We are picnicking on the beach at Worthing, our first beach picnic of 2015. The first of many we are hoping.
Jack is testing us out on some of the trickier questions he
may have to answer for his driving theory test on Saturday. I hate to admit it, but I don't think I would manage to tot up 43 correct answers out of 50 - the required tally for a pass. Our favourite question (partly because it was one we could all manage to
answer) was this: what should you do if you had to leave something valuable in your car. Would you (i) put it in a plastic carrier bag; (ii) lock it away somewhere safe; (iii) park your car near a bus stop; or (iv) park near a school. I mean, I ask you.
Jack points out that not many of the multi-choice questions are that easy to answer. His mum, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I, are amazed how many subjects are now covered in the theory test. Knowing that
the sign depicting a car and a motorbike doesn't actually mean "Beware of Flying Motorbikes" just won't be enough to see you over the finish line any more. Nowadays you have to know about servicing your car and how to tell if someone is in shock. You have
to be a combination of a Garage Mechanic and a Doctor to pass your theory test these days.
On the beach, a fisherman is bent over his bait. It is not a pretty sight. Apart from this Vision of Unloveliness,
it is a beautiful scene that meets our eyes. Toddlers paddling and making sandcastles, couples strolling along the beach, sea gulls wheeling above us, the sea all sparkling in the sunshine. It's just like summer, we keep marvelling.
We are pleased with ourselves, my daughter and I, for thinking to buy the wherewithal for a picnic, rather than visiting one of Worthing's many eateries for lunch. We would have spent a great deal more, we congratulated each other,
as well as being confined indoors while we ate our lunch. Breathe in that fresh, sea air! I exhort my grandchildren. I sound, for all the world, like my dear mum on our days out to Southend when I was but a littl'un.
Picnic over, we set off to walk along the coastal path as far as the Bluebird Cafe and back. This, I say, will give me the opportunity to see if the renovation work at the cafe has been completed. Nobody asks what we will do if we walk all the way there
only to find we can't buy ourselves an ice cream or a cup of coffee.
The Youngest of the Darling Daughters is not about to waste the chance of snapping away to add to our store of precious photographic memories.
Jack protests that every time we stop to arrange ourselves in some kind of appropriate (or inappropriate) pose, we are losing momentum. We need to keep moving, he exhorts us, in order to keep up the momentum which will see us reach our destination without
a struggle. Obviously this might have something to do with the fact that he would rather not have his photograph taken at all. Hazel is the complete opposite - so much so that she tells me she will join me on my Vlog today. Now that should not be missed.
We manage, despite frequent photo stops, to keep up sufficient momentum to reach the cafe. The refurbishment is still underway but the proprietors have had the foresight to open up a kind of cabin selling ice creams,
drinks and basic meals. We sit in the sunshine, gathering momentum for the return walk. Jack and Hazel clearly believe in the magic properties of Oreo ices to put a spring into their step. Their mother and I stick to coffee. More mundane but always a reliable
We have to retrace our steps in double quick time because otherwise we will be late for the dentist. You have to admit it, we certainly know how to have a good day out. There is no school in the
vicinity of the car park and the nearest bus stop is in the High Street so I put my coat in a carrier bag and secure it in the boot of the car.
There is a particular book of cartoons Jack and Hazel always
read through while awaiting their turn in the dentist's chair. Sample cartoon: Eric is allowed to ask God one question. The cartoon shows Eric asking "What is the capital of Peru?"
I wonder what He is like
on the Highway Code?