On Cucklington Weald
We went for a family walk on the weekend; not a common occurrence. Tom prefers to walk alone, or at the most, with Brenda for company, so that he can indulge in a bit of Dreamtime, unsullied by talk of his future career or when he is going to erect a slide for the children. I, meanwhile, am left poking snails with a stick or feigning fascination in a road drain with the children, who progress so slowly down the lane you could read the whole of War and Peace in the time it takes them to reach the postbox ( our usual destination). But this time it was different. I felt it in my bones that Tom should come for a walk with us - the last time he had done so was in 2005. Certainly we had a massive argument before he would even consider it. My main objection was to be sole carer for two bicyclists neither of whom can bicycle. When one is bawling having careered off into a hedge, you need help with the other one who has got off and decided to walk home. So it was
that Tom was experiencing the joy of pushing the back of a hot, cross child up a one-in-three gradient, when suddenly Brenda started scrabbling around on the verge. Within seconds Tom was beside her cooing in a voice softer and gentler than I had ever heard issuing from his ruby lips; "Goooo on, Goooo on," he coaxed, barely audible. Three seconds later he held in his outstretched hand his treasure. His eyes gleaming he stood, silent, upon a peak in Cucklington. "I think this could be an extremely rare truffle," he announced, gravely. "I'm sorry but I must go back and call the Press."