This week is officially 'Walk to school week' at
Rosa's school. Great. I love the idea.
I didn't love it so much in London when it was a twice-daily event that involved dragging two reluctant children the length of three streets, up a flight of concrete steps, through an estate and across a busy road - especially when one child wasn't even attending the school, didn't see why he should be dragged there too, refused to be strapped in a buggy anymore and ended up being carried against his will. And that's all before it started raining.
But now that we've landed ourselves in a rural idyll that requires a car journey to school I look back fondly on our more environmentally-friendly days of city living and yes the ironies continue to confound me.
Solution (at least the temporary one so that I can get a sticker from
Rosa's class teacher): to cycle. It's too far and dangerous and hilly for Rosa to ride her own bike so I've dusted off my kid's bike seat (a nifty one that goes at the front), found our IKEA family high visibility jackets and volunteered to be a two-wheeled taxi service. (Crucially, Malcolm is working from home, so I can leave Joe with him - phew.)
Rosa and I set off with high spirits, plenty of time and total ignorance of the outside temperature. The wind is howling through the valley, the sun has yet to break through the clouds and poor
Rosa is a shivering windbreak, her frozen fists clenched around the handlebars.
Through sheer determination, we make it with time to spare and receive a faint round of applause from the mums in the playground. No sticker mind you. And I still have to cycle home to relieve Malcolm of child number two.
The forecast is better for tomorrow. Perhaps we'll try it again. Might even take a picnic breakfast this time...