Fresh Air

Fresh air. Not to go all weird and dramatic on you, but people really do take Fresh Air for granted don’t they? Leona had reached her limit for sitting in a house covered in spots, so I decided to get us out and about for an hour or two. I am pretty sure she’s not contagious anymore, so we got the coats and boots on and ventured outside.

Now listen, I actually do like to take my kids out quite a bit. There are a lot of things that are free in this life. Parks, beaches, you don’t have to spend money. And I am the least out doorsy person I know, but it is good to get Fresh Air. We need air to live after all, and what’s even better than air? Yep. Fresh Air. 

So because I like to take them out to places other than school or the exciting world of shops, Leona actually looked around her in wonder. Like she has been covered in spots not just for a week , but five years. Her mouth was open as she gazed at the sky. And she just said….’Ah. Wonderful.’ 

The sun was shining, the rain had stopped for a day, and I couldn’t smell calamine lotion. It really was wonderful. 


They looked for shells and pretty rocks. Leona firmly believes there are pretty rocks. All I ever see are black and brown pebbles with seaweed on them but it’s nice knowing she finds them pretty. To each their own. 

“Yona, I found one, look at this shell!”
“Be careful with that Lex, it might have one of those living things in it.”

Lex drops it and shrieks. Leona calmly walks up, picks it up when he’s not looking and slips it into her pocket. Sneaky. 


He didn’t mind too much. He was having fun with his ‘noculas’ trying to read all the names of the ships in the docking bay. 

He has a brilliant imagination. 

Points at a ship. “That one was on it’s way to France but had to stop there because it got invaded by pirates.”
“Are you sure it didn’t just stop there because it;s a docking bay and it needs to unload it’s cargo?.”
Looks at me with distaste and firmly shakes his head. Points at another.
“That one was going to Africa but then it got invaded by zoo animals like in Madagascar and the Lion ate everyone who drived the ship so….”
Shrugs. No big deal. Points to another. 
“That one nearly sunk on it’s way to Africa, No… I mean…. America and then they put strong sellotape on the hole and that’s why it hasn’t sunk completely yet.”
I nod. 
“Ah so that one is the lucky one then.”
Shakes his head again. 
“No.. when it starts driving again to erm… India…. it will probably get eaten by sharks.”

Long pause as he thinks about this. 

“Yes. Sharks like the taste of strong sellotape.”

Anyway, that was that. We walked along and decided as it was freezing cold and February, to get an ice cream. This little ice-cream/burger/hotdog/tea/coffee shack that has been at this spot ever since I can remember was crowded by four men who didn’t look a day over 90, all enjoying a mammoth burger. After going through every flavour ice-cream with the shack man (Also about 90) , we concluded that he didn’t actually have any other flavours than vanilla. So he gave each of us two massive scoops of vanilla for a pound. Six scoops of vanilla for 3 quid. Just for all you Maths geeks out there. Fascinating I know. 

As we walked along eating them, we had to pass a couple who looked about my age with a little boy in tow. He only looked about a year and had clearly just learned the art of walking/falling to the ground in an exhausted heap. He was so sweet.

My kids started enthusiastically waving at him, shouting hi, expecting the tot to answer back. His kind Mum encouraged him.

“Aw look Benny! Wave at the children.”

Benny raises his hand to wave, but instead makes a grabbing thing with his hand.


The Mum starts laughing. Then runs back to the ice cream shack to get him an ice cream.

We saw them on our way back, and he was wearing the ice-cream rather than eating it, but then again, so was my son and he’s 5.

As we walked back past the shack, the shack man descended on us with his four buddies.

“Did you enjoy them kids.?”
They both say yes and thank you.
“You have it all over your face, that’s a sign of a good ice-cream!” He points at Lex. Then he looks at me.
“I see Mum didn’t make such a mess then.” He laughs again.

And me , being the idiot I am…. rather than accepting his compliment, I decided to show them my coat, splattered with vanilla ice cream. To which they howled with laughter, said we were welcome back any day because we are hilarious, and resumed eating yet more burgers.

As the littles had one last look for shells , or rather, as Lex found shells that Leona stole….. I took a picture.


Beautiful right? It totally looks like the scene from Ghost where Patrick Swayze goes up to heaven. At least… I think he goes. I can never see through tears at that point. One of the best films ever. RIP Patrick. 

But don’t you just look at that picture and think…. the world is beautiful. It really is. We get to show the kids stuff like this. People get too focused on the moans and groans these days. ‘Ew, muddy water, Ew, it’s cold.’ But we shouldn’t be focused on stuff like that. 

The water was peaceful and calm. And very English. What is an English beach without brown water?! The sky was clear and blue. The sun was shining. It was gorgeous. We had fun. 


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Inventing the world that's passing by.

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