Peppa Pig

Last night, bang on time, at 9.50 p.m. two sleeping children were decanted from their car and carried upstairs to the spare room at The Firs.  This was a very impressive piece of Satnav prediction for the journey of Louisa and Errol from Nottingham.  Apart from one brief interlude around 2.00 a.m. Jessica and Imogen slept soundly until 5.30 when Louisa entertained them until after 7.  Despite the intercom to their parents bedroom, it happened to be me who heard Imogen call for her mother.  She had lost her Bobby, her soft toy she cannot sleep without.  The girls were sharing a large double bed, and somehow Bobby had found himself on the other side of Jessica.  When Jessica discovered him, all was well, and uninterrupted sleep resumed.

In the morning it was good to see that we had scored with the cereals we chose for the children.  Imogen normally doesn’t eat cereal, but she tucked into two bowlfuls.  The parents went off for a day on their own, and Elizabeth cared for the two girls for the rest of the morning whilst Jackie and I went into Winchester to collect the keys for our new Minstead flat.

Louisa and Errol’s two daughters are a real pleasure to entertain.  Both are sweet natured, never complain, and are undemanding.  So, when Jackie and I took them off for the afternoon to Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park, off the M27 at junction 2, we knew we would all have an enjoyable time, which we did.  Whilst our charges were interested in the rides, they got easily as much pleasure from rolling down an artificial hill, and, Imogen especially, from the cartoon’s model figures distributed around the park.  We missed the penguins’ feeding time, but found them interesting anyway.  The feature we did not miss, and the highlight of the afternoon, was the half hour when real live Peppa and George Pig emerged from their house and entertained the throngs grasping at the railings which protected them from being overrun by eager children and their camera-wielding carers.  Jackie, who held Imogen up so she could see properly, could not prise her away from this feature for at least fifteen minutes, and then only after the child had succeeded in shaking George’s hand.

The rides all required an adult to be accompanying a child under eight.  This, unfortunately, meant Jackie and I had to join the girls in the balloon ride.

We ate lunch from one of the fast food outlets that are plentiful in the grounds.  The children enjoyed chicken nuggets, Jackie approved of her spicy bean burger, and I managed to eat my bland Rio Grande cheeseburger; all with chips.  I drank water and the children had apple juice. The girls each had a pencil which needed sharpening in their set meal box.  Jackie just happened to have a pencil sharpener in her handbag. so she sharpened the pencils, but expressed some puzzlement as to why the pencils had not been eaten.  Whilst I guarded our belongings Jackie took the girls off to a stall where they each won a soft toy doughnut.  Somehow or other these doughnuts ended up on Peppa and George’s heads in the schoolroom.  Jackie observed that, although in Paulton’s Park before entering Peppa Pig World, one could buy hot dogs (presumably containing pork), such victuals were not available in the outlets in the porcine area.  This seemed only fair, really.

We had a trip to the Peppa Pig toyshop, which was in grave danger of competing with the brassrubbing session with Matthew and Becky described on 17th October.  When Jessica chose Peppa Pig’s Teddy, I was quite happy with that.  Imogen then chose two smaller characters.  Which meant Jessica had to have something else.  So Imogen grasped another, which was a larger one, George’s dinosaur in fact……… and so on, not ad infinitum, because I drew the line at four.  I’ve learned a little bit about drawing lines in the intervening years since that trip to St. James’ Church.

The last half hour or so of the trip took place in the indoor soft play area, the best part of which was the long slides which were perfect for shooting down alongside your recently acquired soft toys, each of which had to make the descent in turn.

We then met Louisa and Errol at Castle Malwood Lodge and impressed them both with our new abode while their two daughters played with the Pig family on the sitting room floor.  Back at The Firs Mum and Danni and Andy joined us for a roast lamb meal prepared jointly by Jackie, Elizabeth and Danni.  Apple pie, tarte tatin, and bread and butter pudding, were the desserts on offer.  Red and white wines, Stella, and cider, were imbibed.  Before the meal we were entertained by fireworks provided by Danni and Errol.  Louisa said this was the first year they had been able to have fireworks without a child being very frightened.   A fun evening was had by all.

A glimpse into the chidren’s bedroom revealed that they had gone to bed with the entire Pig family.

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