On Saturday, having given sufficient time for her vaccinations to take effect, we took Pippi out for the first time. We went to a playground, and the children played while I walked about letting her sniff and explore her suddenly expanded universe. Then, since the sun always seems to shine on the twelfth of July, we went to the beach. Pippi loved it. She tried to make friends with/harass a couple of tiny but ancient dogs we encountered, who had no interest in the feisty pup.
I took Lady and Thomas to meet up with all the rest of my clan on Sunday as my newest niece underwent the traditional ritual of baptism. This time, Duncan stayed at home with Gordon to look after Pippi. They enjoyed a peaceful day together and went on another massive bike ride.
I enjoyed a peaceful day too. Unlike when I'm at an event with Duncan, I was able to relax and chat without having to be constantly aware of where the children are and what they're doing. Lady did her usual Pied Piper thing and Thomas had a blast with his buddies.
My niece A. came to spend a few days with us. She's over a year older than Lady and they get on well. Knowing A's propensity to seek and rescue injured wild animals, bringing them home to recover, the only rule I stipulated was that she brought no animals to our house.
Monday was a holiday here. We went to the Transport Museum, which was a whole lot busier than when we usually go during school term time. As ever, Duncan enjoyed playing on the steam trains. In the picture, he's putting "coal" (handfuls of dust and stones) that he scraped from the bottom of the bunker into the "fire". He pulled the levers and adjusted the boiler, he checked the pressure and applied the brakes, his detailed commentary going all the while.
We all headed to the air travel section and all bar Duncan and I went in the flight simulator ride. Duncan jumped into the open door of the cockpit on the chopped-in-half bit of aeroplane. I took a quick sneaky photo before asking him to leave, because usually that door is closed and there's a "do not enter" sign on it. But he loved his minute behind the controls, saying he was the pilot of "Thunderbird number 2."
We headed over to the Folk part of the museum, and wandered around the countryside area, the girls being most interested in seeing some animals. They were more excited than I'd have thought appropriate when they spotted some sheep, then they spend 10minutes stroking a scrangly cat, and feeding a couple of horses and gooking at a few chickens. The olden day houses couldn't compete.
They did like the jail room in the police station.
So what delights did Tuesday bring? Well, we all headed off to the funfair. I left everyone with Gordon for a few minutes while I found a cash machine, and by the time I came back, the girls had "won" 3 teddies and a goldfish. See how well my "no animals" rule was adhered to! I didn't think they gave fish out at fairs any more. It seems cruel to me, all those children clutching plastic bags of fish. I wonder how many are alive at the end of the day, the fish, I mean.
I asked A. if she's swap the fish for a toy, but no, she had already bonded with it. When they wondered what to call it, I suggested Awkward, but they changed that to Aqua. I put it in the car, cause we couldn't exactly carry it around all day, or take it onto the rides.
Anyway, post-fish incident, we all went on few rides. Gordon and Duncan went on the dodgems and he loved it! I took him on the Twister (the swizzy double turning one) and we both screamed with delight as he was squashed against me. Thankfully, my knowledge of physics (!) meant I had chosen the squashee position; could you imaging my bulk pushing poor, wee, skinny Duncan?!
The girls were very brave and went on the MadMouse (Duncan's favourite to watch), the Shock Wave and the fast turning Big Wheel. Thomas enjoyed the bouncy slide, helter skelter (he was to scared last year) and the Caterpillar Coaster.
All in, we enjoyed the day. We stopped off for hot dogs, a few groceries and fish food. Contrary to my expectations, Aqua, who was transferred into my largest glass mixing bowl when we got home, is still alive today and seems to be well.