The weekend proved to be a journey into utter Englishness. Which I find quite fun and a bit odd and still a novelty. We were taken to the Hyde Heath Village Fete with some friends and it was all the best kind of spring-ish nutty festivities that I can remember from Milly Molly Mandy. The books were being sold at 80p,the fresh lemonade and strawberry-marshmallow-chocolate kebabs at £1.60, the fudge for £1 a bag. There was a dog show, so enormous newfoundlands and little poodles were everywhere, and classic cars lined up in the field.
Mark won the kids plastic swords (they are sleeping with them, and attacking each other in their waking hours). Thanks for that.
Missed the Morris Dancers actually performing, although I have been assured that was quite the wise move. I think they look most stylish and, er, energetic. The young bloke next to them lends them a little street cred, in any case.
Oh how the crowd loved it all:
So that was Saturday.
On Sunday we had a little mishap in the garden.
We four sans Mark who was supposedly “working” all trooped into the communal garden (my idyll, my sanctuary from the wilds of Bayswater – oh, how I love to turn my exclusive key in your tightly-protected ornamental gates) alongside lots of other families and people I didn’t recognise because They Have Jobs. I set the woollen blanket up by the swings, and plonked Custard down to play with some plastic. Ahem. And Barnaby and Noah raced off into the little square houses the other garden kids had made with the marble blocks the builders had left out. These had been out all week – little marble blocks which will line the paths in a Grecian-hilltop-town kind of way. The little houses had walls up to waist-height and without cement, were kind of DANGEROUS. But, as I am not American, or European, and my kids are often quite grubby and I let them do stuff, I didn’t stop them playing there. I figure that if they did fall down, they wouldn’t die, and their legs probably wouldn’t break, and we would all learn a valuable Life Lesson. So, off they ran, into the houses, and then SMASH. The walls came down. Little N from upstairs had pushed the walls down on PURPOSE. And from all around the garden, heads stuck up into the air like little stoats and everyone came running. Barnaby was still in the ruins, but entirely unscathed.
But Oh! Panic and yelling and stressful noises and angry looks erupted. No more were young families lying on blankets eating strawberries and sipping champagne, no more were rounded toddlers missing football kicks padding softly in their direction, no more were groups of slightly camp young bankers who are still employed lolling about with their beers and BBQ. They all swarmed over to the rubble and began telling off the Upstairs N (who, I might add, is 5. 5!!!) for his Terrible Behaviour. And the head of it all, the middle of the flapping and the sharp intake of breath, was Italian Mama. Italian Mama is a total pain in the ass. She is the meanest busybody of them all. Like an overfed brown pigeon who does a lot of head-bobbing and quite a bit of flapping and casts cranky looks out of the sides of its head. She was Very Cross about it, and managed to spare a few mean and outraged looks in Barnaby’s direction. And at me. Like I was somehow implicated in this Very Bad Incident.
So I herded my children to me, and watched as Upstairs N’s dad was yelled at and heckled and effectively forced to leave. We skulked out soon after.
Life Lessons Learned:
1. Kids are naturally curious and will play with stuff that looks interesting and if you don’t want them to play with said stuff, then PUT STUFF AWAY.
2. Kids sometimes do stuff that may not have been a great idea in hindsight – they are impulsive. That is what makes them fun. And 5 year old boys are the Kings of Impulse.
3. Some people should learn to mind their own business.
4. Most Italian Mamas are lovely and probably cook well, but this one is to be avoided at all costs.