The reason we didn't spend a fourth night in Eastbourne (apart from the fact that I'm not made of money, and there's only so much ice cream one man can eat) is that Amelie wanted me to go to playgroup with her yesterday. Lisa takes her to a parent & toddler group every Thursday at the Methodist church down the road, but for months she's been saying she wants Daddy to go too. Probably because she knows I've got the mind of a three-year-old and would fit right in.
So that's where I was yesterday morning: drinking tea with Lisa while Amelie ran amok with a ride-on plane. The session's held in a church hall, but it's not really a religious group, so there's no Methodism in the madness. Although there was one boy who behaved like the Antichrist. Most of them were little angels though.
It was all very entertaining, but I'm not quite sure why Amelie needed me there. Frankly I could have been back in Eastbourne and she wouldn't have noticed. No sooner had we walked through the door than she was off bouncing on trampolines, gluing glitter, see-sawing single-handed and riding anything with wheels. She also has a 'best friend' that she's been playing with for the past few weeks, and they were pretty much inseparable all morning.
Here they are calming everyone's nerves with some gentle and melodious singing. Before you watch this clip, I should point out that Amelie's birthday was five months ago...
It's lovely the way she sidles up to her friend once she realises the girl might have presents. And there's a look of appalled disdain when her companion fluffs the words to Incy Wincy Spider. But other than that, it's a charming scene of childhood friendship.
To be honest, I was wary of getting out my camera at a playgroup, in case I was accused of being the next Vanessa George, but having sat there for an hour assuming photos were prohibited, the mother of Amelie's friend whipped out the kind of camera you'd expect the paparazzi to carry, and started snapping numerous shots of the two together. She told us Amelie's the first friend her daughter's made on her own. So under the circumstances I felt fully justified in filming them both. I'm more comfortable with a co-defendant.
We made our way home via Lisa's Mum's, where we picked up a copy of The Argus and discovered the latest on our neighbourhood deathwish. Apparently when the paramedics arrived on Sunday night, they got stuck in the lift for twenty minutes. It was basically the same as my experience in January, but the emergency call I wanted to answer was one of nature. It sums up our block nicely though. If you're not on the stairway to heaven, you still end up sealed in a box.