Park Life

An Unforgettable visit to the park.

I had an eventful visit to a nearby park today, it’s one of my three year old son Logan’s favourite places to go, and used to be one of mine until today.

First stop was to feed the ducks.

Now I know that some of the ducks from the park are members of Facebook and regular users of the internet and I have seen them posting how they don’t like eating bread and much prefer halved grapes, pumpkin seeds and oats, so for the purposes of this story we left the car with our bread bag full of halved grapes, pumpkin seeds and oats, definitely no bread, so no need to call the old Bill.

Excited to see the plethora of ducks, swans and seagulls that were already at the riverbank my son grabbed my hand and dragged me down. Fortunately I’m well known for my mountain goat like balance and I managed to descend the bank and steps with the grace and splendour of an ice skating hippo fighting off a fit.

I took great satisfaction in informing my son how The Queen owns all swans, which upon thinking about it is quite strange really and I wondered if this meant that the Mayor of our home town owns all pigeons.

Ignoring my instructions to give the birds a little bit of food (halved grapes, pumpkin and seeds and oats) at a time, he instead chose to tip the bag upside down in one go. Needless to say what followed was carnage.

Within minutes a Hitchcockian scene was unfolding by the river. It was the birds answer to Black Friday.

Seagulls swooped down in formation, dive bombing us, the ducks quacked in angry chorus and swans rose out of the water, stepped on to the riverbank and they bullied the other birds to one side, the look on one of their faces told me they were saying “Get the duck out of the way” The Swans, now puffed up chests on display made angry deep hissing noises at me, they sounded like an old man rattling around a record breaking grem and I felt sure pretty soon I’d be drowned in swan spit. The Queen can keep her swans, I thought, I never feel this intimidated by a pigeon, even when there are heard’s of them outside of Greggs bakers, there’s usually little threat of a military coo.

We managed to escape and headed over the bridge to the park, and I breathed a sigh of relief that the scene from Daving private Ryan was over.

Normally my son is happy to go on the big slide himself, but seeing that there were already cool Dads going down the slides together with their Children he decided he wanted me to go down with him.
We waited our turn and for the cool Mam’s and Dad’s to slide down and soon it was our turn to climb awkwardly on.

Now I’m the first to admit I’m far from slender and I was also padded out with my winter layers (That’s clothes not tyres) I knew this was going to be a bit tight, but I surely wasn’t that much wider than some of the parents that had been shooting down the slide with such ease.

I pushed myself off with Son sat between my legs, and off we slid..for about two foot. Stuck. Not moving. It’s fine, I thought, just a sticky spot, so I gave a little shuffle to get us going again. Nothing, we still weren’t sliding. In a panic as I knew the cool parents were watching I began to rock back and forwards to try to get us going but all I did was make squeaking noises as I moved barely an inch with each thrust. Logan turned around and with a disapproving glance I read his mind to be saying “You should have brought some butter” and he released himself from me and off he shot down the slide without me. “Weeeee” he cried, and I feared that’s exactly what I’d be covered in if I tried to push myself down any harder.

Now consumed by embarrassed panic I shuffled harder and my squeaking became more frequent. As I continued my rowing machine like movements my snug fitted crombie began to lift, not moving with the rest of me so that my splendid winter belly was now slowly being revealed to the whole park, like a bulbous skin sunrise blinding anyone who saw it. I had to get down before word got out about pregnant Paddington and the whole of the town turned up to see this unwanted Christmas spectacle.

After what seemed like an eternity I finally reached the end of the slide and I actually managed to squeak up a bit of speed so that I slid the last few feet off the slide on to my back, it was like a scene from one born every minute as the park climatically birthed and released this whopping winter baby into the world. Perhaps some people interpreted this as the second coming as one onlooking parent definitely uttered the words “Jesus Christ”.

Head down I dusted myself off and walked towards my son.

“Park” Logan pointed to the main park and it’s threatening rides. “No son” I said, taking his hand. “Let’s get back to home and we can go to Greggs bakers to feed the pigeons.


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