Intimations of mortality


Another nice weekend (we don’t seem to to do bad weekends lately), which saw me meet up with some old workmates Friday night, and my parents come up to see us later on Saturday, after Millie and I had been for a slightly disappointing storytime at the local library in the morning.

Millie loves reading more than any child I’ve ever known (with the possible exception of myself, but I can’t remember what I was like when I was three).  It’s not proper reading yet, what she does is have me or the Lovely Melanie read new books to her a couple of times each so that she can pick up the general idea of the story.  That interpretation gets locked into her memory and she can then ‘read’ the book.  So it’s not proper reading, but still looks quite impressive, not least because of the huge number of books she’s so far committed to memory.

She also loves being read to, however, and she, Baby A and the Lovely Melanie regularly visit the local library for storytime – it just so happened that there happened to be a storytime event on a Saturday, so I could take her along.

I was a bit nervous – not being good around crowds of people I don’t know, especially if they already know each other.  Millie seemed to be just as nervous as me, though.  And she was also morbidly fascinated by a book called Little Lumpty, which we’ve borrowed from the library before, a few months back, and which she thoroughly enjoyed then.  Except that this time there was one particular page which caught her attention: the one depicting Humpty Dumpty having fallen off the wall with a huge crack in his shell, yolk spilling out beneath him and some similarly egg-like people around him crying.

Millie looked at this picture for a good five minutes (which is the equivalent of you or I meditating upon something for about an hour) and wanted that picture left open in front of her for the duration of library storytime.

Very strange.  I could only think she was having some intimations of mortality: realising that people can and do get badly hurt.  She was obviously deep in thought about the whole thing, anyway.  Hopefully she’s not overly worried about what it all means…

It was lovely to see my parents, too; it’s always nice to see them, but it was nice to see my dad so unbelievably well this weekend.  He was chasing Millie around, carrying her on his shoulders, racing her through the woods, and he still had energy left over to play with Baby A in-between!

You might think he’d be scared of pushing his luck too far with his new heart, and I think the Lovely Melanie a couple of times did say to him, ‘Are you sure about this, Ron?‘  However, there was absolutely no stopping him.

And as a bonus, the Lovely Melanie and I got to go out for a meal together, which was a real treat for us both, since we seldom never get to do it normally.  And even though we only went round the corner to a homely little Italian restaurant in Sidcup the food was lovely, the conversation sparkled and the company was delightful.  All in all, it reminded me why we got married in the first place – before we had kids.

The Lovely Melanie even had the morning to herself today, when my parents and I took the girls swimming, and I cooked a delicious (if I do say so myself) dinner for us tonight – liver and bacon with a mix of mashes, sweet and normal potato.

For my part, I finally got to sit down and watch the DVD of La Antena which I bought a few weeks back – surprised by how much I enjoyed such a stylised and peculiar movie; disappointed by the quality of the English subtitles (the film is Argentinean).

It’s a shame I didn’t get any decent photographs of the weekend, but the rechargeable batteries in my camera – supposedly fully recharged just a couple of weeks ago – were as dead as dead can be.  So I’ve bought a new ‘turbo’ battery recharger from eBay as I’m fed up of this happening.

Our old charger takes 12 hours, the ‘turbo’ model is supposed to take between 55 and 90 minutes, so even if the batteries are crap we can still recharge them in an hour and then take some nice pictures.

I’ve also just bought a new DAB radio for the bathroom (also from eBay) as the cheapie FM one we bought before is exactly that: a cheapie FM radio whose buttons are tempermental and which loses all the presets every time the batteries have to be changed.

Our household (but especially me) is looking forward to enjoying BBC 6Music in the mornings, as well as Radio Four or Smooth FM.

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