Saturday, 27 October 2007

The Child Within

A few nights ago, eldest son came home in the cherry picker. He parked it on the drive, as middle son drew up in his car, alongside him. I watched them chatting from the window. On observing middle son's face light up, I guessed the nature of eldest son's question. When I next looked out of the window, a few seconds later, the 2 of them were high in the air, in the cherry picker, way above the rooftops, grey, cloudy sky as their backdrop.

A little while later, as I sat in the living room, with middle son, eldest son and eldest son's girlfriend, Kirsty, the doorbell rang. I hoped that it wasn't anyone wanting to see me, as I was wearing my old clothes, and was on the verge of plunging a teaspoon into a delicious chocolate mousse I'd had a fancy for.

Eldest son went to the door, and I heard a female voice. Suddenly, the living room door opened, and a petite blonde lady hurried into the room, smiling, extending her hand towards me and introducing herself as Sophia, Kirsty's mother. I invited her to take a seat, and watched with mild curiosity, as she joined me on the sofa, whilst talking incessantly, appearing to breathe through her ears. It was very nice to meet her, but I couldn't help wondering why she had suddenly decided to call by.

After a few more minutes everything became clear. Kirsty and Sophia both wanted to go up in the cherry picker, but they couldn't do it at their house, because of overhead wires.

When my husband returned from work, we were all in the process of gathering outside the front door, in anticipation of having a ride in the cherry picker. We chattered excitedly, whilst Kirsty was first to disappear up into the night sky. Sophia was second to go and my husband went up before he had even changed out of his suit. Everyone then turned to me, to ask if I was going up, too. Not wanting to miss out, I hauled myself up into the cage of the cherry picker, with a little help from my eldest son.

I shivered in the cold, clear evening air, as the machinery whizzed and whirred, taking us closer to the velvety blackness above. I looked out over the rooftops at the crescent moon, hanging low in the sky and wondered vaguely what the neighbours would do, if any of them happened to open their curtains and look out. Perhaps they would complain to the residents' association, or rush out to join us in the hope of having a ride. Fortunately, my questions remained hypothetical, due, presumably, to the efficiency of modern double glazing, as our escapades passed unnoticed. In the short space of approximately 20 minutes, peace and quiet resumed in the cul de sac and we returned to the house for a warming drink.

So, why were we all so eager to go up in the cherry picker? The general excuse seemed to be that we wanted to admire the view, but we were all aware that the view from a cherry picker would not compare to that from the London Telecom Tower, for example. If not for the view, then there could only be one other explanation - this being that: the excitement generated by a new toy does not necessarily diminish with advancing age.

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