Orlaith, having herself been fed, lay contentedly on the floor while the rest of us partook of a splendid Jackie vegetable soup. After this all except Jackie went on foot on a pony hunt. We walked the London Minstead, Bull Lane, Football Green loop. Walking Malachi is like walking a dog, in the sense that, because he is constantly running backwards and forwards he covers twice the distance we do. He did actually perch on his father’s shoulders for the last twenty minutes. Since Sam already had a sleeping baby sister strapped to him, he had quite a load on for the last uphill stretch.
Malachi enjoyed any sights of horses, even the jacketed farm type. He climbed on gates for this pleasure. When I led the family down Bull Lane so they could see cattle in a farmyard, my grandson showed far more interest in a stream running outside it. He made believe catching fish, and his mother caught a real piece of treasure. Lying on the gravelly bottom Holly found a penny bearing the head of young Victoria, so thick and unworn as to suggest it had been there for a very long time.
Until we reached Football Green we saw no ponies. That area made up for the absence elsewhere. We squelched through the mud and streams still lying on this open space, so that we could observe the creatures and Malachi could photograph them. The picture of the ponies below was taken by this little chap who is not four until Saturday.
On our return a further hunt took place. This was for Easter Eggs. Malachi was very excited every time he found one of his fourteen eggs, and wouldn’t eat any until he had his whole collection arrayed before him. Jackie’s photographic clues idea was very successful. Holly accompanied him around the house, helping him identify the objects in the pictures, whilst Sam sat with Orlaith.
Having already experienced an early Easter, Mal then enjoyed an early birthday celebration. The actual day is Saturday, but we gave him our presents today. The dinosaur card and book went down well, as did the Lego petrol tanker.
The next treat was an early dinner of Jackie’s smoked haddock and cauliflower cheese combination, followed by blackberry and apple crumble with cream, custard, and/or green jelly. Sam drank Marston’s Double Drop and the rest of us – not including the children – shared a bottle of Roc Saint Vincent sauvignon blanc 2011.