Remembering Dad’s game with gnomes reminded me of how he used to play a game with me when we were out somewhere busy. For example, one day we were shopping in Staines, and the street was rather crowded. Suddenly Dad stopped and looked up in the sky, pulling a surprised face.
“Look up there!” he said loudly and pointed. I said I couldn’t see anything. “Just there! Quick, look now!” he said again. And so he carried on. People stopped and looked. Dad winked at me. “Just there!” he said.
I had worked it out by now of course, but no one else had seen him wink. The crowd was growing and beginning to block the pavement. A couple of people were claiming to have seen “it” as well and were pointing it out to others who were inexplicably unable to see anything.
Dad smiled, took my hand, and we walked away to meet up with Mum.
He pulled the same trick at Windsor Safari Park another day. We came across a small, empty pen. “Look!” he said, “Behind that clump of grass! I just saw something move.” I was older and wiser by then, so was able to play along. We soon got a crowd and I’m pretty certain at least one man was describing the colour and shape of the creature by the time we left. Happy days.