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Friday, 24 May 2013

On Dingly Dells and Faraway Trees and my Weary Bottom

Stay with me, says Giant Boy, I think I may die if I go to sleep.

And so, the decision for the day is taken out of my hands.  Giant Boy has a cold.  He has a high temperature, and dreadful sore throat and ears, and needs his mummy.  Mummy, making the right decision, instantly, gets another duvet and some big fluffy cushions from her bed, and makes herself a nest on his sofa in his room.  Mummy, before she gets into her nest, gets her laptop, a large plate of toast and jam, and some earphones. It is only right, she says, as she gets comfortable, that a mother is there for her child.  Giant Boy is 16.

I woke very early today and fell out of bed onto my bike.  Oh it doesn't matter, I told myself, if I go on an early morning bike ride in my pyjamas.  My pyjama bottoms are too noticeable though, and by the time I ride home there would be enough traffic on the roads for someone to notice and not take me seriously.  So I put on my jeans, a coat over my pyjama top, and was out in the byways and hedgerows by 5.15.  It was cold this morning, cold and rainy.  I did not feel the same buzz as I had felt on other mornings when the sun was shining, I did not feel that I was a glorious mote, dancing in the sunshine of life.  I felt that I was a pudding in pyjamas struggling against the odds to have a meaningful early morning bike ride in the cold and wet, despite it being theoretically midsummer next week.  "Bah!"  I said, and continued.

I remembered a leafy path, turning off the main road (main in this case means quite a busy back road at rush hours, surrounded by farms and hedgerows and often held to ransom by tractors going mental at 15 miles an hour), about five miles distant, and in a moment of inspiration, I made for it.  What a good decision!  The leafy track was narrow, winding and filled with wild flowers.  The whole nature of my bike ride changed;  I became an explorer, a feisty heroine in an Enid Blyton book.  No longer cold, the rain now making my hair interesting and wild instead of plastered onto my head and silly, I followed a track and a sign to some barns in yonder distance. Rattling happily over bumpy fields on my bike, smelling the most wonderful wild flower smells, I not only found the barns (very nice), I found leafy tracks and exciting paths that led this way and that, to villages that I had never heard of.  "What is this!" I cried to the rabbits loping off across the fields in the rain, "what are these mysterious places?  If I go down these lanes and across these fields, will I be going over the hills and far away?  Will I find a Dingly Dell under the Faraway Tree, and will I ever come back?"  Well, I did go down those lanes, I did bounce and wobble across those fields, I did see birdies in the hedgerows, I expect I did see Dingly Dells and Faraway Tress, and I did come back.  I arrived, an hour and a half later, at my front door in Bognor Regis.  By that time, my fingers had more or less fused onto the handle bars with the cold and rain, and it was a good while before I got them off, and my front door open.

I argued with myself a little on the ride.  I am so tired, I told myself, I long for a day of dozing and dreaming.

"You have work to do!"  Said the stern voice inside that likes to get things done.

"You have work to do and if you don't do it, the whole world will end", said this voice with great authority.

"Oh well", I said as I cycled past the wonderful old houses still in their original grounds, with crumbling and magnificent walls around them, hidden deep in the countryside where they were once placed to be remote and rural and surrounded by nature, "Oh well.  I will just have to drag my weary bottom into the studio and start the ball rolling."

But lo!  On checking Giant Boy at 7.30am, I found him crimson with fever, and filled with moribund thoughts.

"Stay with me!" he managed to say, his giant arms flailing around my neck, "or I may die!"

"Righto,"  I said, and made myself comfortable on his sofa, and here I am.  A day of dreaming and dozing is mine after all.  The world will not end, I am doing my motherly duty, and am keeping my boy from slipping  into the next world by snoozing on his sofa. My weary bottom is in its rightful place, and tomorrow, oh tomorrow!  It is a whole Other Place.

1 comment:

  1. This has come through to my work! Very impressive. You are a very good writer.