"It's feeding time at the zoo," she said, although I'd met them at the aquarium - my best friend who is visiting from Sydney, her husband and my godchild, aged 2 1/2 with her cousins (2, 4) and aunt. They'd all been around the aquarium, ogled at the fish, touched the starfish, stared entranced at the huge tank filled with big fish and a shark or two.
I'd forgotten it was school holidays and planned to meet them in the restaurant for tea, while the littlies ate their lunch of fish and chips - oh, the irony! The noise level was extraordinary and the excitement tangible as hordes (schools?) of children ran between tables populated by harassed-looking mothers and the playroom in the corner, even more ironically sponsored by a frozen fish company.
My godchild informed me that she'd got a hippopotamus, which she'd aptly named Henry. Before I could ascertain where Henry had come from, or why he seemed to be the star of the day when they were at the aquarium, she'd scampered off to play with her tomato sauce-smeared cousins in the playroom, leaving us to chat (at high volume) over a calamari salad.
There's something really lovely about being in a space like that, where children's excitement fills the air, flooding ones lungs and, somehow, changing your view on things slightly, opening one's eyes to the possibilities in everything, the naive wonder of the world.
There's a lot to be said for hanging with the littlies every now and again, despite the noise levels that come with them.
World Penguin Day
23 hours ago