Town Mouse

Parental choices

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

MOST of the rit­u­als as­so­ci­ated with the first work­ing week of Jan­uary feel oner­ous: re­turn­ing to school and work, dis­man­tling dec­o­ra­tions and queu­ing for missed parcels in the near­est Royal Mail de­pot. Thus it was up­lift­ing to coun­ter­bal­ance these things with a per­for­mance of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House. It’s a pro­duc­tion that never fails to de­light.

The fol­low­ing morn­ing, the fam­ily made an ex­pe­di­tion into town to spend some book to­kens kindly given to the chil­dren for Christ­mas. Foyles, the ob­ject of our out­ing, seemed very busy. At first, I tried to sug­gest suit­able pur­chases, but, af­ter 20 min­utes of com­plaints, my res­o­lu­tion crum­bled and the chil­dren marched out tri­umphantly with books en­tirely of their own choos­ing.

Just how poor my choices seemed to them was pow­er­fully brought home later in the day. While tidy­ing in the house, I stum­bled across the frag­ment of a ruggedly spelt di­ary one of them had writ­ten some months ago. It be­gan: ‘To­day we went into the most gastly mu­seum were we had to stay for hours. The oley bits I en­joy was go­ing to the shop and see­ing the Eg­p­tian things.’ I think it’s a six year old’s de­scrip­tion of a visit to the Lou­vre. JG

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