it's eight o'clock and just starting to drizzle
i offer woodle a choice
'bike or car?'
'bike, daddy, bike!'
i head for the garage to track down all the waterproofs
i give woodle's bike a quick once over
the tyres are a bit flabby but they will do
the handlebars are oddly loose
and require a few turns of a wrench
i finally realise my plan back in december
to raise the saddle three or four inches
to accommodate those long spindly legs
and get more mileage out of each peddle
my own wafer-thin brake blocks will have to wait until later
despite the cold steady drizzle
it feels good to be heading out together
for the first time in months
as we cross the bridge by the lake and start uphill
we spot something yellow catapulting up from the riverbank
'did you see that?'
a green woodpecker flashes across our field of view
to alight on the trunk of a small tree
woodle and i are both thrilled
as the woodpecker clings to the trunk
we can make out the green body and cheeky red face
later on near the boating lake
we see a flock of canada geese with one lonely white goose among them
how has this white sheep come to join the flock?
the suburban gardens of bournville offer up small clumps of snowdrops
for our pleasure
'you wouldn't see all these interesting things from a car' i crow
for once i'm not losing the argument and woodle happily agrees
the carillon is ringing in nine o'clock
we are late
and i watch as hannah climbs the steps
under the disapproving eye of the headmistress
but what better learning experience can a young child have
than getting themselves to school while woodpecker spotting?