My daughter had a combined family picnic and farm visit yesterday at school. I was going to be at the picnic and then heading home with my son for the farm part. His cold had escalated to include a lot more snot, coughing and moaning - so we figured it best to only bring him into contact with the entire neighborhood of five year olds whilst people were eating, and not during the farm trip. Besides - with the humidity and it being over 90 degrees I didn't think it was a great idea for him to go too. Oh - and it was his nap time at the same time. It was entirely coincidental that the England vs France game was on at the same time. Not a factor at all.
Anyhoo I managed to persuade the kids not to eat lunch at their regular time as they'd be eating stuff at the picnic. I had a small bowl of Irish Pleasure Cubes (that would be diced potato fried in butter...) knowing that it was likely the picnic food would be sandwiches/rolls crammed with massive amounts of deli meat. I don't normally eat a real lunch - preferring my legendary Arsehole Fuel (3 apples and 6 cups of coffee) to get me to lunch time. But lately I've been noshing on my own mix of nuts, coconut flakes, raisins, chocolate chips (sparingly) and almond flakes to satisfy any hunger cravings I might have that apples don't extinguish. My kids have started wanting to eat that too because it has chocolate in it - as well as coconut which they think is amazing. My son insists on chancing his arm at peanuts despite never once being able to not choke on them. Lately though I try to sneak my own little bowl of Herpes Nuts (that's what I'm calling them if they ever go commercial with a television spot declaring that "nothing spread like herpes nuts") and my kids have twigged and divied the contents up. My son gets the softer nuts (macadamia, walnut, cashews) and my daughter gets the raisins and anything that's in flake form. The chips get split evenly. Hence why I ate some potatoes.
The picnic was nice enough. It was held at a pavilion behind the town hall. Mind you - call me a square from the past (courtesy of Steart Lee obviously) but I think if you're hired by the town to mow the marquee property the town own you should probably not do it shirtless. Especially if people are there eating. Didn't put any of the kids off mind - and seemed to plant a seed in everyone's minds that udders would be seen quite a lot that afternoon at the farm. My son though didn't go to the farm yesterday. At the picnic beforehand he started to cough more, leak snot more and moan more. I'll have to have a word with him and tell him if he really wants to impress the ladies (or those fine portly American men in their impressive cut-off armless t-shirts) that he's not really supposed to spread those kinds of diseases. Oh no - he's supposed to call his conquests after the fact to let them know to op down the clinic.
Anyway - it's a 3 or 4 minute drive back from school and by the time we got back he was asleep. Which he struggled through - waking himself up repeatedly with that nasty coughing that you can tell really hurts your throat. I kept popping over to dab off the nasty thick green custard that was oozing out of his nose. I say dab - I really mean attach it to a tissue and then try to reel it in like a snot-marlin. Clearly the very end that leaked out was somehow intrinsically linked to the other end that was tickling his tonsils - like an enormous singular organism. Because if you tugged on the gunk he would choke-cough a little. Delightful stuff.
I then watched England play football and got a pang of homesickness. Sports and food can do that - although it doesn't happen all too often. But with the Olympics being in the UK this year I wonder if it will pop up a little more. I'm already craving the idea of sitting outside a pub in Bristol after/during work with coworkers. But with the Olympics I could share in my civic English nationalism of cheering on the underdog when it's clear that all the over-hyped self-declared world beaters have fallen by the wayside. Add I'm interested to see what we came up with for a distinctly British opening ceremony to rival that amazing Chinese one last time out. Frankly if a man dressed in a massive custard cream suit doesn't jump into a swimming pool filled with tea, then I think they've done it wrong. Still - at least here I can watch alarmingly biased American sports coverage where they thrust a microphone into the face of someone who finished second in a world competition and ask them if they are ashamed of themselves for failing after all that wasted effort.
After the farm thing my son cheered up and my daughter was so clearly overheated that their mother filled up the naff little pool with water and let them splash about to cool down.
Later on in the day I got the summary of the farm visit. Local cow farm - not very muddy - dog that wanted to play with everyone - bloody hot - milked a fake cow - cow's tongues are huge. My son then blurted out with a steely confidence, "cows lick the ladies." Quite an accusation. Just to be clear I gave him a few more minutes (basically to tackle a carrot he was munching on) and prompted him again. Yep - he still asserted that cows lick the ladies. Quite simple all I can assume is that he had the same idea I disturbingly reminisced about and had ordered some jazz-DVDs from Amazon that had that worrying content in it. Hopefully not though as after another few minutes an idea flew into his funnel and he held his finger up (the clear sign he has had either a eureka moment, or will be passing out new laws like Moses) and said, "Babies! Cows lick babies." Wow - he's like Frankie Boyle or Daniel Tosh - you think he's taken the joke to it's most disturbing avenue, but no - he's got one last twist to make it upsetting for almost everyone. Now - I've Googled that for you so that you don't have to. And it's innocent enough (page 5 had a few images that clearly had the tenuous link of beef curtains to my original search). And according to my daughter and some of the other kids who went to the farm - cows like to lick everything.Many fingers were slobbered on. And my daughter claims her leg was quite tasty to one cow.
This morning has been entirely different though. Right now my son is sat on me miserable and too hot. He's thrown up four times now. So we're sat at Puke Station One - my computer chair - as it is easy to wipe off and can be surrounded with a moat of towels if needs be. I'm on outfit three for the day - he's ruined two and I gave up replacing them after that. His mood is okay which is good. But he does seem to have a slight fever and anything that goes in comes out. But he wants to drink and steal his sister's bagel. A good sign I feel. And he's quite pleased that he gets to laze about in his underpants. That's one tiny step away from his absolute favorite outfit to have on in the living room. Hopefully it's just a terrifying thick-snot thing that makes him gag if he eats or drinks at the moment. I'm hoping it'll stop happening before it becomes clear my daughter is taking a stomach bug to school as a gift for the last week before the long summer vacation.
Quite the parting gift, I'm sure you'll agree.