Small acts of kindness mean so much. Shirley and Brian, sailing aboard Island Song (see link), have now embarked on their world cruise. They have been wonderfully generous in the past few weeks, bestowing on us story books and educational books. How delighted I was to open a large bag of books to discover a treasure trove of favourites – Roald Dahl’s Matilda, The Twits, George’s Marvelous Medicine. Stig of the Dump was in there too, and My Naughty Little Sister, along with some lovely picture books. I found educational resources in the bag too – books about writing, grammar, times tables, and so much more. Some of these are too advanced for Lily and Katie right now, but have been stored away, to be put to use in a year or two or three down the road. A few chapters of Roald Dahl before bed every night keeps children and adults very content! Thank you so much, Shirley and Brian, and best of luck on your voyage.
A year ago, I wrote about Cobbles Ice creams and Doughnuts, over on the quayside in the Barbican in Plymouth. Earlier this week, the girls and I took our visitors, Elizabeth and Ujarak McClintock, for coffee and ice cream. Michael, aka Cobbles the Clown, owner of the vintage ice cream and doughnut vans, and now a fresh fish cart, stopped by our table to chat to Lily and Katie. When Lily told him she plans to be a fisherman when she grows up, Michael kindly gave us a tub of fresh cockles to eat. But when he discovered that I was the one who had written about his business in my blog last year, he presented the girls with a bag of candyfloss each (much to their delight) and a bag of doughnuts and chocolate dipping sauce for the rest of us (much to my delight). Thank you Michael, although you might expect a medical bill for the heart attacks you’ve caused us with all this delicious calorific food!!
Andy, on Parsonic, had a parrot aboard (actually I think it’s a toucan, but the girls insist it’s a parrot). A toy parrot that Lily and Katie fell for, and every time we walked to or from Carina we passed Parsonic and her parrot, and the girls insisted we stop to look at him on his perch. Last week Andy told me he planned to get new batteries for the parrot. A couple of days later, as Katie and I walked past, true to his word, Andy said, ‘The parrot has new batteries now’. He went below and lifted the perch from its hook. ‘Pieces of eight, pieces of eight’, Andy said to the parrot. ‘Pieces of eight, pieces of eight’, the parrot repeated. ‘Who’s a pretty boy then?’ Andy asked the parrot. ‘Who’s a pretty boy then?’ the parrot repeated. ‘Here’, Andy said, handing the parrot on its perch over to Katie. ‘It’s for you’. Her little face lit up and I thanked Andy for his kindness. Katie proudly carried the parrot back to Carina and we called Lily up on deck to show her what we’d brought home. The joy on her little face was indescribable and Julian soon found a new home for the parrot in the corner of the saloon. That night, as we took the bus home after a long day out, Lily turned to me and asked, ‘When do we have to give the parrot back to Andy?’ ‘We don’t’, I told her. ‘Andy gave it to us to keep’. I’ve never seen her eyes grow so wide. I thought she might cry.
Such small acts of kindness over the past few weeks have made my children immeasurably happy, and will not be forgotten. Thank you xx