|Brace yourself Rodney.....|
The wind is tugging at my hood like a vile playground bully threatening to make my already unruly hair less 70s Kate Bush more Psychotic Crystaltips; Sonshine has his woolly hat clamped down so far you cannot see his eyes. He looks like a character from the cartoon Southpark.
We are late. I am harassed.
I notice the swans gliding around on the moat (very grand name for a shallow donut of water that surrounds the castle)
Me (trying to make friendly conversation as I drag him along): Look - there's the swans! Can you see how many cygnets they've produced this year?
Sonshine pauses at the black railings: 'One......two ......three....no, wait - that was a crisp poke.......three, ah that was another crisp poke....' Poke is the Scottish word for packet, I hasten to add.
We hold hands to cross towards the restaurant and Sonshine stops dead again. I try to drag him forwards. WE ARE LATE!! He has noticed a tortoiseshell cat padding purposefully up the middle of the road towards the castle. Possible towards the cygnets. I can tell by the set of its bony narrow shoulders, it's that sort of a cat. Hell, they're all that sort of a cat.
Sonshine: Mum - look there's that cat AGAIN!!! Every time I come down here on my bike I see THAT CAT!
Me: hmmmm? Come on, honey - we're late!
Sonshine reluctantly pulls himself from his cat reverie and falls into step beside me again.
Sonshine: Do you think he could be a halloumination?
Me: Sorry? A what?
It is now my turn to stop dead in the middle of the street.
Sonshine: A halloumination? Could the cat be a fig of my imagination?
I struggle to remember what the correct word is. It's not anything to do with a firm Greek cheese, or figs but I'm damned if I can unearth from the morass of my mind what it is.
I am suddenly reminded of a holiday in Dublin with Tartarus 20 years ago and being called into an impressively formal state room at some Big House we were wandering around. Don't worry, there were other people there. We hadn't broken in or anything.
'Come in here,' he whispered, taking my mitten-clad hand and dragging me into a brightly lit ballroom. 'LOOK at those chandelabras - they're STUNNING!' Tartarus pointed to a massive crystal chandelier. Once I had stopped laughing like a demented hyena, I decided that henceforth, a chandelier would now be known as a chandelabra....and now none of us can remember what it's really called. Which causes some pitying titters from strangers.
Actually, now that I think on it, he had on a similar woolly hat to Sonshine that day too.
I am also reminded of the fact that Tartarus, for no reason whatsoever, always puts a 'd' onto the end of the word museum. So we visit museumds quite often. Weird.
Ah yes - the word I am looking for is HALLUCINATION, but what's the point in correcting him?
Like father like son: Like no language you've ever had to learn before.
Please tell me that it's not just my two chaps that do this?