We asked writers to keep a diary of their day on July 24 for the York 24/7 project. Jayne Dwyer is enjoying quality time with her youngest
I’m into the second week of my holidays and know I need to spend today on my allotment so that I don’t work, when I should be relaxing.
Somehow, I’ve convinced the youngest, who at 14 is taller than me, to come along. We set off on the bikes and within seconds he has made it into a race I cannot win.
My basket is full: flask, herbal teas, a piece of coral (originally from the Great Barrier Reef and now destined for a herbaceous border, south of Holgate) and my notebook (just in case I change my mind and want to plan a year of lessons).
The basket wobbles. I wobble. My son has been watching the Tour de France. He laps Poppleton Road several times before I reach the Fox.
His company at the allotment is something of a privilege and he attaches some unspoken regulations: he doesn’t get involved with weeding (or digging, hoeing, planting, mowing etc). He waters my seedlings with such finesse that I discreetly have to re-plant them later. Boys like water so watering is OK.
To have his company, I have to play several games. I don’t really mind but it’s tricky trying to catch the shuttlecock with an armful of onions.
Once he remembers how bad my co-ordination is, he starts a game of knocking the soggy tea bag from off the arm of the folding chair. “Watch! Can I do it? Watch!” Thankfully, this game lasts a nanosecond as his co-ordination is very good, so we “talk” instead. We have a quiz, in which he is the quiz master. This is the one opportunity in the day I have to show him what I’m made of.
He asks me how many grams in a small pack of MAOAMs.
“Twenty-two?” I suggest. And he is suitably astounded.
“How on earth do you know that?”
“I’m good with weights and stuff,” I say. I have no idea.
He rides off, back home to the Xbox 360, no doubt timing himself as he goes. I ditch the trowel, sit down, get out my notebook and plan a year of lessons.
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