Tuesday 10 August 2010


Today has been wet. The kids and I have sheltered inside, and climbed walls. As I type, it is still raining, and Mrs L is out again. Pining, I am sitting here concocting plans to wantonly burn brownie points as soon as humanly possible. Largely these involve Cornwall and sea-watching. Sea-watching is poor in Wanstead, and so requires going somewhere else. Somewhere else is mostly far away and expensive to get to. As I sit day-dreaming about rows of Manxies, a child appears. "Daddy, [insert other child's name] did [something bad] to me". Porthgwarra becomes even more appealing.

So I forget about Shearwaters and Petrels for a while, and go and get on with my life, which today can be summed up as a being a referee who also gets to clean the pitch. Four weeks to go....
How can I occupy them, what will keep them quiet for half an hour? These thoughts obscure thoughts of seabirds perfectly, and I get busy entertaining and clearing up.

The phone rings. It is Bradders with the latest gripping installment. He is currently lapping up rare sea-birds on Scilly, and so I end up thinking about south-west headlands again. As I plot, fighting breaks out once more. I send them to their rooms, and the boredom that ensues gradually draws them out onto the landing where they start playing nicely. I can concentrate on Procellariiformes once more. Bradders has seen Wilson's Petrel, his main target. Played for and got, so well done him. And two Great Shearwaters no less, doubling the number he has ever seen. Stonking views apparently, I should expect good photos. He had better be careful with the gripping, lest I feel the need to bring up rare Petrels....

But nevermind all that, all I want right now is some dry weather so that the kids and I can get out and let off some steam. The longer we're stuck indoors, the more trivial the arguments become. We want to play cricket. And football. And fly kites and stuff. We do not want to sit indoors getting on each others' nerves watching the rain pour down.

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