Simple Pleasures

It was August bank Holiday Monday yesterday and we had a perfect, simple day together. After a leisurely morning bath, I packed up a flask and some biscuits and we headed off for a favourite river walk with Joshua and all four dogs. We knew it would be popular on a sunny bank holiday but there was still plenty of space of the river bank to park our rug. Joshua flopped on the grass and lay in the sun, he was unable to wait for me to spread the rug out. We enjoyed a drink with some ginger nuts then took the dogs to the river to paddle and to throw stones. It was the puppies’ first visit to a  river and they seemed to love it. Joshua threw endless stones into the water for Ruby and then he got too hot and he chose to lay on the grass again, in the shade of a large leafy tree. it was blissful there and we stayed for several hours. We might have stayed longer if we had brought a picnic lunch and if we did not had our sights set on the local village summer fete, so we packed up and Joshua and I waited on a bench at the top of a steep hill, while my husband walked the dogs back to the car to drive to pick us up.

The summer fete was a delightful traditional village event : the boys both tried their luck on the coconut shy but I won nothing on the tombola but bought two novels for 50 pence each and a pot of homemade raspberry jam. Joshua was unusually hopeless at skittles, he kept throwing the giant tennis balls to his Dad rather than aiming them at the skittles. Then we made our way to the village hall for refreshments, where we had out fill of sandwiches and homemade cakes while a brass band played outside. After we had eaten, Joshua became restless so I stood up to take Joshua to watch the band while my husband finished his third cup of tea. Joshua waved at he large table next to us. I was reading the notice board on the wall as we walked towards the exit when I heard a big ‘wooooo’ noise from the room so I turned around to see what was going on : Joshua was flashing his bare tummy at the crowd and was delighted by the whoop of admiration that he received. I pulled his t-shirt down quickly, smiled at the group of elderly ladies who had been so impressed, and we scooted outside where we sat listening to the brass band in the sunshine.

Both had been really perfect ways to spend the day and neither had involved long queues battling against bank holiday traffic or a big expenditure, they were indeed simple country pleasures, which we all three enjoyed.

Hello playmates!

There are some days when Joshua does not want to do anything all day, but stay in bed and laze about but Joshua was on good form yesterday; he was pretty active and he stayed awake all day , as Yorkshire Grandma often describes him, he was an angel all day. There was lots to see at the 1940s event that we attended, and dressed up for, as the market square was bustling with landgirls, military uniforms and vintage dresses, although Joshua refused to keep his flat cap on his head – he has never tolerated headgear. The shops and cafes had made a real effort too, decorating their establishments with memorabilia and with crosses across their windows and sandbags at their doors. We even joined in, to be taught how to do the Lambeth Walk, so there was plenty for him to see and hear,even if the 1940s meant nothing to him as an era.

We went back to the house to change clothes before heading out again for a meal. I had a power nap, as he had kept me up much of the night before, but he stayed awake. He objected to getting back in the car just an hour after getting home, but he was persuaded that it was necessary if he wanted to eat. He ate most of his lasagne and behaved well in the restaurant, only needing to walk outside once while we waited for our food to arrive. Then we walked off our excesses with a river walk at the end of the day and he adored throwing stones into the river for our spaniel to fetch. He walked well and without complaint when we reached the hilly part where we had to abandon his wheelchair. It was dark by the time we got back to the car, but it was such a  warm night.

After all that exercise, food and being alert all day, it was no wonder that Joshua fell asleep, as did I, almost as soon as his head hit the pillow. If the rest of his summer holiday is as active and busy as yesterday was, he will be ready to go back to school for a rest!