Virused, outside

Some truths all little boys know in their bones. You can be blistered and crusty but the park still loves you. The best way to get over an achingly dull case of hand, foot and mouth is to get out in a gale and shout a lot. And it still counts as quarantine so long as there’s no one else there.

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We’ve been spending a lot of time in Goring and Streatley, lately. Not on purpose (inhabitants of Goring, you can rest easy in your beds). A couple of weeks ago the boys and I hopped on a train for a couple of stops, came off at Goring, admired the weir with a very tight grip on everyone’s wrist, and stopped in a cafe for hot chocolate. Last week Tim and I got an unexpected afternoon off when Tim’s mum popped in for a few hours, so we went back intending a country walk. It pelted it down five minutes into our opening swing competition, so we ran back to the same cafe and ate pastries instead.

Today – windy, bright, hotter than it’s been for months – we went back to the park with blistered boys hoping it would be deserted. It was. Isn’t it better to be quarantined here than at home feeling gross in front of an iPad? We think so.

PS, let me apologise in advance for the ludicrous number of photos in this post. The light was good, and crusty or no, I couldn’t narrow it down.

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Ted’s hair. My goodness. He’s like a newly hatched chicken, but twice as ridiculous.

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‘Boys, we’re going to go for a walk now. On the proviso that you DO NOT LICK ANYTHING’.

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Before we realised quite how hot it was going to be (i.e., very).

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How many ‘Henry runs with determination’ photos do I have? They are numbered as the sands of the sea.

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Spiderweb!

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(Hand, foot and mouth: you know where you can shove it.)

Quarantine

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Toddler illnesses teach me that I don’t do well cooped up inside all day. Does that make me a tiny little bit like the gypsy Esmeralda, but with not-so-fabulous hair? Do you think if I asked my hairdresser tomorrow for Gypsy Esmeralda hair, she’d be able to work with it? Never mind.

Henry’s on-again-off-again flirtation with hand, foot and mouth virus now seems to be definitely ON, FOREVER, IF DESTROYED STILL TRUE, and the NHS lady seemed to think this meant another spell indoors until my doctor can work out what on earth to do about it. So we cancelled outings again, stayed inside again, danced around with our underpants on top of our pyjamas, and generally wound each other up until we were ready to write rude things on the walls. Did I mention it’s been a week since this thing appeared? Oh, his poor swollen hands look like they’ve been scalded. It’s how I imagine Hermione’s hands to look after the Bubotuber pus incident, remember that? He spends all day with them clasped gingerly together on his lap, like a Jane Austen heroine in petticoats. It makes me sad.

Today, by 2.30pm, we’d had enough, and the two of us went up on the Ridgeway for a spell (Britain’s oldest chalk road, used by prehistoric man and, I assume, many people since). At least we could ramble there without touching other children. He had fun talking back to the sheep and licking chalk off stones, but asked to be carried twice. Definitely not on form.

I suppose if you’re going to be in quarantine anywhere, doing it here isn’t half bad.

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