Sam has compiled a list of activities for our day in Littlehampton.
He has drawn tick boxes beside each activity and is insistent that we must work through the list in
the correct order, as written. This does not exactly create a flow, if you know what I mean, but Sam is not open to criticism, however constructive. The fact that we arrived too late for crabbing, for example, was completely due to the requirement to visit
the Longest Bench and to find the slat bearing the boys' names on account of this being Number One on the list. I was somewhat neurotic about this, as last year (regular readers may recall) Young James ended up in A & E after his brother fell on top of
him on said Longest Bench. The last thing I wanted was a repeat visit. The boys were under strict instructions not to climb, fight, race or jump on top of each other in the vicinity of the bench on the pain of missing out on ice creams. It was tough but they
managed it. More or less.
The list reads as follows:
Play in Lions Den (a park - what did you think it was?)
Make sand sculpture
With the exception of the crabbing, we manage to tick off every activity. Both boys vote the Crazy Golf as their favourite activity, unworried
as they are by the size of the Scores on the Doors. They both complete the nine hole course in 70, which includes a hole in one for James. The attendant at the kiosk gives both boys a Hole in One certificate and Sam rewards her by telling her all about the
plans for his Worthing Birthday at the weekend. The attendant has a slightly dazed look on her face as she listens to the long explanation. I have noticed the same expression on the faces of the bus drivers as my boys cry: "Diolch!" on leaving (it's Welsh
for thank you - I do love it when the Daily Blog comes over all educational.)
Before heading off for the beach we have another rehearsal for the Robot Puppet Show
which will entertain the boys' parents no end at the weekend. I have several lines to say and the boys are not over impressed with my delivery. James keeps taking me through the bit where I have to exclaim: "I can't find them anywhere!" Apparently I need to
shrug my shoulders and spread my arms out wide, with the palms of my hands uppermost, all the while registering alarm. James demonstrates to perfection. Maybe he should play my part, I suggest, but he points out that he is already in charge of one of the two
robots and the robot dog, Scrap. Sam is mostly concerned that I learn my lines off by heart because we only have one script. He has written the whole show, using different coloured felt tip pens to show whose turn it is to speak. My lines are written in orange
though I also have to remember that lines written in turquoise blue are to be spoken by all of us.
I am also in charge of the music which means that, at a given moment, I have to open the lid of my
musical box so that the two Robots (and the Robot Dog) can dance along to Return to Sorrento. Yes, I agree, it may seem a strange choice but at the time we were practising it was the only music we could quickly lay our hands on. I thought it was a pretty impressive
piece of improvisation on their part.
I am puzzled by one line, written in turquoise, which means it is to be spoken by all three of us in unison. "What does D D D mean?" I query. Sam and James regard me with
"Dar Dar Daaaaar!" they chorus.