Sunday 29th July 2018, 7.35pm (day 2,530)
On the wettest day for months, and trapped in the house, Joe initiates his parents into bizarre Dice Man-style games of chance, in which the family fortune teeters on the edge of a d20. The wine is Clare’s.
First weekday of the school summer holidays, and Joe Whitworth expresses his opinion at spending this in the Whitworth Art Gallery. Well, it’s five minutes from the place where I’ve worked for thirteen years and I’ve never been, which seeing as it shares my name is pretty shameful. There were work reasons to visit too. But was it exciting? Not really. So I kind of share his yawn.
“Come on a walk up Scafell Pike, son. It’ll be fun. You can have the pleasure of attaining the highest point in England,” says I, a few weeks back. I’m sure there were points today when Joe cursed me for letting me talk him into this particular hike — particularly here on Ill Crag, one of the subsidiary peaks nearby, and the first outrageous excrescence of boulders into the journey. This picture can also be presented with the benefit of hindsight and knowing that in fact, there’s worse still to come before the summit — all 3,210 feet of it (978 metres) — is attained.
But he made it. And it was a beautiful day.
A very low-key day, as yesterday was. Very little happened, and this picture of a picture is as good as it gets today. Still, the teeth are healthy ones — Joe should feel satisfied with this — more so than mine were when I pictured my own X-ray a while back.
Off school thanks to the continuing dreadful weather, Joe recreates his cancelled Food Tech class for our dinner tonight. Clare helps by holding the pan but otherwise the meal was his.
I like this pic: I like the various minuscule little details about our kitchen that you guys normally never see. The penguin calendar. The levitating compost bin. The mysterious letter ‘S’.
When I started doing this blog on 26/8/2011 Joe was nine years, five months and twenty-two days old. His first appearance was a few days in, sat in the Railway and looking really very small. Not any more. I guess he hasn’t reached his complete adult form yet, he is not fifteen for a few weeks, but he cannot be far off. This is his ninety-ninth appearance on the blog. Doubtless I will find good reason to mark the next one.
Among the subjects Joe is taking at school these days is cookery (aka ‘food technology’ or some other such euphemism). Every Thursday we are becoming used to him bringing home food that has always been more than just palatable. This ginger cake was lit with a candle as a proxy celebration for my Dad’s birthday (happy birthday Dad….). And very tasty it was.
Evening entertainment at the end of a very cold day. Joe contemplates whether he should exchange three cucumbers for a pallet of fish in the costermongers’, or possibly whether he should felch his mortgage and cast down his pie to prevent his opponents accumulating so many nickels that he will no longer be able to buy any rabbits. At least, I think those were the rules. My haziness on these matters is probably why I finished third (out of three).
Apart from the fact that Joe, when stood up, is now some six inches taller than his grandfather, I would suggest that this photo is a pretty decent summation of how both of these people look at this point in time. Which is why I like it.