Jaqui's Daily Blog

Out and About with my Imaginary Child

I can often count on a friend or two to join me on a Wednesday lunchtime when I head off for my “Time Off” while the Really Rather Wonderful Kay keeps Mr B company. She keeps him sweet by bringing him in a lunchtime treat each week - we call her either Mrs Chips or Mrs Cornish Pasty, depending on what she brings him.


It doesn’t matter if I set off alone, however, because on such occasions - especially when I find myself down on the sea-front - I am invariably joined by my Imaginary Child. You’d be surprised just how much we have in common.


Today she turned up in the Marine Gardens café where I was ordering a bowl of cream of leek soup and a crusty roll. There was a comfy window table for four free but it didn’t seem quite right to deprive a family of such a splendid seat when there were only two of us, particularly with the one of us being, well, invisible. My Imaginary Child turned her nose up at my soup, declaring she didn’t like vegetables of any variety with the exception of tinned peas. I explained that she would probably grow to love them as she grew older but she just laughed, clearly unconvinced. She did appreciate the crusty roll though - when I was her age my dear Mum used to take my Little Sister and me into Lyon’s Corner House to celebrate the end of a weekend shopping trip with a roll and butter. The butter was an especial treat, something we never had at home. My Imaginary Child nodded her understanding - you might almost think she shared my memory.


Off to the sea-front where we battled through a stiff wind to reach the shelter of the Waterwise Garden on the beach. On the way we passed (or, rather, didn’t manage to pass) a mobile stall selling hot doughnuts. “DONUTS” screamed the neon sign on the top of the van. I forgave it the spelling because I do like a mobile stall that does what it says on the tin. I did feel a brief surge of guilt knowing how much Mr B does love an extremely unhealthy hot doughnut, rolled in sugar, fresh from a seaside stall but it would have been very sad and very cold by the time I arrived home. My Imaginary Child and I shared it between us and pronounced it deliciously naughty.


In the park on the beach, Shark Park (so named by the Rascally Trio) we enjoyed swinging on the long rope swing until I noticed a young lad glaring at me. He clearly only saw me, an (apparent) adult of a Great Age monopolising play equipment made for young’uns. I made a shame-faced withdrawal and we took to the beach where more adventurous folk were clambering over the rocks and leaping down onto the beach from a great height. My Imaginary Child stayed by my side; like me, she isn’t the bravest of the brave. 


We ended up in Marine Gardens once again where we noticed that there was a mini-beast trail with nine posters for us to find as well as being challenged to locate seven nesting boxes, four bug hotels and one bird café. It was a pity we hadn’t started on our quest earlier - I simply hadn’t left enough time before I had to leave for the short drive home. My Imaginary Child said not to worry, she would stay and finish the task. I left her wandering about the gardens, brow furrowed in concentration. She was clearly taking the responsibility extremely seriously but enjoying it at the same time. She would be there, I knew, until she had discovered every poster, every nesting box and every bug hotel. 


I could depend on her just as if she were my own self…


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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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