Today was one of those days when our timing left a lot to be desired.
It started when the radio alarm woke me at 7.30
a.m. and I turned over, with a view to dozing until 8 a.m. when I would arise, with a shining morning face, and join Mr B downstairs where he would doubtless be on his third cup of coffee. Next I knew it was 9.10 a.m. and I had missed both the 8 o’clock
news and the 9 o’clock news. Not only that, but I would have to sneak downstairs and hear Mr B call out, with just a hint of sarcasm in his voice: “Good evening!”
There is nothing wrong with getting up late, not when you are a Lady of Leisure, and there is nothing in the diary requiring an early start. It is also a Bank Holiday – not that this makes all that much difference as I am no longer a Working
Gal. I am, of course, pleased for those family, friends and acquaintances who will be wallowing in this extra day, especially the Middle of the Darling Daughters who gets to spend an extra day with Young Faris who is fourteen months old today. Faris,
it has to be said, has no idea what “lie-in” means and, if introduced to an alarm clock, would probably throw it under the sofa where it would mark the passing hours by periodically sounding off, infuriatingly out of reach.
The problem with getting up late is that lunchtime arrives too soon after breakfast time – even for one such as I who is Always Thinking About Her Stomach. This would
not have mattered one iota had Mr B and I risen at the same time but, as I hinted earlier, he had been up a good two hours when I rolled downstairs. By 1 p.m. he was ready for lunch even if I wasn’t – but he tempted me with the prospect of
a trip to the Sea Lane Cafe where we could sit and watch the sea, the sky, the clouds and the sea-gulls while enjoying our food.
Unfortunately, once again, our
timing was all wrong. We arrived at Sea Lane Cafe to find it heaving – a long, long queue for food snaking down the steps and onto the patio, every table full both inside and outside. Mr B directed that we should return home where he
would make me an egg on toast. It was quite clear that this was an offer I could not refuse.
After my egg on toast, when it became clear that Mr B was going
to send the afternoon engrossed by Ronnie O’Sullivan playing Mark Selby in the snooker, I decided it would be a good time to head down to the health club for an invigorating swim. Wrong! I had completely forgotten that it was Monday, not Sunday - meaning
that Junior Swim had started at the very moment I emerged from the dressing room and out onto the pool-side. There I was, clutching my towel and looking forward to a quiet swim, only to find the pool full of littlun's, frog-shaped floats and parents
urging their off-spring to jump off the side into the blue watery depths.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed numerous sessions of Junior Swim when accompanied
by various grand-children. There was one long, hot, summer week, indeed, when the health club pool was just about the only place the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I could guarantee some respite from heat-induced dramatics. I particularly
enjoyed Junior Swim with Eleanor, the youngest of my grand-daughters, who was always happiest when we were creating cars and boats and caravans out of water woggles and dumb-bells. We were quite amazingly creative, though I say so myself as shouldn't. As
the grand-kids grew older, of course, they forsook the Play Lane and spent their time swimming long lengths in the Fast Lane while I watched admiringly from the Jacuzzi, wishing I were half as good a swimmer as they were.
My all-time favourite moment at Junior Swim came when Jack was about five or six. In my best Nanny Has Had One Of Her Good Ideas voice I was trying to persuade him and sister Hazel into pretending
our woggles were horses and racing each other from one end of the pool to the other. Jack looked at me with furrowed brow: “We’re not allowed to do that, Nanny,” he told me sternly. “Of course we are,” I said, gaily,
“Look, this is how to do it” – proceeding to demonstrate in an ungainly manner. “It’s not allowed,” Jack maintained, stoutly, pointing to the large notice on the wall. There really was no arguing with it:
“No horseplay,” it read.