Aunty Rachel likes riding bikes. She and Pops ride their bikes all over the place, doing crazy long distances at stupid o'clock in the morning. They just bought new racing road bikes. Last weekend Aunty Rachel rode hers into the back of a parked car and went straight through its back windscreen. Very luckily she was wearing a helmet and cycling goggles. According to those in the know this type of accident happens a lot. Poor Aunty Rach is a bit battered and bruised - she has stitches in her chin and right eyebrow, a graze on her nose, cuts on her forehead, a bruised arm and one hell of a headache. She is not a happy Aunty. So on Tuesday Rufus and I went to cheer her up.
He announced his arrival by presenting her with a poo that had been another six days in the making(!) - she thought it was hilarious. Then we went for a walk. I love this time of year - cool and crisp and sunny, hedgerows and trees full of things to pick. If you're clever you never go anywhere without a bag. With Master Jones hitched up in his sling we found ourselves in a thicket of trees, we wound through the tiny paths trying to stop his legs from being stung by stingers or snagged by brambles - difficult when he won't stop waving them around with excitement - he does love a good tree.
Then lo and behold the path opened out into a grassy little orchard. The trees were literally dripping with apples and plums. Over ripe fruits littered the ground giving off that lovely heady boozy smell a mixture of damp grass and fruit sugars fermenting. We assessed the situation - the grass is very over grown, there's an abandoned tractor in the corner, there's an enormous amount of fruit going to waste. It's clearly not public countryside - but at the same time it doesn't appear to be a money making orchard. Surely the crime is not in filling a Tesco bag with Damsons and a rucksac with apples? No the true crime is allowing all that glorious fruit go to waste.
Despite this judgement we get to picking tentatively, talking in whispers and fearing discovery. I pick with one hand, all the while trying to keep a very excited 11 week old baby quiet. I will him not to grizzle and draw attention to us. I have visions of trying to run from a farmer wielding a shot gun and a grumpy old sheepdog without falling over and crushing Rufus in the process. Luckily he decides that now would be a good time for a nap. Or perhaps he realises that some sort of minor crime is being committed and that if he's asleep he can plead innocence in the dock and get off as a mere accessory.
We stagger home under the weight of the "borrowed" fruit and decide that if we're caught we'll offer to make them a pie or a jar of jam. I used my spoils to make a damson crumble the next day. I proudly serve it to Mr Jones and then watch as he winces at the first spoonful. I taste mine - I didn't put enough sugar in the fruit - it's the kind of sharp that makes your jaw ache and your bum clench. I battle on through with the help of custard and a bit more sugar - Mr Jones eats the oaty crumbly topping and leaves the fruit. Rubbish.
In other news this week - Rufus has done a bit more rolling, has improved his sleep pattern to feeding at 1pm ish and then again at about 5.30/6am - hurrah (if only he didn't keep rousing himself at 11.30pm and 4am too - but beggars can't be choosers - we're getting there). Oh and we went to Baby Beans - which involves a lot of very twee singing and dancing that is soooooo not me. Rufus kept looking at me with one eyebrow raised as I sung silly songs to him and made him dance - "Mummy - what on earth are you doing?". Then he was sick and halfway through - despite the noise of rattles, 11 other babies, their singing mums and a very smiley instructor chirping away - he fell into a deep sleep - as if to say - "hmmmm not sure this is really for me." Bless him - we'll try again next week.
Technical glitch resolved - however the little man is now a fan of waving his arms about so getting good pics is very tricky!
Mrs Jones is a far from yummy mummy with a penchant for M&S fudge bars and a mojito on a Friday night. She became Mrs Jones in 2009 and a mummy in 2010. In 2011 she is attempting to remember her own name and not put washing powder in the dishwasher....