Level 2 Chi Kung.
Katie has been desperate to use the new biscuit cutters she got for her birthday, so, last night after dinner, I made a double mixture of Nigel’s spice biscuits and we had great fun rolling them out. I had the idea that, instead of making thank you cards for Katie’s birthday guests, we could make ‘thank you’ biscuits instead! We also made some ‘happy birthday’ biscuits ready for Dash’s birthday on Thursday.
Up early this morning to get Dash off to his art class, we discovered that spring had come early – gorgeous sunshine turning everything to gold and pretty little clusters of snowdrops popping up everywhere. Just as we were about to leave the house, I got a text from Sinniqua, asking if I could have Elias for the day while she spent time with a very sick friend. I was happy to help as Elias is no trouble and I knew Katie would be delighted. I collected Elias on the way home from dropping Dashi at art and left him and Katie playing on her phone while I did chi kung. As soon as I was done, we put the dog on the lead and headed out to make the best of the wonderful weather.
As a parent, it is really lovely, just occasionally, to see something you have done having a positive impact on your kids. I have always tried to draw the children’s attention to the beauty of the natural, and even the built, environment. Actually, I can remember trying to do the same thing with my mother but, like most depressives, she didn’t see much point in looking up at the clouds! Anyway, with Katie it really seems to have worked. Sometimes when we are apart, I will even get a call from Nick to say that there is a beautiful sunset and Katie has been nagging him to call and make sure I don’t miss it. Today on the heath we spotted a large flock of small white birds. We couldn’t work out what they were, partly because their flight patterns were so different to anything we are used to seeing in the garden or on the heath. So that Sherlock wouldn’t scare them, I stayed back with the dog, while Katie got closer to the mystery birds and attempted to photograph them. Elias, looking a bit bemused, stayed with me. Watching her creep closer and closer, taking such care not to disturb the flock, I said ‘God, I love her.’. I hadn’t intended to speak out loud and Elias, looking slightly startled, said ‘Well of course you do!’ as if my outburst had been the last straw, confirming once and for all that grown ups are just plain irredeemably weird.
When Katie had finished, and we had to pass close to the flock (with Mr Holmes on a short leash) in order to carry on towards Greenwich, I saw that the mystery birds were in fact some type of gull – smaller and paler than the ones you see at Brighton, hence the impression from a distance that they were all white. Greenwich Park was gorgeous, and full of happy families enjoying half term and making the best of the sun. Such a relief after what has felt like a long and fairly relentless winter.
We picked Dash up at 3:30 and headed home, carrying a heavy, but rather wonderful, sculpture of a martial artist that Dash had made during the day. Once home, I fed everyone and then packed a change of clothes ready for Katie to have a sleepover at Elias’ house. Sinniqua picked Katie up about 6:30, and we had a strangely quiet evening with our little Katie-lion away!