On Sunday, I took my young friend Katie to the service at St Helena's Church (Katie claims to like the songs they sing there, and the peaceful atmosphere). Afterwards she had a couple of biscuits, and spoke to a few people who evidently found her delightful, and then we walked to the nearby Municipal Park. There's a playground with plenty of interesting things to climb on, but the day was warm and there wasn't any shade, so five minutes was plenty of time.
She suggested we go and look at the birds in cages nearby. They always make me feel rather sad - birds should be free, in my view, not sitting in small, hot cages. The peacock displayed his tail proudly, and Katie thought it would make a good photo:
I preferred this picture of Katie herself, who will soon be six and is growing up rapidly:
We heard some music being played, so we walked to another area of the park, to see some kind of event being set up. Then we walked home - the rest of her family were at another church service that morning.
I don't often spend time with Katie on her own, so it was fun to be able to read her a couple of chapters of 'The Folk of the Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton (one of my very favourite books as a child) without interruption, followed by some watermelon to cool us down a bit, and then, for variety, a few chapters of 'Sophie Hits Six' by Dick King-Smith. That's one of the books that wasn't around when I was a child, but which I very much enjoyed during my sons' childhood.
Two days later was the regular Tuesday morning slot when my friend Sheila comes over for a couple of hours with Katie, Helen and Elisabeth. We started doing this about a year ago when the local Mother and Toddler group (which I used to help at) stopped running on a Tuesday.
Katie and Helen asked for some pictures to be printed - sometimes I very much appreciate the immediiacy of the Internet! - which they coloured; Katie is gradually decorating their room with nicely coloured pictures of animals, princesses and other subjects that appeal to her.
I read a couple more chapters of Faraway Tree, and also read a couple of picture books to Helen. Elisabeth played with Lego - she's been fascinated with it for several months now; of course we have to keep an eye on her as she's technically two years too young to play with Lego, but we keep the tiny pieces away from her.
Then Helen remembered the bubbles which I was given on my birthday over a year ago... we've finished two of the six bottles so far. They have been very successful! So out they came... Elisabeth (who will be a year old in a few days) is fascinated by bubbles:
And Helen, who is two-and-three-quarters and still seems to consider me her best friend, has recently learned to catch bubbles on the wand: