When I was teaching, there was nothing like a day off. Perhaps the best days were those rare and unexpected snow days when classes were cancelled. The best days were when they actually closed the school because then the teachers could stay home too. Mostly they were loath to do that though because I worked for a very anti-teacher board. No, they'd officially leave the school open, which meant that the kids would stay home and the teachers would have to get there one way or t'other if they wanted to be paid. More than once, I had to drive into the country when it wasn't safe for the buses and then man my empty classroom. Sheesh! That's not what this post is about, however. It sure didn't take me long to digress.
What I am getting to is that, what with Canada Day and all, we just had a five day break from our babysitting gig (although we did babysit twice on two somewhat short ad hoc occasions). While we had thought of traipsing here or there and maybe even staying somewhere overnight, we ended up staying pretty close to home. The energy level wasn't high, and as the weekend wore on, we didn't see the point in just going somewhere for the sake of it.
We have books to read and Wimbledon to watch and some fine weather to enjoy, so time went quickly. Sometimes. it's just nice to have a recuperative break from routine. As much as we love and enjoy Nikki Dee, it has also been very relaxing and restorative to not have to care for her very much for a few days.
We haven't been bored and have found a number of little things to do. For example: last night we took in the Canada Day fireworks in our small town, and today we had lunch at a pub which has an outdoor patio right on the river. However, I'm glad it was a nice day and that we didn't have any pressing engagements because it took the best part of two hours to order, receive and eat standard pub fare — a burger in my case. I have no idea what was going on in the kitchen, and I think that's for the best. Anyway, we had been meaning to eat there overlooking the river for almost three years now, and today was the day when we finally made it. But as I said, I'm sure glad it was a beautiful and lazy day with lots of time to kill.
We did see the strangest site whilst we were waiting our interminable wait. There was a man standing in the river, just standing there, almost up to his shoulders. For some reason he kept his two hands out of the water. As we watched he kept bringing the one hand to his mouth, and it began to dawn on us that he was smoking. After quite a while, he lumbered to the bank and didn't he get another cig, turn around, and immerse himself back up to his chest again. Finally, he was done with his smokes and dunked his head under a few times before heading home. It was very strange let me tell you, but it was a fine diversion while we were waiting for that elusive hamburger.
I'll bet you didn't see anyone just standing in a river for a half hour smoking a cigarette! I would be surprised if I ever see such a thing again.