Hey, you: it’s sunny. Let’s go outside.
I cannot tell you how giddy I get when it’s warm enough to let go of winter coats. It hasn’t been for months. I saw the sun streaming through the window this morning as I listened to Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van – a joyous, funny, bittersweet thing, by the way, and worth reading if you can’t get hold of the radio version – and still took us outside wrapped up in scarves and jackets. Then I realised we didn’t need them. And did a little dance, I think. It’s a bit hazy.
We picked up our fabulous playdate friends and drove to Bucklebury Farm for the afternoon. Hollie is one of Henry’s favourite people – she’s the only person he’ll willingly hold hands with, at any rate – and Meg is definitely one of mine. Incidentally, Bucklebury Farm is just down the road from the Duchess of Cambridge’s parents, royal fans, though Kate and William didn’t grace us with a visit. Must’ve had a previous engagement.
We fed deer, Shetland ponies, donkeys and tiny lambs (me from a pregnancy-appropriate distance), and then somehow ended up trapped in a pen with three hungry goats, a few guinea pigs and a giant rabbit. Henry was insistent that the littlest goat wanted to give him a piggy-back, despite all evidence to the contrary. When that didn’t work, he wandered over to let the huge goats chew his hair, and enjoyed it so much he headbutted them twice more before I managed to pull him away. After that, thankfully, the nice farm worker let him ride in the tractor for a bit. Thus making his entire year and beyond, and saving the little goat from some serious chiropractor appointments.
The playground and bouncy castle went down equally well. I had to promise Daddy and dinner and five yoghurts before he was happy to come back to the car and take his wellies off. And he spent dinnertime reenacting his bouncing technique for us, which made it harder than usual to get shepherd’s pie into his mouth.
It is the loveliest thing to spend time with people who are easy to talk to. Conversation is not one of my skills, so it’s a huge relief when you just click and it’s effortless. Especially when not even one of you is wearing a winter coat.
(I think I’ve just found some goat spit in my hair, FYI.)