David Beckham has not found himself the subject of my blog till now. I got home from the Jolly Sailor tonight (incidentally, at the bar, I heard people talking about meeting at the pontoon and the skipper, and they were chirpy, hence the name of the pub I assume), and needed to wind down after an exciting evening with some very old and dear friends. I turned on the multi channel options and found a programme about DB, and his recent move to LA. I was interested in his use of the word 'blessed' to describe how he and his wife felt to have children, and how he said that coming home to his kids, and picking them up from school were the best parts of his day. Interested that he uses such a religious language term as blessed, to describe his state as a parent. And interested that for many people who have nothing, coming home with the kids from school is the bit they dread, and dropping them off in the morning is the best bit of their day. But maybe if you really pushed underneath that, they would admit that their children were a blessing to them too.
Today I took H along to a open access play scheme at our local church hall, run by a community play charity. I remember my own painful experience of going to one of those play schemes as a child in Claygate, and feeling insecure and shy and small and lonely and getting the lady across the road to ring my mum to come and pick me up. And that was in Claygate. So, maybe H could smell my fear, but she was not keen. Maybe the incident with the boy with a knife at the door on the way in should have given me some indicators, but I have to say I would not have left my dog there unattended, even if it were a Bloodhound, let alone my child. The staff were nice and there were enough of them, but the top age kids of 11 seemed to be stretched upwards and there were too many 'big boys' being bling boys for me to feel comfortable, let alone H. We did a quiz on road safety and played table football, then left. Went to the library on the way home and started a holiday reading activity, where you get stickers for every book you read. Came home and stormed through 2, one on horses and one on a Topsy Turvey Family. I learnt a lot of new vocabulary about horse parts, and thought the Topsy Turveys were a good bunch.
Yesterday was a serious fitness and triathlon training day for the Bowens. I cycled to work and back, and in between went to the Quays for a family swim. Then in the evening went to NRG. Different instructor as Sarah is in Spain. I found out tonight that Sarah has been teaching aerobics at Bitterne for at least 20 years. That is dedication to Bitterne that deserves a medal, or freedom of the precinct or something. I stopped at Home Plus on the way home to buy some paper plates, as another aspect of yesterdays action packed day was our Girls God Gang party, complete with paddling pool, Cherry Bakewells and scotch eggs, as requested by the girls. R and the girls cycled to town to meet me for our swim and picnic at lunch time, and then cycled home again. H struggled with the uphill from sea level to 2000ft out of town towards home, and they walked almost all the way from Bitterne Station to the top of the hill near our road. But, will serve her well for the Ironman Triathlon I have her entered for next week!
On Monday I cycled to work, then to Weston, then home, most of that in the rain. And some of that was through Sholing. Didn't try anything cocky. Jut straight up Butts Road, no messing. On the way across the Itchen bridge there are lots of Samaritans plaques, as it is quite a suicide hotspot. I imagine most of those are cyclists on a whim deciding it is easier and less painful to jump than to keep your legs going until you get to the freewheeling bit on the other side. Weirdly, I freewheelingly overtook a guy on the downhill bit who was still madly pedalling. Watched the Tour de France tonight. They should try the Itchen bridge, not crummy little Alps, if they want really tough inclines.
This weekend was the Claygate Flower show. The weather was not as pleasing as is usual, with some big black clouds and even bigger sploshy rain showers, but some good bits in between. My courgettes would not have looked out of place, but not trophy winners. My dad won 8 cups for his fruit, flowers and veg. The girls entered some craft and pictures and won some sweets for taking part. I took R and I, girls from across the road, and I had a go at the sack race, but not a winner. We watched Punch and Judy - Punch needs some serious support work, as he kills his wife, baby and a police officer and a crocodile. We also watched a silly man doing silly things with a snake, had our faces painted - OK, not mine, and went on some of the fair rides. Obviously the fair people know that Claygate is at the higher end of the property price spectrum, and charge house prices for a go on the Waltzer. I looked in the property paper and found a lock up garage in New Malden that we could afford. And people ask why we don't move back!