Friday, July 06, 2007

We are sailing...

So of course I've completely changed my mind about the garden. It was inevitable - I do this about everything, all the time.

Maybe it was the seed of doubt sowed by the brother, or the erstwhile charming weeds starting to look a bit tatty, or the strange triffid-like things that have begun to overtake the entire house and garden, threatening to swallow a family member whole (and which I discovered this evening could be pulled out of the ground with barely a flick of the wrist) or maybe it was the neighbour's perfectly ramshackle country garden overflowing with rustic roses, columbine and these lovely golden foxglove-like things....who knows? But anyway, as the Nigel Slater chicken wings with black pepper crisped up in the oven, I was to be found out the front plucking armfuls of triffids from the ground while dreaming of being able to afford an organic landscape architect (Jamie's suggestion - well let's see, once the porch is done, you never know, J.)

I could also just be a bit obsessed with the garden because me and Dot have spent much of our week together contriving ways to entertain ourselves outside (and as I type I'm in a deckchair on the lawn, feet to the fire, lanterns behind me, creek roaring in the background, fireflies out in force. Clearly she's in bed. Oops, a firefly just landed on me). Our three faves so far:1) careening around the garden on a plastic sledge (me pulling, her careening); 2) captaining the good ship Dot (an old rubber dinghy) into safe harbour using only salad servers as oars, then clambering out onto dry land to test out one's sea legs (the prognosis: wobbly. Well, we are still only just 10 months); and 3) setting up home in Camp Dot, a Manhattan Storage Large cardboard box last used to move one's parents to the country, but much more useful now it has a door and sides the perfect height for pulling oneself up to stand.

The verdict? By far the best week we've had in ages (well, let's be honest, that I've had), and as a reward for mummy we're almost saying 'quack quack quack', might be saying 'dog' and have definitely said 'wow' once.

However I do need to confess that we went to Wal Mart on the 4th - a waste of a holiday perhaps but the rain was torrential. We almost managed to avoid buying any new plastic toys, knowing none would be as fun as the cardboard box, but then we spotted the Shady Crab, a rubber raft with holes for little legs to go through and a sunshade to keep the sun off...

Readers, I know how awful of me this was - it might be PVC, it could have been made in China - but if you could have seen the grin as we launched it and kicked about in the river today...

Oh dear, it's a short and very slippery slope from here to $200 Nike trainers and BMW sports car.

I promise she won't get me that easily next time.


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