These days, our mornings start with a phone call to my dad as I’m making Leila’s breakfast. We talk about anything and everything: history, politics, the environment, kittens, usually for half an hour before I have to go and get dressed, then we both do our teeth and I quickly do her hair (a side ponytail these days, with a bit hanging down the side that reminds me of some obnoxious Mouseketeer from the 80s). Then shoes (so much better now she has got some velcro shoes, sparkle grey with pompom “tails” and bunny noses on the front). Bag. Out the door.
That’s the most stressful bit. But after that we either skip down the road, looking at trees and things on the ground, and look for other kids and whether or not they are walking or running. The bus stop’s about a five minute walk down the road, and while we wait we can look out over the harbour and across to the city. If it’s not raining it’s really peaceful.
Then the bus comes, and she hops on and grabs a seat with her friends, and I’m waving goodbye but she’s forgotten all about me, the way it should be :)
The walk back home after she’s caught the bus is pleasant too. Sometimes I’ll see a neighbour walking their dog, and stop for a chat, or I’ll send Steve a quick text to say “made it!” It’s pretty brisk outside still: 8 degrees celcius this morning, but it’s a clear, sunny day, and I love walking under the huge oaks that tower over the street.
Back inside for the rest of the coffee I didn’t get the chance to finish earlier, and thoughts about what’s on for the day. Today’s the first day in a long while when I haven’t had something on. Yesterday I went and helped out with Leila’s class and their mini-field-trip to go do a “stream health study.” We looked at all sorts of different things: water temperature, clarity, presence or absence of algae, shade, bank support by plants and roots, how shady the stream was, what the bed was made of. They sketched the insects they found, and everyone included a drawing of a wine bottle that had somehow made its way downstream. And then, bonus: two shortfin eels, relatively small, which we fed pieces of ham and watched as they followed the scent to find the little pink squares amongst the rocks, every time.
It’s going to be a morning of writing, I think. I am still working on a short story about a girl and her magical cat (though at 9,000 words I think it’s becoming less and less of a short story), and I am trying to get my outline of Felathia into shape for the next draft. I’m trying not to reach over to the character sheet I made last night for Scratch Zaphod, a grizzled fisherman, plucked straight out of the rulebook for Scarlet Heroes. Last night I sent him off on a relaxing fishing trip, where you know things aren’t likely to stay relaxed for long.