Another delightful day and the sun shone in the afternoon. Al and I drove over to the zoo and met our friends there and we spent the day together - their son is Pugsley's age and they go to the same nursery school and they have two daughters, the younger being the most placid baby I've come across in a long time. She smiled, she looked about, she fed or she slept, and never made a sound.
Nick and I were talking about otters, I think, and he mentioned the large grass snake in our garden ... "I know, because it was how I found your blog..." Some time ago, I found a three-foot long snakeskin in the greenhouse and put pictures here, and looking for information on local wildlife, he came across this blog. I was rather charmed - a couple of years ago, even, I'd have been a bit nerve-wracked, but now a lot of friends know I have a blog, whether or not they've ever looked for or read it, and it's quite interesting when someone finds me by way of it - it's pretty easy to identify me if you know me already.
The children were all really good and had fun together. We pottered around for several hours, letting them spend time in the playground, having a leisurely picnic lunch and so on - if you can relax into a child's perspective of time, it makes everything so much more enjoyable than trying to hurry them up.
On the way home, we discussed the animals and asked Squiffany what she'd enjoyed most. "The dinosaur," she said. Oh, okay. It wasn't actually a real one, as you might rather suspect. Al and I reckoned that the giraffes were the most beautiful animals and we'd loved watching the fur seals - in the morning they were enjoying the attentions of the zookeepers, the petting, feeding and swimming, but in the afternoon sunshine they were having a lovely bask. Their pleasure was infectious.