’t see their nest, hidden as it is from our prying eyes, but we are witness to their labours as they gather beak-full after beak-full of nesting materials
from the garden and fly purposefully into the bushes. The garden is obviously the equivalent of “Nests R Us” as far as Mr and Mrs B Bird are concerned so I suggest to the Youngest of the Darling Daughters that she stops worrying about whether
the garden needs a makeover and leaves it to the birds.
We leave for home at a time when we are hopeful that we will miss the worst of the Bank Holiday traffic
and have a fine journey home. Mr B says I must not take this as a sign that travelling on a Bank Holiday is a Good Thing – just that we were lucky this once. I think of the youngsters in their show, our chatty walk in the sunshine and Mr and Mrs Blackbird
patiently, conscientiously building their nest together – and conclude that sometimes, just sometimes, we make our own luck...