Jaqui's Daily Blog

A Pirate Ship, the Ladybird Game and a Darling Daughter

The Middle of the Darling Daughters arrives on the doorstep with a large package in her arms. “Colour In Cardboard Pirate Ship” it proclaims on the front, along with a picture of, you've guessed it, a pirate ship, complete with Jolly Roger sail. Round her legs, the Trio rampage. It seems they are pleased to see me. 


My daughter explains that she thought it a Good Idea, given the threatening weather, to bring along a Diversionary Tactic. I've never heard a pirate ship so described but, well, heave ho, my hearties! I, in turn, have unearthed one of my favourite children’s games, The Ladybird Game. With Our Rascal that very day having taken his place in Ladybird Class (Ladybirds Are Best) at Hook Primary School, I feel he will appreciate it. 


The Rascal turns out to be rather too good at The Ladybird Game and very soon establishes the fact that just because you have thrown a six doesn't mean that the matching card will necessarily have a full complement of Ladybirds on the reverse. He also hits upon a novel way of collecting the cards he wins by sitting on them. His mother adopts a more regular approach to the game and ends up losing heavily to her small son. I think this game may well become a Family Favourite.


Next we start colouring in the cardboard pieces which might (or might not) be transformed into a pirate ship, though the lure of opening drawers and cupboards to discover Dangerous Objects hidden therein is just too strong to be overcome by a piece of cardboard and a pink crayon. The Middle of the Darling Daughters casts a despairing eye out of the window and clutches at the proverbial straw. “Let's take them all for a walk in the prom!” she suggests. Mr B, who has been watching proceedings with barely-disguised concern, agrees this will be an excellent move. I think it is fair to say that he has so far failed to locate his Inner Pirate.


On the way down to the seaside, I remember lovely Gull Island Playground on the East Beach where I took my (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys on their last visit.  It's a playground. It has slides and sand, roundabouts and a wooden pirate ship to clamber over. This, indeed, might even give us ideas for the manufacture of our own Pirate ship, waiting patiently at home to be pieced together.


The artists in the East Beach studios are putting together exciting installations for a 48 hour Light Festival. Plans which might have bitten the dust - or the sand - had Lilia’s mother not been able to divert the younger Twinkle from adding a few artistic touches (touch being the operative word) of her own to the exhibits. We divert the Unruly One with the promise of apple juice in the Coast Café followed by a romp in the sandpit on East Beach where The Rascal manages to bury his newest model car, giving us a few anxious moments until we spot its white roof peeping through. 


On our way back to the car - the rain has miraculously held off just long enough for our outing - we meet a dog called Teddy who really does resemble a teddy bear and who succumbs graciously to appropriate bear hugs from the Trio before we can persuade them to say goodbye while the poor dog is still in one piece.


At home, while the Trio eat their tea, their mother and I endeavour to put the pirate ship together. This appears to require a degree in marine engineering; my daughter says she will leave the half constructed ship with me until next time they come. Of course, if I feel inclined to complete construction in the meantime…


Over the summer holidays, my lovely daughter has brought her Trio of Rampaging Rascals to see us once a week for what we have called a “Holiday Day” to make up for the fact that Mr B and I are not able to go on a more regular type of holiday these days. She has come in fair weather and foul. She has come when she is clearly tired out from all the Rampaging but determined not to let us down. We have enjoyed seaside days on the beach, the delights of Brighton’s Sea Life Centre, a riotous session of soft play, a screening of Despicable Me 3. We have ridden Littlehampton’s famous Boat Train more than once, built (and demolished) sandcastles, sung songs, played at being Tigers and Gee-raffes. It has been the most special of summer holidays.


Thanks to a Darling Daughter who doesn't see obstacles - just opportunities.

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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