The advent of a new job for Charlotte, and the need to flip over to Guernsey once a week to work with her team at the head office there, will sometimes necessitate some extra Ted management. And so it was that he came to stay with me just before I crossed over to France with the Cholseys. His mother stayed overnight then left early to get her flight from Southampton, leaving Ted and I with a day to share. (Nick was busy elsewhere, fishing with a group of friends in northern Norway).
And so it was that we went to Birdworld. An attraction as old as the hills as far as we can remember. In our days as parents of very small children (now the eldest is knocking 40) we used to take our trio to Birdworld which was a smallish outfit accommodating penguins, parrots, raptors, flamingoes and large flightless birds. The star attraction at that time was a talking Mynah Bird.
More than 30 years later Birdworld is still going strong but has expanded to include other showy bird species such as Toucans, Pheasants, Kookaburras, and Jenny Wren’s farm, a playground, an Aquarium, cafeterias and the inevitable shop.
Ted particularly enjoyed the playground area where he played happily with a boy called William in the sandpit. At one point William looked round and asked Ted where his Mum was. To which Ted replied “She’s at Guernsey.” (Actually she was not, the ‘plane having been overbooked, but I was not going to disabuse Ted’s good memory!)
It is not difficult to fill a day at Birdworld, factoring in pony rides, bouncy stuff, ice cream, animal-handling, a ride on the small train. Ted slept well that night. The following day was Charlotte’s birthday, his parents had taken the day off work to meet some friends before they leave for a stint of military service overseas. They arrived late morning for rendez-vous then promptly at 1.30 I was picked up by the Cholseys for our ferry crossing to St V. All go…..