Here in the Independent Republic, the weather's bright, sunny and a little bit sneaky. It looks summery from inside, but outside it's freezing. Siberian. Nevertheless, last Sunday I decided it was a perfect day for a picnic, so I dusted off my bike, packed my ginger beer and cycled to Steve's for a baguette.
Ferry Road was buzzing. The shops were busy and friends and neighbours queued outside the bakery. Top tip - if you want to move onto the beach, mosey on down to Ferry Road on a sunny weekend and sample the atmosphere. You'll be so impressed with the relaxed and friendly natives that you'll think the house prices are reasonable. Anyway, lots of hellos later, I peddled off to find a quiet spot on the beach, which was surprisingly easy. Which brings me to my second top tip, if you're planning to have a picnic in two degrees centigrade, you'll need a hat, gloves, scarf, winter coat, mat, wind break, hot water bottle and emergency space blanket. Alternatively, wait until May.
Thinking of which, I regard butterflies as summery, cheerful and inoffensive. I thought most people felt the same. Apparently not so.
Picture the scene. Bedtime in the Coward household and our four year old is snuggled up in bed drinking his milk and cuddling his favourite teddy. We've just finished Jack in the Beanstalk when he hands me his empty beaker and announces,
"Butterflies are stupid."
"Butterflies are stupid. Butterflies are stupid. Butterflies are stupid."
You know sometimes there's no point explaining, you just have to imagine that you're somewhere else. I imagined being curled up in front of the fire sipping a glass of wine, then he paused.
"But sharks aren't stupid. Sharks are dangerous. Especially sea sharks 'cos they can bite you."
Hang on, whilst I was reading, he was comparing the merits of butterflies and sharks. Should I encourage this sudden interest? I gingerly dipped my toe in,
"Yep, sharks are dangerous but butterflies aren't stupid because.."
"No they're not, they're stupid. Butterflies are stupid."
I was tempted to mention pollination, and all that malarkey, when I suddenly remembered that it took two days to convince him that I'll was short for I will, and that was only after the teacher drew a diagram.
"OK. Butterflies are stupid. Shall I read "Smelly Bill?"
What poor parenting! I hear you cry, and I did mull over my cowardice as I sipped my wine and channel surfed. Would I have gone back and changed it? Not on your nelly. It's taken a while, but I've learnt that parenthood is a battle of wits. You have to be one step ahead of your enemy or you'll end up getting into a discussion about whether women have breasts or man-boobs. Don't ask.
Ta-ra for now. Thanks for popping by and I'll see you next week.