I’m at Jump nation with the two younger Broccolis and it hilarious. It’s a giant tin warehouse full of trampolines; black bouncy squares edged with length of sky blue crash mats, it’s a massive matrix of joy. Jumping for joy nation it should be called. There’s kids and even some grown ups bouncing across the squares, bouncing off the walls, bouncing into each other and it’s full of laughter. I’m sitting on the ‘viewing balcony’ aka the upstairs cafe and I’m hoping they won’t chuck me out for not buying anything but I’ve got an excuse, I forgotten my purse.
My two are having the time of their lives and it’s making me laugh. They’re behind a bouncy, cushioned wall and must be bouncing alternately because as one head disappears another comes up. It’s like whack-a-rat!
We had a bit of an altercation yesterday, the younger Broccolis and I. The two week long school holidays are drawing to a close and I felt they had become a little, well, lazy. To be fair it must be difficult to find fun and adventure if you have no money or driving license and it rains a lot outside so it’s up to us as parents to introduce joy and happiness to their sorry little lives; it’s a tough job but not without its rewards. Honest, it does have rewards.
Joy of joys!!! The Durrells has been made into a series and it’s BRILLIANT. I loved reading the books when I was younger and boy am I loving watching the series!!!
If you’ve not seen it stop reading now, grab a brew, put your feet up and watch it on catch up.
If you have, isn’t it fab?! It’s an excellent portrayal of family life helped along by the stunning scenery of its setting in Corfu. I wish I had the guts to uproot my family and move to a Greek island. I nearly did. When I found out I was expecting the eldest Broccoli I was already to up sticks and run. Me and my baby would live happily in a little stone cottage, with sky-blue shutters, looking out over the ocean and avoiding any romantic entanglement with anyone called Stavros!
Fortunately the lonely life was not for me; instead I find myself juggling the emotions and affections of my family, my amazing family, and I wouldn’t swap it for the world.
But there’s nothing wrong with dreaming of endless blue skies, the gentle lapping of the waves on the sea shore, the laughter of my children as they play outdoors as the sun goes down and I sit, perfectly content, hand in hand with my love.
However I live in Manchester and it’s cold and wet and I’m running out of ideas. Or am I? If there’s one thing I’m good at its finding adventure in the simplest things, I just have to get out there and see what the day might bring. To hell with the cold and the rain, we’ve got wellies and waterproofs!
So I announce to my children that we are going on an adventure.
Eyes flicker up briefly from their screens.
“We’re taking a bus into town and going to the museum” I declare gleefully ” Then we’ll visit the art gallery, wander through the park and head to a cafe for deluxe chocolate milkshakes all round.”
Well I was excited.
Negotiations commenced as they often do in the Broccoli household and after much discussion we took the car.
“Why not the bus?” I asked of the youngest, most disgruntled Broccoli ”
“Because it smells, the floors covered in chewing gum and it’s full of mad people.”
The atmosphere is frosty on our way into town but we make it to the museum where I suddenly decide enough is enough; I’m so fed up with the slouching and lack of enthusiasm I take youngest Broccoli to one side and give him severe talking too. I tell him I would be more than happy leaving him in front of the telly for the next eight years, to live an utterly dull life, while I went and had lots of fun because that’s my choice!! Because my life is for living and that is exactly what I plan to do, live it, joyously!!!
I’m getting exasperated and I glare down at him. He looks back at me from under his floppy fringe
“Then what are you waiting for” he grins.
Honestly I could swing for him!
We head off and look around the stuffed animals deciding which animal we would be. I’d be a barn owl I decide. I would sit in the tops of tree and swoop around at night, hooting. We like the sea urchins too and we marvel at the fine detail on the butterflies wings. Then we find the tree frogs. We love these tiny creatures. Their shiny skin, tiny toes and beady eyes are perfect; we could watch them for hours and we do. Then one frog starts to climb the glass, slowly, surely, it doesn’t give up. He was right in front of people’s eyes but did they see him? No. They looked everywhere but right in front of them. But we saw him slowly climbing up, and up and up and we stood smiling, content to watch. We wanted to know what he would do when he got to the top. Would he leap backwards and land on the branch? Would he hang upside and travel across the roof? We wanted to know, we needed to know, we were captivated. Because what actually happens when you make it to the top?
Do you know what it did, that funny frog, when it got to the top? It stopped. It just stopped. Then it started to slide ever so slowly down the front of the glass. We were in pieces. This little creature just wanted some fun, it wanted to slide like my little Broccolis wanted to bounce. And sometimes that’s where the joy is, in the simplest things. Sliding, bouncing, rolling, laughing. It’s right there in front of us. We don’t have to climb to the top we’ve got it all, right here.
” But did you get the deluxe triple chocolate milkshakes?” I hear you ask.
Of course we did, right here, thick, delicious, indulgent and chocolatey. It’s the little things….