…for it has allowed me to finish my paper and submit it (Dot writes); but also, and more so, because Grandma is visiting, and life is better with Grandma. Last night Ken and I actually went to a play, for the first time since the Tuesday before Hugh was born. Yes, this might have happened sooner if we hadn’t prioritized (a) nice dinners and (b) cinema on our evenings off, but I am sure there would be more plays if there were more Grandma. The Arts Council should subsidize grandparents. We were rather chuffed, as it happens, to discover that there is a little theatre – in fact the converted upper room in a pub – in Clontarf, and we were able to walk there, see Faith Healer by Brian Friel while drinking Beamish (not as good as Ken’s homebrew), and walk back.
Earlier in the day we had gone to Newbridge Demesne near Donabate in the hope of visiting the open farm I’d heard they had there. In highly Irish fashion, the board at the park entrance and the board in the carpark gave different opening times but both told us the farm was closed. However, it was open, and it was absolutely excellent. Frank was extremely droopy yesterday – at the playground he sat quietly in the pushchair, which is a measure of how sad and limp he was – but he perked up a bit when we got to the chickens – lots and lots of them, many different breeds carefully labelled – and was positively lively around the goats, attempting to chase an imprudent small one that was wandering outside its pen. I recommend the open farm at Newbridge very highly; it was surprisingly cheap to get into and then there was loads to see, and in extremely pleasant courtyards and paddocks. The adventure playground at the other end of the carpark is also large, well-maintained and very good fun. So we are discovering more amenities of our new area, thanks to Grandma and the stimulus of her presence, and when it comes to open farms I think we’re rather better off than we were on the south side.
Today we went to the zoo again. Hugh whinged (he may be sickening for whatever Frank had), but I determinedly enjoyed this too. It’s a long walk round the zoo, though, especially running backwards and forwards after children and pushing a pushchair. About three quarters of the way round the African Plains Ken announced he was bored now, had sore feet* and wanted to go home. We still made him look at sea-lions, tigers and the reptile house afterwards. Once back home Hugh seemed to forget completely how whingy he had been and talked happily about which were his favourite animals (lizards, or possibly gorillas, or maybe the hippopotamus).
Alas, I have to go in to work tomorrow, and then Mum is leaving on Saturday. But it has been a happy week, and it’s not quite over yet.
*In fairness to Ken, it should be noted that he and I went for a run together this morning which he actually ran barefoot – not even in vibrams but completely barefoot. I think he is going to post soon to explain why.