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
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