Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Martha and Nelly's Day Out

Miss Martha and Granny are going today
To Belfast on the train
Miss Martha is fervently hoping
That Granny won't be a pain

Martha and I had our eagerly anticipated day out in Belfast on Saturday. That was three days ago and I'm only just beginning to recover. You see, I thought because Martha was a big sensible four-year-old that we could make a longer day of it. What I didn't take into consideration was how exhausted I would get. People of Martha's age have an inexhaustible supply of energy. People my age - not as much.

The Charity Shops

Martha's main aim was to replenish the dressing up box. She wanted a cocktail dress or a wedding dress and insisted that I measure these articles against her. It was difficult to persuade her that a dress meant for a tall and buxom bride was not going to do for her. And even size 6 party dresses were going to swamp a little girl. If the sparkly, sequinned dresses had only been a few pounds I might have let her have one but they were in the £6-10 range and far too expensive for dressing up. I explained that it would not be fair for Martha to take these for dressing up when there were big girls who needed them for parties. She understood.

The Ulster Museum

We went to see the Curious Beasts exhibition which is on loan from the British Museum. Martha found it a little disconcerting. Or was that me? I'm not sure.

Notions of Forever

This suited us better. Notions of Forever is a special exhibition, part of the Belfast Children's Festival. Its theme was how people's imaginations change as they move from childhood to old age. Martha and I didn't really understand it fully at the time but I think we both found it intriguing and I definitely found it moving and heartfelt.

Martha with the artist, Liz Cullinane

Botanic Gardens

A run round the big flower bed outside the Palm House.
A sniff at the beautiful flowers inside the Palm House.
A discussion about dead fish in the Tropical Ravine.
A terrifying incident when young adults dressed up as Foxes and Other Curious Beasts had a mock sword fight at the bandstand.

The Play Park

Lots of racing around and swinging and climbing and round-abouting whilst Granny had a wee rest on a bench.

The Train Home

Because we were both very good we rewarded ourselves with magazines for the train journey home. I had the Guardian and Martha had a My Little Pony magazine chosen for the quality of the gift sellotaped to its front. It was a plastic toy pink and purple mobile phone with a carrying case and a sheet of stickers. I got to read a bit of the paper while Martha chatted on her new phone. She was talking to 'a man'. The gist of the conversation was that the man's wife was in hospital having a baby and that he wanted to take photographs as it was 'coming out' and then he wanted to make a calendar featuring the photographs. He was negotiating with Martha about stickers to decorate the calendar and wanted 'baby' stickers but she told him she only had 'unicorn' stickers and he apparently agreed to this. Or so she told me. Needless to say I found all this much more entertaining than the Guardian.

On the train home wearing new tiara found in a charity shop


Doris Eleanor said...

That sounds like a lovely day. The conversation with the 'man' also sounds fascinating. I remember my daughter at that age - such good fun.

Nelly said...

It was a lovely day. And all stored up in my memory bank. Looking forward to doing it again.

Grannymar said...

What a wonderful day. I LOVE the story about the 'man'! Goodness, Nelly, that young Martha has her great Grandmother's gift for storytelling as well as yours.

Nelly said...

Thank you GM. Martha loves my stories and I love hers.

Brighid said...

Special times. Loved the story of "the man". Children have such wonderful ways of looking at the world.

Mage said...

I used to plan these days so there would be seating for me while they would play. :)
delightful that you shared this with us.

Cuidado said...

That's hilarious. Grandchildren are a real delight. I wish mine lived near. Two aren't too far, just on the mainland in Nova Scotia. The other two are in Seattle. Really far.

Nelly said...

Thank you for these sweet comments.