I didn’t wear a sparkly satin dress, a bejewelled tiara or carry a magic wand , but today I was the “fairy rock mother”.
Let me explain. For many years I’ve spent hours painting rocks, or should I say beautiful, rounded pebbles collected from Sandy beach on Anglesey. In the past, when we’ve had a caravan-full of foster children, interspersed with some of our own kids, we would often while away the time on rainy days collecting pebbles from the beach. Upon our return to the caravan we would break out the acrylic paints and brushes and paint interesting designs on the rocks. Well, not all of them were interesting, some were just smudges of colour, applied in an impatient mess, but it kept us all entertained for a while.
Now that we have retired from fostering children I sometimes paint stones with my two grandchildren, Ellie who is 5 and Phoebe who is 4. I even go solo and paint stones on rainy days at the caravan when there are no children around. I sometimes just enjoy being creative. I have built up quite a store of painted rocks, some are simple hearts, smiley faces or happy “emoji” faces. Others are more intricate designs, such as ladybirds, cats and tortoises. Ellie and Phoebe always want to see the newest stones when they come to visit.
So today I loaded up my rucksack and set off for “Penrhos Park” in Anglesey. It’s a beautiful wooded area with winding paths and tracks, some leading down to a secluded beach. I wore my raincoat and walking shoes and spent about an hour wandering through the trees placing “rock presents” as I went. At one point I had to hurry past a family with young children so that I could get ahead of them and place stones before they saw me. I usually put them in the boughs of trees, on top of fences, in the cracks between dry stone walls and in the exposed roots of trees. Today I could hear the delighted shrieks of kids who’d discovered the newly placed pebbles just behind me. I smiled as I went about my task, knowing that some kids were enjoying the game, nearly as much as me. Usually, when people find the stones they post them on “Facebook” and comment on where and when they found them, there is a group named “Anglesey rocks“. Today I was even lucky enough today to see two red squirrels, a wonderful sight, as one ran directly across my path.
Of course don’t go assuming that I do this activity for the sake of children, no, no, no. I do it because I need to beat my team-mates in my “Fitbit” group. We usually have a “workweek challenge”, and we have to try to accomplish more steps than the rest of the group in order to win. The others in the group are at least 30 years younger than me, and they have busy jobs. I struggle to match their steps every day, so I have to be inventive. Walking around the woods, or on the beach keeps me in the game, even though I usually lose when the results are in at the end of the week.
So, I need to go now, I have a new batch of pebbles to paint, and I need to dust off my tiara. My pink sparkly dress and festooned wand are waiting, and upon saying the magic word I will be transformed, once more, into the “Fairy rock mother’. Bye for now.