Weeknotes 040: I love you swing

The weather forecast didn’t lie. Hope Valley was wet. The platitude about camping in the rain being OK as long as it’s dry when you put up and take down the tent was tested.

The bad forecast had scared off half of the Southern Softies, including the other toddler. We’d been building up the meeting for Piglet and—unfulfilled—she spent the week saying Hi Auntie A. No [insert toddler name].”

We had borrowed two gazebos. The first wasn’t waterproof enough for storms. Instead of being lashed with rain, we were lightly misted. The second blew over irreparably in the high winds. We’ll have to find a replacement before we see them.

Fortunately Auntie A had brought a 95-man (ish) inflatable tent with her. It had enough ante-chambers for a dedicated wet and dry room to change and shelter in.

One dry evening was enough to get the BBQ out. I can’t stress this enough kids. Lumpwood. Always lumpwood. It burned so long that we ended up making smores.

Piglet grew bored of the BBQ, but with a gravel pit 10 m away and a tree sing in the next field, she was set for the evening.

Hope Valley is very much in the Chef’s old stomping ground. She booked in for a spot of open air swimming and spent the time parodying Yorkshire by pointing out what was different from when she was a kid.

There was space between rain and naps to pop to the local dairy for ice cream and for the girls to have a night out in Bakewell. I stayed back with Piglet, Uncle D, pizza, Thud! and beer. I don’t think I can decide which piglet was more enamoured with: Uncle D or the pizza.

We ran the whole gamut of Piglet’s sleep in only three nights. On the first, her mattress deflated and she was fitful and cold. The second (my shift) a sound sleep through. The last, terror and climbing into our sleeping bag. It’s not roomy with two of us. Adding a diagonal wriggler wasn’t the peak of comfort.

We were exhausted when we made it home. Pre-toddler we’d have dumped everything in the hallway, had a drink and lazed off to bed. Instead we had to unpack semi-properly while entertaining. This is not an improvement.

I was granted the rest of the evening off from being an adult to watch the semi-final. England are in a real tournament final. In my lifetime. I mean, Italy will likely murder us 1-0, but we’re there.

Piglet was nonplussed to hear that football might be coming to our house and dug out her cursed toy van. I don’t get V-Tech toys. They’re well-made till the tunes start:

C’mon my friends buckle up tight
Room for my friends, happy as we go
Beep beep
Zoom around the town

I mean…

It’s even worse when they spontaneously go off in the toy box.

Counter to the V-tech inanity is Barbara Throws a Wobbler which deviates from the suddenly rule.

After the bumpiness of the first rooms at nursery, Piglet has settled right in to the new room. She even does impressions of the other kids.

Watching her sleep at the end of the day still gets me right in the feels. That is, when she’s first asleep and looking angelic. Not later when she’s thrashing about like a folkloric marionette.

I rounded off the week with a solo trip to Ikea. It might be the future. Less stressful than a whispered, tense argument about the requirement for more smart storage. One of the purchases was an £8 rug with some roads on it. It might have displaced Uncle D as the greatest thing in the world for Piglet.

We tore her away from it so The Chef could pop her Francesca’s cherry. A gesticulation1 of kindly and very Italian waiters entertained and were entertained by Piglet. One had a play with her and it was only afterwards that we thought about the plague. Maybe we’re approaching the end in England?

  1. I think that’s the right mass noun↩︎

11 July 2021


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