Mr B, who has been watching far too much TV, has been telling me all week that it will be far too risky for me to visit Dinosaur World tomorrow.
It’s not that he is worried that I might be torn limb from limb by prehistoric creatures of the Dinosaur Family - his concerns are much more Snow Related.
I, for my part, am always the Happy Optimist, as sure as I can be that all will turn out well unless and until the opposite is proved beyond all reasonable doubt. I have therefore left it until today to decide what to do, blithely assuming that the
trains will all run on time, snow or no snow, simply because I am willing it to be so.
The thing is, this was not any ordinary trip into the past: It was Faris
the Rascal’s fifth birthday treat. There is going to be a party, too, but his mother, the Middle of the Darling Daughters, guessed correctly that it might be more special for both me and The Rascal if I joined him and a couple of his friends - plus any
number of dinosaurs - at Dinosaur World.
I did plenty of research in order not to show myself up too much in front of three five year olds with an amazingly
in-depth knowledge of All Things Dinosaur. I felt it advisable to know my Diplodocus from my Pterodactyl; to have a working knowledge of which dinosaurs were meat-eaters and which were vegetarians; to understand the difference between our world and theirs.
I watched the short films showing me what to expect from what has been described as a 90 minute Dino Extravaganza and reckoned I could probably handle it, especially if The Rascal would hold my hand during all the most scary moments.
Going out for the day involves lots of pre-planning on my part, not to mention finding lovely friends and neighbours willing to call in to make Mr B’s meals and keep him company.
I kid you not, even a short trip out requires military planning - and that’s without taking the odd T-Rex into account. I also had to rearrange my attendance at the Saturday morning Parish Surgery where I was supposed to be making tea and coffee for
anybody calling in to see the Rector for the purposes of organising a christening, or a wedding or other celebration. I had everything in place - Anthony swapped his place on the coffee rota with me and Mr B was delighted to hear that neighbours Matt and Jackie
would be calling in. He has sorely missed chatting to them over the garden fence in recent times.
Then - oh, then, I checked the train situation on National
Rail Enquiries to find yellow exclamation marks against the 9.29 to Clapham Junction. Adverse travel indications. Likely to have to queue. Advised not to make the homeward journey later than 3 p.m. Don’t travel at all unless you really, really need to.
Told you so, said Mr B, with all the smugness of one who has been proved right, when I reported back to him on the Sorry Situation. There will be no Dinosaur World for me tomorrow.
I relay the sad news to my daughter whose only thought is that she would hate it if I slipped on black ice or found myself stranded on an icy cold train going absolutely nowhere. In fact Dinosaur World was closed yesterday and today - and there’s
no certainty it will open tomorrow. I do so hope Our Rascal doesn’t have to miss out on his birthday treat - he will be almost as disappointed as I am.
am concentrating on the positives. Our neighbours say they will call in for coffee and a chat anyway so Mr B will not be deprived of their company. Anthony will stand in for me at Parish Surgery so I won’t have to make my way to the church through the
snowy streets. Mr B is most relieved that I am not going to be stranded overnight in a cold train, without so much as a cup of coffee to keep me warm, as in his worst nightmares. My daughter reminds me that she and the Trio will be down to see us next weekend
to celebrate Mother’s Day so we can have a late celebration. My sister asks if she and her fella can come to visit us on Monday, when I get back from Birdy Group.
All is well with my World.
Apart, of course, from a distinct lack of dinosaurs…