Sunday, December 02, 2007


It’s been a funny weekend, with Pearlie away. We took the opportunity to get started on painting her room, so I went to B&Q on Friday night (in the pouring rain) to get paint, and Allie and I stayed up stupid late filling, priming and painting.

Leo and I spent a peaceable and productive Saturday together. He went to a writing workshop at the library in the morning, which he enjoyed greatly. The workshop was being run to encourage kids to enter the Write around Air Street competition which is currently running, and he came up with a lovely poem about clouds:


When I look up high I see…

A pirate ship sailing to France,
Speech bubbles hanging over people,
Mashed potatoes waiting to be eaten,
Ice cream melting in the sun,
And peas rolling down a blue plate.

© Leo, 2007

He is hopeful about winning, but I think it will inevitably be something of a lottery, as they are bound to get loads of entries.

While we were waiting for the library to open, we looked at a photographic exhibition in the square outside, which has been put together by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. I told Leo some basic facts about HIV and AIDS. When I said that HIV stood for ‘human immunodeficiency virus’, he astonished me by thinking for a second and then coming straight back with “so it affects their immune system”. He was bewildered by my explanation that people in poor countries continue to die from AIDS because they can’t get hold of the expensive drugs they need – “why don’t they just send them the drugs?”, he said. Why, indeed? I took and sent some postcards being given out by a volunteer standing next to the exhibition, to ask my MP and the prime minister the same question.

Allie had gone to work by the time we got home, having squeezed in a bit more painting, so we pottered about together for the afternoon. He rattled out several more fantastic comics, I read an interesting book I’d borrowed from the library, and made brioche dough, we popped into the local community centre where there was an arts and crafts fair going on, but didn’t buy anything.

By 4 o'clock, when we had to go out again, it was really pouring down, and we both got soaked during the 5 minute walk to the bus stop. Cousin B’s birthday celebration was an extended family gathering at a pizza restaurant in town. We met Allie there, together with 3 cousins, 3 aunts and uncles, 4 grandparents, plus two more of B’s grandparents as well. Pearlie was missed, but it was a lovely meal, and we all made pigs of ourselves.

Once Leo was in bed, Allie and I made the mistake of pressing on with the decorating instead of going to bed ourselves, with the result that she has been laid up with a cracking migraine all day today.

Leo has produced loads more brilliant comics today, all without ever getting dressed! I cooked brioche for a late breakfast (yummy, but quite a hassle to make), tidied up, looked after Allie a bit, and gratefully accepted a lift from a friend when it was time to go and collect Pearlie.

She seems to have had a fantastic time, and came back bubbling with tales of rain soaked walking, hilarious games, a spider-filled attic, close proximity to cows, and enormous waves crashing over the marina wall on their journey home. It’s good to have her back.


Nic said...

Poor Allie - hope a restful day recovers her :(.

Love Leo's poem, I think the line about speech bubbles hanging over people was my favourite - so evocative :)

Lucy said...

Drugs are sent. I don't know what the UK sends but America sends millions of dollars of anti-aids drugs. When I was in SA there was a bit of a scandal where one of the African countries governments didn't believe in aids (there was a myth that aids was something the white man made up to stop the black people from breeding) so all the drugs they were given they sold to other countries. I expect this is what funded their private planes etc and paid the salaries of the guards to prevent clothes, food, books etc getting through to the people. There were also people trying to educate africans about safe sex etc and they targeted the woman but unfortunately tribal women that suddenly wanted to use condoms etc were often physically punished and ostracized from the village. So, thats part of the reason why there are many third world communities being wiped out by aids and also why I don't give to African charities.