Friday, May 31, 2013



‘Why don’t you write a new blog entry – you’re letting your fan down.’

‘And who is my ‘fan’?

‘Well, don’t look at me. Isn’t there a guy in Cumbria who always comments on your stuff?’

‘Oh yes, there is. He’s always really positive.’

‘He’s probably in a hospice’

Maude, as ever, inspires me.

Rainy half-term days bring out my wife’s most inspirational/challenging traits and it was agreed that a trip to the local 'Waterworld' seemed like a remedy for the drabs.

It wasn’t.

‘I really don’t understand your sizing. It’s all in inches. What does that mean in terms of size 10, 12 and so on…’

The nice lady on the Waterworld reception admitted that she didn’t know exactly what the Speedo swimwear sizes equated to in the real world. There was a brief pause. Maude explained the situation.

‘The thing is, I’m only buying a swimsuit because my husband caused me undue stress when we were leaving the house and I managed to leave my swimming costume at home. Everybody else has got theirs.’

Aurora and Casta pulled up their tops to show the lady their costumes. I looked on.

‘We could lend you a costume from lost property. They’ve all been washed.’

Waterworld has a wave feature. A young man makes an incomprehensible announcement each time the waves are about to start. The very young and the infirm – e.g. me and Casta – are advised to stay at the very periphery of the waves. The bigger children and the men with tattoos throw themselves into the artificial spume with gusto. I was reminded of our misguided trip to Centerparcs a couple of years ago, as Maude carried Aurora and strode into the waves in a borrowed lime green number.

‘Daddy can paddle at the edges of life – he’s good at that.’

Returning home felt like a retreat to sanctuary. Maude had told Aurora that her new cap from the garden centre looked ‘cool’.  I found Aurora in the bathroom teaching Casta how to sit on the edge of the bath in a ‘cool’ way.

‘No, no, no, no, no! Like this. This is cool’

Aurora perched on the edge of the bath and pulled the peak of her cap over one eye – chin resting in the palm of her hand as she awaited an imaginary photographer.

Casta tried to copy the attitude – forgetting that her  legs are significantly shorter than her sister’s.  I looked on from the door as she disappeared from view and fell into the bath.