Saturday, August 8, 2009
There's a wonderful sense of determination when a bunch of Levenshulme Mums decide to head to our nearest stretch of sand. Thirteen adults and eighteen children WILL get to the sea, by any means necesarry. I was the sheepish dad-in-tow, rucksack front and rear, coping very badly indeed with a bout of claustrophobia as we got on a train at Picadilly that needed one of those nice little men in gloves who wedge the commuters into the Japanase underground. (It's all due to a near-death experience at the Monsters of Rock festival in 1988, and it all came flooding back.) But Levenshulme Mum just hands out the apple rings and rice snacks and before you know it Phil and Teds are arranged in corridors and toddlers are sitting nicely, leaning against the automatic toilet door and chatting to their pals. And then it strikes me: to the under fives, the train is just a carpet on the move.
I'd never been to Blackpool before. I'm in no rush to get back, but there's something approaching the spirit of Dunkirk about getting a caravan of buggies and toddlers back to the station, via the fish and chip shop, in time to, well, invade 1st Class because yet again there aren't enough seats to go round. It was worth it for the camaraderie alone: back on Albert Road I was hugging mums that I felt warranted a medal for coping so admirably with children born particularly close together or with fiendishly complicated prams.
All in a day's work, they shrugged. Levenshulme Mum, we salute you.
Posted by matt clements at 1:50 PM