“I can’t go away because I’m looking after you”.
I had committed the cardinal parenting sin of wanting to use the loo without an audience. I got away with it for exactly 18 seconds before Catrin stomped upstairs, barged her way in and presented me with a Duplo giraffe which she had made for me. I expressed my gratitude for the giraffe and requested a few more seconds of privacy but she insisted on staying to ‘look after’ me.
During the course of the morning I had a veritable menagerie of Duplo creatures, created by Catrin, literally thrust upon me. I was too tired to protest after a busy night feeding Bethan with exhausting frequency. I was lacking in energy and resorted to putting
CBeebies the Justin Fletcher channel on in the background while Catrin covered the carpet in Duplo bricks and Bethan squirmed about on my lap.
After lunch I couldn’t endure Justin Fletcher’s grinning face anymore and I wasn’t enjoying stepping on Duplo (or sitting on spiky dinosaurs). The rain had stopped so I took the girls out for a walk. I didn’t really have a planned destination or route…we just needed to get out of the house. So we just walked…and discovered a bit of a hidden gem.
We live on the outskirts of London in suburbia on an ordinary road of ordinary 1930s housing…the traffic is quite heavy and there is a constant hum of human activity. However, as we pottered along, we found ourselves walking on a footpath running alongside the river. We were only a matter of metres from our house yet the usual urban sounds were replaced by the calls of water fowl and the breeze blowing through the trees. I was amazed at the difference.
We found huge banks of blackberries growing (with a few fruits already ripe). There were beautiful butterflies flitting between the flowers and briars and water birds cruising the calm waters. I wondered why I hadn’t walked this path before. There were patches of litter and the remnants of excessive drinking but we could overlook that and we didn’t allow it to spoil the natural beauty of the pathway.
I wondered how many other hidden gems of urban greenery I have missed, despite their proximity to my home. I might need to go exploring.