My cold intensified overnight, and I compounded things by going up and sorting through some old boxes after breakfast, unleashing a cloud of dust as I disinterred old mortgage agreements, a camping stove, back issues of the Waitrose Food Magazine from 2004, a set of hair clippers and some old Tupperware. After that excitement, I wanted to just sit and wheeze for a while, or peruse the three year plan I wrote on the back of an envelope in 2005 and then lost in one of the many archive boxes that fill my life. (Fill it, or contain it, or both.)
Instead, we all went for a walk to Kelsey Park. Kelsey Park is one of Beckenham’s larger parks, surrounded by big houses, and partially coated with Canadian goose shit. Things were a lot worse at the end of the last century, when Kelsey Park Waa basically Canadian geese as far as the eye could see, but strategic culls got the goose population in check.
This didn’t stop La Serpiente from inadvertently wiping goose shit across her face, prompting panic from her parents and lots of wiping before we let her free again. She was too busy showing off her memory, and asking where was the ice cream van that she saw back in August.
Kelsey Park is now overrun with squirrels, which, bold as brass, run up to you as though humans are just acorn dispensers. We ignored them and took La Serpiente to the play area, where she went down the slides and ordered us about. I haven’t mentioned Destroyer much, because she placidly slept in her stroller and that doesn’t provide much material to write about.
Somewhat recovered from my dust allergy, we walked home, put the kids to bed and had lunch. My wife and I had a cunning scheme which we put into action this afternoon: leave La Serpiente with the parents and steal off to Crystal Palace to go to the pub with friends. As it turns out, La Serpiente hardly noticed we were gone, which shows how much she appreciates us. I drank a pint of Guinness and some unidentifiable lager on an empty stomach, which gave me the moral fortitude required to sing John Lithgow’s “I’m A Manatee” to La Serpiente three times before she deigned to go to sleep tonight. More of that book soon, when I get back into the swing of reviewing children’s literature.
Tomorrow, we’re taking the kids to a castle, and after that I might attempt to purchase a toy diplodocus. I don’t think these things are related, unless we’re really planning on messing with their understanding of paleontology and medieval history…