A walk! On our own! As adults!
It was a bit strange. We don't often use a push chair so, usually, at some point, I have a child sitting on my shoulders and firking away at my ear canals like a Madagascan Aye-aye after grubs in rotting wood. But this time I was free, free I tells ya, and I felt like Atlas after he'd been told he can take the afternoon off and let Jeebus carry the world for a bit.
We went into shops and things remained roughly as they were before we went in. Doors were not pushed open, cupboards remained closed, tills unmolested and stock not scattered hither and, in some cases thither, across the aisles. No-one in Millets was loudly informed that "Daddy has got a willy-beard", which is the price one pays for using the family changing room at the swimming pool.
It was all rather marvellous.
And to top it off, we went for a pint. In a pub. Together like a real couple, and had beers which were suitably segregated into gender-specific types; a pint of standard driving bitter (3.7 % ABV) for me, and some strange, expensive European strawberry-enhanced beer for the good lady.
It was such an unusual event that I even took a pic:
We were like teenagers again, trying each others beers, making faces at the others lack of taste. I manfully got the round in and then winced because the strawberry beer was two quid for half a pint. This might not seem a lot if you're reading this in the future - actually, that's fairly certain, but I mean the more distant future - but right now, in 2009, it's the price of an expensive drink, so you can take that smug oh-weren't-they-cute-in-the-old-days grin off your technologically advanced fizzog and go back to your space credits, titanium trousers and pong.
It was all very civilised.
The whole situation was as unusual an occurrence as a very forced simile. In fact, it was almost as unusual as seeing a tapir, dressed in a World War Two Luftwaffe outfit, trying to mount a unicorn whilst reading Tennyson in Braille near the urinals.
That's how unusual it was.
After a thoroughly enjoyable libation in the aforementioned hostelry, we meandered back through the town towards our waiting parentmobile, ready to
On the way back there was even an odd bit of art work for us to look at. Someone had made some cellophane hands and stuck them to a post in the street, for reasons that were unknown (and, frankly, probably uninteresting) to us, but it was an interesting distraction and you know what I'm like when it comes to interesting distractions *waves excitedly and shouts 'blog pic'!*:
So it was with refreshed minds and lubricated oesophagi that we made our way home, and thus hopeful for a repeat event at some point in the not too distant future.
The whole episode made us greatly appreciate something that, just a few years ago, we would probably been fairly blasé about.
Not sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing really. I'm going with . . . good!