Wednesday, 22 September 2010


it's rush-hour but we're in no hurry
the woodle and i are plodding happily down the lane
hand in hand
as we enter the park the dew-soaked grass sparkles in the sunlight
we debate the route:
straight on across the bridge and up past the kiddies playground
or around the lake and across the muddy patch by the motorcycle barrier
thinking of my shoes i bend to the woodle's request
and take the crunchy gravel path skirting the lake
keeping one eye out for freshly fallen conkers
it's time to start off a general knowledge quiz:
name four birds that we often see on the lake
woodle takes the question in her stride:
canada goose, swan, brown duck (mallard) and...
(just then we meet a small red-beaked bird hobbling painfully beside the path)
we stop to watch the injured bird with curiosity
then, unable to help, continue through the gap in the fence
we pass bill's house on the corner
and cross the soulless mock-tudor housing estate
where half the properties seem to be for sale or to let
the bristol road is a blur of impatient traffic
grimacing car-owners tightly focused on their school runs or commutes
we imperiously stop the traffic under the protection of the green man
before disappearing through another gap in another fence
back into the mysterious labyrinth of the bournville village estate
i belatedly resume the general knowedge quiz
even though the woodle's not really up for it today:
which country do volkswagen cars like ours come from?
clue: it's a european country beginning with 'g'
another clue: ivan and ruby's mommy grew up there
now we trip the light fantastic through bournville park
then a laurel and hardy moment:
a family of helmeted cyclists get amusingly tangled up with an elderly couple and their dog
the woodle's bag is getting heavy so i offer to carry it
the school entrance mills with well-to-do mums and their dawdling offspring
at the bottom of a steep flight of stone steps
under the watchful eye of the carillon
i kiss my darling daughter a fond farewell
and retrace my steps through the meandering green lung of bournville

1 comment:

  1. Glad the hear that the school run is in the spirit of the slow lane!