Sunny Strawberries

After two weeks away, working pretty much every day on Hacks For The Future, it feels super-lovely to be back at home with a few days off.

Today’s been great, mainly spent pottering around, tidying, washing and getting the castle in order with my support worker Aidan.

This afternoon we rolled out into the autumn sun to meet Fat Sister and collect her daughter from nursery. My niece, affectionately known as Bean, seemed pleased to see me, and on the journey home she shouted and signed my name whenever I was even vaguely out of sight.

They live very close to me so I see Bean most days. This is the first time I’ve been away for a while, and she’s now old enough to really notice.

It was a glorious evening, the sun was warm, the sky was bright but the air had a bit of a cold bite to it. Bean’s nursery is in a park so we rolled home together looking at the fiery foliage blowing in the gentle wind.

We stopped at a shop to pick up some dinner and Fat Sister spotted a punnet of strawberries reduced to 38p. She held them up with great pride and asked if I wanted some too but I reminded her that I’d gone off strawberries. In our first show, Backstage In Biscuit Land, there’s a scene where I eat strawberries, very badly – my tics meaning they get squashed all over my head much more often than they get into my mouth. We toured the show on and off for almost four years and that’s a lot of washing soft fruit out of my hair.

When we reached Fat Sister’s house Bean made headed straight for the fruit. Fat Sister washed some and put them in a bowl and we sat together on the warm floor.

Even in just two weeks I can see how much Bean’s grown, with new words and skills coming every day. I often joke that she’s overtaking me developmentally – she can drink without spilling, walk without falling (too much), and this evening she even helped Fat Sister empty the dishwasher – without breaking a single plate.

Today was another big moment – as I watched her neatly pushing the strawberries into her mouth without getting any in her hair I felt both pride and a little envy.

But there are still some things I’m better at….

I just can’t think of them right now.

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