Hard to believe it was October in northern Britain as the sun glinted off the water. But it was and the Panther of News romped with the young princes from the Palace of Bundance on the banks of Kielder Water this weekend.
And what a splendid place it is for Britain’s largest man-made body of water. There are loads of wholesome things to do – super play areas, nature activities, art, scenery and a lovely path that snakes 26 miles around the reservoir.
It’s clean and welcome. Even the spotless swimming pool has around ten CCTV cameras trained on it just to be on the safe side.
We ate at the pub/cafe/restaurant a couple of times – happy, tasty and apparently tolerant of our children’s idiosyncratic approach to table manners.
Then on Sunday afternoon we popped in for ice cream and sat outside enjoying the last few rays of, possibly, the year.
While the Panther and I did some serious damage to a large portion of sticky toffee pudding, the cubs played a noisy game of leap about, make some noise and jump on the tables.
Then one of the bar/wait people, lets call him Quentin, came out and said: “Your bairn has stood in dog poo. In fact, they are all jumping in poo…”
“I don’t think so,” I protested, but he had whisked himself away back inside.
There hadn’t been any poo at all. Mud yes, poo no. it’s a dog-free pub garden and, in any case, it’s not the kind of place a dog crass enough to defecate willy nilly would even consider hanging about.
So what was it all about? Was Quentin a fantasist with a thing about faeces? Couldn’t he tell the difference between filth and clean muck? Or could he not bring himself to say “get your unruly brats and their muddy feet off our garden furniture”?
Dunno. But we left, sniffing our not poo-covered kids in a bewildered fashion while I considered what had just happened.
Was it a very clever, non-confrontational way to get rid of us or sneaky, manipulative and a bit weird? I can’t decide.
This post is an entry into the Tots100 Best Western School Holiday competition