Actually we got home last night, but I was (for a change) too exhausted to contemplate writing anything. Besides, it was quite nice to sit with BigBear and catch up on life and the Vuelta a España.
Between Lyme Regis and home we stopped for two nights at GrannyBear's house, which I think GrannyBear more or less survived, and more or less enjoyed. I think two days with LittleBear brought her almost to the same level of exhaustion as me though, so it's probably a good thing it wasn't any longer than that.
One of my favourite parts of staying with GrannyBear, aside from having a bed to myself, and aside from two nights of gloriously uninterrupted sleep, and aside from having a chance to do the crossword with GrannyBear*, was the fact that LittleBear, upon seeing us doing a crossword, wanted to set one for GrannyBear. So, LittleBear choose some words, and I made a grid for them, and then LittleBear invented some clues...
First among his requirements was that the clues shouldn't be too easy for GrannyBear. Unfortunately, LittleBear has a rather over-inflated idea of GrannyBear's knowledge of dinosaurs, or of the inner workings of LittleBear's mind. Let me give you some examples:
Sometimes it's wobbly (5 letters)
Go on, admit it, you think it's jelly don't you? GrannyBear did too, but it's not. It's tooth. It's true that a major feature of the road trip has been a wobbly tooth, but it wasn't perhaps at the forefront of GrannyBear's mind to quite the same extent as LittleBear's mind.
Something which tries to creep up on people
Naturally enough, GrannyBear tried to think of as many sneaky predators as possible, knowing LittleBear's preferences. She did not, perhaps unsurprisingly, think of LittleBear himself, as he has rather more of a tendency to bounce up to people rather than creep as such. He lays claim to "sometimes" creeping up on people, so the solution to this particular clue was his own name.
Something with long claws (10 letters)
I particularly enjoyed this clue, mostly because of LittleBear's utter glee as he thought of it. I shall put you out of your misery and let you know that it's Suchomimus, a spinosaurid whose name means "crocodile mimic", due to its very crocodile-like skull. I suggested that we should perhaps mention its crocodilian features, to give GrannyBear a chance, but Littlebear demurred, "No Mummy, that would be too easy. This will be funny because Granny will think it's Baryonyx, and it's not!" In vain did I attempt to convince him that GrannyBear would most certainly not think of Baryonyx straight away, if at all, so poor GrannyBear was confronted with an almost insoluble clue.
I think GrannyBear can feel justifiably proud of herself for getting 7 out of the 10 clues (with a few extra hints) given the level of challenge she was set.
And then... we were back on the road again. And as we set off for the Motorway From Hell, the satnav reported even more foul traffic than usual, and suggested we go the other way. Let me show you...
|The Motorway From Hell|
But, finally we're home, after 491 miles on the road.
It's been fun, but exhausting. Being a solo-parent for a week away from home was both rewarding in being utterly all-encompassing, and allowing me to be completely absorbed into my LittleBear's world, and also exhausting in being relentless in responsibility and concentration. So tomorrow I go back to work for a couple of days and let BigBear and LittleBear bond. And I am looking forward to it, just a teensy bit.
* Which I still haven't finished yet, dammit.