Archive for February, 2015

Half-term holiday

An idle start to the half-term holiday became much more active when we drove north to St Andrews. On the first day there, after a trip for Robin and me to the barber, we played badminton. Half-court singles and then doubles. Gabe and Robin played a tight match with Gabe lying on his back close to the net and Robin limited to hitting the shuttle-cock into the front portion of the court.

On day two, the boys and I played tennis. The sun was low and stingingly bright. After some rallying, we played two-game matches. Robin, flailing his racket and rushing around the court, frustrated Gabe by breaking his serve. Cousin F’s arrival in the afternoon brought garden football and a gymnastics routine with Eliza.

On day three, Robin and Eliza (reunited as pals), went swimming together. The first time they had been in a pool without an adult. Meanwhile, Gabe and I played a keen match of table tennis on a squash court.

With Grandpa aiming to sell the house, it may be our final stay in St Andrews.

Football party revisited

Robin and Gabe

Two years on and Robin wanted another football party. Significantly for me, but insignificant to the action, he wanted not only Gabe, but me to play. The play was skilful, fast and furious and, as I’ve seen at these parties in the past, verging at times on the reckless.

Robin and Gabe were on separate teams and tussled regularly throughout the match. Neither got the better of the other and they always battled fairly. These events always end with a penalty shootout. Robin’s increasing enjoyment of goalkeeping showed as he volunteered to keep. He didn’t have much success in the wide goal, but had the sensitivity to dive over the shot from his one friend who doesn’t play regularly.


Sarcasm is Eliza’s new tool, wielded at all of our expenses, but most assiduously at her younger brother. The days of their happy mutual absorption have perhaps gone. Relatively trivial, but an example of how she can treat him, came on the walk to school. Robin was talking excitedly about our summer holiday. When he began mentioning the food we might eat in France, for example “sausages!”, he received a sharp putdown from Eliza, “you only eat one kind, so you won’t like them.” Robin isn’t yet rising to the bait.