Sunday 3 April 2011

Teenage Mutant Ninja Daughters

Cynicism on hold, dear readers. What could be more sweet and innocent than two daughters showing their Mum how much they love her on Mothering Sunday? Well, they may not be teenagers any more, but they're still capable of mutating into mental ninjas at the drop of a bandana, bless 'em. So it was, that with some trepidation, I returned to my ground state of token male at Tense Towers for a few days.

Saturday began peacefully enough, as Second Born went to a blues guitar workshop with JD, whilst First Born took Mum for a bit of retail therapy in town. Second Born returned mid afternoon, propped up her guitar in the lounge and promptly fell asleep. Riff Van Winkle, the ever-so-laid-back blues player! JD and I headed down to the local nature reserve, where we were overjoyed to hear recently-arrived Willow Warblers and Blackcaps in full song, as well as watching a flock of about fifty Sand Martins fly over. There was one fraught moment when JD nearly stood on a Comma butterfly, only my shouted warning bringing him to a full stop.

With the return of mother and First Born, we headed to a local restaurant for a meal. Second Born volunteered to drive as she's recently bought her first car, a bright red Peugeot, and is pretty "cab happy" at the moment. She announced to an unsuspecting world that her little motor is likely to be christened Donna, short for Donatello, as there's a turtle on her car key ring. First Born helpfully pointed out that the turtle wearing the red bandana in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wasn't Donatello. I held my breath, waiting for the inevitable thermo-nuclear reaction so beloved of close siblings, but miraculously, it wasn't forthcoming and everyone stopped cowering in their shells and gave a sigh of bas-relief. Back home again, a quick search of the internet confirmed that it was Raphael in red, whilst Donatello wore purple. In its way, this is rather appropriate, but that may just be perspectival illusionism on my part.

On Sunday morning, the girls fussed over their mum and we all enjoyed a cooked breakfast, before First Born headed home and Second Born headed back to bed, because this being awake malarkey is just so exhausting. As the weather was pleasantly mild, Our Lass and I nipped down to the reserve and caught a glimpse of a single Orange Tip butterfly as well as many Commas and Peacocks. The Cowslips are now in full bloom and in a few damp and shady spots we found Lady's Smock (Cuckooflower).

Cowslip, Primula veris
Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea
The afternoon was spent tinkering with Donna (not a sentence I envisaged writing when I woke up this morning), whilst Second Born read the workshop manual and responded to the occasional request for different screwdrivers.

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