It’s the second week of the summer holidays and there was much excitement in the house today as Eddy’s two friends came round to play/hang out/squad rollout* (*Molly’s term) or whatever the correct terminology is nowadays for three daft boys being let loose together.
I’m a firm believer that most boys are like energetic little puppies and need a good run out at least once a day (preferably all day if you can get away with chucking them out in the garden and locking the back door on them, but I fear Social Services may disagree) and so I packed up a picnic and off we all trundled to Abbey Park.
I love Abbey Park; I used to go there as a kid and have fond memories of the outdoor paddling pool (alas, no longer in operation, probably due to health and safety issues), feeding the ducks, and I may have even roller skated through it once on my yellow and blue roller boots from Zodiac (does anyone else remember that shop?) The park has also been tarted up at bit lately – there’s now an outdoor gym, the gardens look really pretty and they’ve even added a funky little roundabout to the play park area. Unfortunately there was a murder there a couple of weeks back but we won’t dwell on that.
They boys had a look around Pet’s corner (I personally wouldn’t keep a peacock as a pet but each to their own), raced around the abbey ruins and then tried out the gym while I set out the picnic. Just as we all sat down though and the lid of the first Tupperware lunchbox was ceremoniously lifted, the heavens opened and it started pissing down with rain.
‘Grab a sausage roll and run for shelter boys!’ I shouted, ‘Save yourselves, I’ll save the picnic blanket!’ And off they ran while I staggered after them, laden with said blanket, cool bag, extra bag for non-cool items, my bag, and a cricket bat.
‘Told you we should have eaten as soon as we got here.’ said one of the boys.
Fortunately there are lots of shelters at Abbey Park and we ate our lunch in the dry while we waited for the rain to stop. Not so fortunately, as the boys finished and ran off to play on the park and I was getting well stuck into a chapter of my book, another family decided to join me under the shelter. Now, those who know me are more than familiar with my issues about personal space and my lack of tolerance towards people who sit near me when there is a plethora of available space elsewhere and today was no exception. Worse still, they decided to crack open their picnic and I was treated to the mum chatting to the kids at the top of her voice, whilst simultaneously smacking her lips together loudly as she chewed on an egg sandwich. And I know it was egg because as soon as she peeled back the lid of her lunchbox, the beast was unleashed and the air was immediately filled with the unmistakable stench of trumpy, sulphurous hard-boiled egg*.
At which point I felt compelled to move elsewhere.
I settled myself under a large tree and watched the boys playing in the rain for a good hour, I attempted to get them to play under cover but they weren’t having any of it and it seemed cruel to spoil their fun.
My new egg-free home……
I love the simplicity of boys playing together; they find the silliest things funny, they can make an adventure out of anything and hey, what’s a bit of pneumonia between friends if they want to play in the rain? Eventually though the rain got so heavy that the boys had had enough and we traipsed back to the car under the cover of two brollies that didn’t really seem to cover any of us.
One of the mums messaged me later, saying that her son had said he’d had a brilliant time and that makes me very happy. I just hope that the sun comes out next time we do it!
*I would like to apologise to work colleagues for the trauma I must put them through when I bring egg sandwiches in for lunch. I guess it’s like body odour…you can never smell it on yourself can you?