The children soon found lots to do so there I found myself alone, one afternoon, just me and the teasmade. I gazed at my bedside companion and it was like looking back into the past to a simpler time, that smooth white procelein skin, that round innocently smiling face, those small delicate hands, that temprement at once compliant and willing to please yet also with a way of letting off steam that was most pleasing to behold . It was no wonder that people came from all over the land to gaze on such elegant and simple beauty whilst the rain beat ceaselessly on the panes, rain that, as Coleridge wrote in his journal on 12th February 1752, could dilute your laudenham just by opening the curtains and looking out of the window.
Suddenly Milly and Tilly burst into the room and the rural idyll vanished before the rudely re-emerging modern day. ‘How’s the sailing going girls?’ I asked. ‘Did the pirates make you walk the plank? You’re all wet!’ Milly shook her head. ‘Tilly dropped the health and safety risk assessment’ she explained, ‘it was heavy it went right through the bottom of the boat’. I smiled. ‘better drowned that duffers, eh girls!’ I laughed. ‘Mummy’, begain Milly, ‘We’re not actually in Swallows and Amazons you know’. ‘Oh’, I queried, ‘why ever not?’ Milly looked serious. 'It's too sad, all those children are going to reach adulthood at the end of the thirties and then be killed in the war’. She explained. ‘We might as well cut out the middle man and play Atonement!’. I sighed. ‘Well’ I said, ‘that’s spoiled the ending of that book for anyone that reads my blog!’ I growled. ‘Well anyway’, said Milly, ‘if we pretended our names were Roger and Titty and Nancy imagine the kind of childish innuendo you’d make out of that in your stupid blog’.
The children left leaving a damp patch, well, at least somebody has messed up the hotel room this holiday I thought, and I looked out at the lake and wondered if my daughter was talking things far to seriously, Imagine Arthur Ransome conjuring up the dark clouds of the thirties I thought. I mean, where is the worldwide financial crisis, the Olympic Games being used as propaganda and the comfortable and fortunate desperately trying to pretend it won’t happen to them? I closed the curtains to shut out the periscope that I was sure had just surfaced near the ice cream van on the jetty, put the kettle on and went back to watching Look North through my Claude glass.