Local Playground For Local People

We marked the first sunny day for a couple of weeks by visiting Marsden. After the inevitable ice cream, we walked up to the playground so G could have a go on the climbing frame and the swings. I realised as G was swinging quite how picturesque it was, and quickly snapped this photo.

If you recognise the white house on the hill in the distance, it's because Marsden was used for the far-away shots of the village in the League of Gentlemen. Sadly the local shop itself was only a piece of set. So, luckily for G, I've never forced her to go and look for it.

Bathtime Peekaboo

Mrs J has been busy with work a lot over the past couple of weeks, so I've been doing G's bathtime quite regularly. Whenever she comes out of the bath, she insists on doing this. "Where's G gone?" she says, referring to herself in the third person. She's got work to do before she's ready to take on a game of hide and seek.

Fairground Ride

G had her first go in a fairground ride yesterday. We went over to Marsden for the Cuckoo Festival, and G led us away from the centre of the village to where there were a few rides set up for little ones. She first looked like she fancied one which involved her sitting down and being gently whirled around, but she decided against it once she'd got strapped in.

She was much happier when she got into this little spaceship thing, with Mrs J there behind her. There were lots of big smiles every time she came round, even though I think she was a bit small for it really. Rollercoaster next year.

Doorstepping The Nursery

Mrs J is away on business for a few days, and with me teaching every day, I've basically become one of those working single parents I keep reading about. At least temporarily.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has turned out to be quite hard going. The picture shows us doorstepping G's nursery yesterday morning, waiting for it to open at 7:30am. I wasn't able to get back to pick her up until ten hours later, a much longer nursery stint than normal for G. She couldn't possibly have known it, but by the way she was looking at me, I could tell that she understood something fishy was going on.

Later on, after getting in, doing tea, giving G her bath and then putting her to bed, I didn't have much time or energy for anything else. It makes me wonder quite how single parents who work full-time manage to get everything done. I can handle it for a week, but I don't think I'd fancy it for too much longer.

Down By The Water

I've got a mix CD in the car which has Down By The Water by The Decemberists as the first track. Over the last couple of weeks, every time we've got in the car, G has insisted I play it over and over again while she sings along. Whenever it finishes, she gives herself a cheer then says "Down by water song! Down by water song!" until I put it on again. At least it's a suitably good and trendy record for her to like. Thankfully, we've mostly been doing short journeys, otherwise I'd probably have got thoroughly fed up of it by now.

Obviously, G usually does the Gillian Welch part while I do my best Colin Meloy impression. I've spared you my singing on this video though. It was taken by Mrs J on our way back from the shops earlier, in case you were wondering how I was able to drive and film at the same time.

Easter Cakes

G went through another rite of passage over the Easter weekend, as she made chocolate rice crispy cakes with Mrs J. She'd already brought one home from nursery, and seemed to know a lot about what to do. Here she is standing on a chair and dishing the mixture into the cases. Much to her disapppointment, we didn't let her eat them all.

Sliding Backwards

G has been a regular user of our local playgrounds for quite some time. She's always particularly enjoyed the slides, of which there are three in the playground in Uppermill.

But sliding down in the conventional fashion is no longer enough. Whenever she's at the top, instead of sitting down and sliding normally, she now turns around, lies flat on her tummy and slides down as shown in the picture. "Turn around!" she announces happily every time. She's yet to find the words to explain to me exactly why she does it, though.

Chips At The Lake

The sunny weather continued all last week, and on Thursday I took G for a day trip to a couple of nearby places. We started off at Hollingworth Lake, a reservoir which doubles up as a mini-seaside resort for local people who can't be bothered to go all the way to Blackpool.

This being a mini-seaside resort, I treated us to a mini-cone of chips as a snack. Walking across the road from the chip shop to the lakefront, G managed to trip over and fall in the car park. The hot weather meant I'd not bothered giving her any tights, and as I did my best to pick her up without dropping chips all over the place, I realised G was probably going to have the biggest grazes yet on her little knees, another one of those toddler rites of passage.

But as it turned out, they were just a bit red. She was soon happy again after a few chips, although walking along the promenade involved a bit more carrying and a bit less actual walking than I'd imagined.

We drove on to Todmorden for lunch, which G ate in typical style. Forget the magic sponge, for G the best cure for any ailment is clearly a big snack.