My daughter has had chickenpox and couldn’t go to nursery this week, so I stayed off work for a couple of days to look after her. She hasn’t had any symptoms apart from the spots so we were able to spend a day together visiting Golden Acre Park in the Leeds sunshine. It was great.
I helped her get the hang of her pushbike which she’s not had much chance to ride since Christmas because of the bad weather. We fed the ducks. We watched goslings and ducklings following their parents. We sat on benches. I answered “what’s that?” a hundred times (“a fir cone”, “a spider on his way home to his wife and family”, “squirrel poo”… and so on). We saw Max the cat. Max is ten years old and decided to move to the park from Cookridge for a better life. He has thyroid problems and is awaiting a second operation, but very happily wanders around the gardens, cat-napping in the big greenhouse on colder days and being stroked by visitors, including us. We watched the fish swimming in the indoor garden pond, with flowers I don’t the names of reflected in the water. We bought ice creams, sat on the grass in the sun, and then drove home. She fell asleep in the car on the way.
There were mainly two types of people in the park that day. Retired people, some with grand-kids, some without. And well-spoken mums with their well-spoken kids. I didn’t see many dads. Perhaps they were all at work.