My Dad called around just after lunchtime. Lady and Thomas were at the leisure centre for summer scheme, so only myself and Duncan were at home. We decided to go for a walk after having a cup of tea, but there came an almighty shower of rain. Ach well, we thought, it's only rain. What do you expect in Ireland. I took a couple of raincoats for myself and Duncan, packed Pippi's poop pick up bags and off we went, 3 humans and a dog. Or rather, since Duncan was categorising his family members as either human or elf yesterday, one elf, two humans and a dog.
It's a fair way to the town, taking an hour of fast walking to get there. Once there I lost sight of the boy for a while as it became more crowded and there were many more options of places he could go to. I ran to catch up (phew) and it turned out he was still tootling along merrily on the coastal path right to the town centre. He had a target in sight- the shop that sells half price ERTL Thomas the Tank trains.
A well placed ice cream van impeded our progress for ten peaceful minutes. Then on to the shop which provided one pretty little Bluebell steam engine. They sell cuckoo clocks there too, except that instead of a bird, they each have a farm animal pop out. The staff recognise Duncan now and always set off the clocks for him to enjoy, which is kind.
Dad waited outside with Pippi, who as usual attracted lots of positive attention. While she barks lots at anyone arriving at out house for the first minutes they're here, she is always impeccably behaved when we go out. She sat and enjoyed the adulation and strokes.
Then on to the park to wait a while until summer scheme finished. We were diverted again for a while to watch a breaker machine tearing up the road in massive chunks. Then I took Duncan into the library to use their facilities, he left his scooter very neatly against the bike rack. Then he raced off again to "the green grove", a rose covered walkway. Dad and I sat on a bench and watched him race about. He went into the play park for a while. I hovered nearby as usual, the park was full of younger children and I needed to be sure he was careful enough. He got on the roundabout with a little girl and pushed it around slowly until she got off then he sped that mother round like it was going to drill into the earth's core. He went on a see saw with a boy whose mum said they were over for the week and live in San Francisco (where Gordon is right now, and loving it!). She remarked that playgrounds here are rather more dangerous hence more fun that in the USA.
By then we had to go to meet the others. Duncan was fading a bit, finally all that exercise was taking a toll. We reached the leisure centre and walked to the train station. I was told that I couldn't take Pippi on without a carrier. Nooo! I was knackered by then and didn't relish the idea of walking home. The inspector went to ask the train's guard if he'd allow a one-off exception and thanks be, he said yes, so long as Pips didn't go on the seats. No problem there, I just held her on my lap. I will buy some sort of light collapsible carrier for future use.
We said bye to Dad on the train as he carried on the his house. Home again at last, and time to get the dinner on.