Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mim-Mill

Chesterton WindmillOne of the many vagaries of our car is that if it is not taken out for a drive every second day the battery will inevitably be flat by the third and the damned thing won’t start. This is fine during week days when Karen and I must journey into work but at the weekend it means we have to go out at least once or call the AA out to our doorstep on Monday.

This weekend trip is, 9 times out of 10, a purely functional journey made to keep the car happy.

But gradually it has morphed into a mini family outing that we all look forward to. We don’t go far – a round journey of no more than 10 or 12 miles that takes in some of the outlying villages that surround Leamington Spa. But it’s a great way to dust off weekend bed-heads, avoid cabin fever and remind ourselves that even in the depth of winter and the depth of a recession (I don’t care what the politicians say: my bank account says it isn’t over yet) a breathtakingly beautiful world is still out there to be explored.

Recently we have taken to driving a wide circuit around a local landmark – Chesterton Windmill. Tom had only seen a picture of a windmill in one of his kiddy books before so to see a real one was amazing. It was one of those moments that I wish I’d had the foresight to catch on film. Awe, dawning understanding, delight and excitement all moved across his face without any of that awful adult self consciousness that inhibits the best of us even when we’re ecstatically happy.

An excited cry of “Mim-mill! Mim-mill!” filled the car. It was one of those ultra cute moments that you always imagine having with your children before you actually have them.

Needless to say the name stuck.

Our weekend journeys now inevitably take us past the mim-mill and Tom has become quite adept at spotting it emerging on the horizon through the trees. I think it will now be forever known as the Mim-mill in our house. One day soon, when spring arrives and the weather turns warmer we plan to park the car nearby (battery permitting) and take Tom in for a closer look...

In that moment his joy will be my joy but the mim-mill will be his in a way that it will never be mine. I envy him that but in a good way.

Sometimes the best things in life truly are free.


25 comments:

Heather said...

its amazing what the small things in life give them so much pleasure at this age, isn't it?

Nota Bene said...

That is a perfect mim-mill....

Steve said...

Heather: I envy them the simple pleasure in easy things...

Nota Bene: ain't it just?

French Fancy said...

As soon as I saw your picture I went 'mill-mill' - yes, truly.

Little jaunts in the car are the best. We sometimes do spur of the moment ones in the summer evenings - aircon on, music blaring - my hand on his knee - yes, the little things in life are the best

Suburbia said...

That's so lovely and so true :)

Steve said...

FF: I love pointless car journeys as much as I love functional ones... I guess I love being a passenger and daydreaming. I've done it since I was a kid.

Surburbia: it'll be one of those memories that'll always put a smile on my face.

Tenon_Saw said...

Ah family moments. We have an 'exploring a maze' tune (dum di diddly...)
You might want to get your alternator checked though, if not the battery.

Selina Kingston said...

Oh how cute! I've always wanted to live in a mim-mill.
(By the way, your car sounds spoilt and demanding - reminds me a bit of me!!)

French Fancy said...

I meant of course *mimm mill* (no point quoting if I get it wrong). I also go into passenger daydream mode and really do prefer to be driven than drive myself - unless I am on my own and then I love the feeling of music and speed and nobody minding the volume

Steve said...

Tenon_Saw: the last MOT did little to uncover the fault. We've larnt to live with it now! And look at the benefits!

Selina: ah but it's a great little runaround and does its job admirably! ;-)

FF: I think I enjoy being a passenger because it is the letting go of responsibility. I love train journeys for much the same reason... those weird spaces in-between destinations where you seem to be unfettered from time and the demands it makes of you (unless you're late for an important appointment, of course)...

The Sagittarian said...

Aw that's so sweet, your mim-mill is our dinky-docks (you'll work it out;

I have a thing for windmills too I must have read a book as a child where someone lived in one and i thought that would be the ultimate in achievement to do that! Maybe it still is eh?

femminismo said...

Lovely. You've written it down and it will be here for others to stumble upon ... maybe your great grandchildren!

ArtSparker said...

Making life-long memories. Just updated my link to you, I was slow so I have missed some of your recent post.s

Steve said...

Amanda: dinky-docks - I love it! I have actually been inside Chestertom Windmill as a boy (a school trip) and remember it as being very, very cramped with little head room... and I was only 10 at the time! They're not made for luxurious living!

Femminismo: I've a number of posts about the boys here... sort of a memory archive for when thy've turned into horrible teenagers and Karen and I need to remind ourselves of how sweet they were once upon a time...!

ArtSparker: thank you for re-establishing contact!

Clippy Mat said...

I will never call them anything else.
and now I am singing,
"the mim-mills of your mind."
;-)

A Write Blog said...

It's funny how kids of all ages can come up with a name that sticks.

We acquired a white cat when our two were about 10 and 12.

We gave her the name 'Minty'. Seemed appropriate.

One of them came up with 'Pusstwitten'.

Don't ask.

But it stuck. Imagine going to the vet for boosters and the rest and having the assistant call out for 'Pusstwitten'

EmmaK said...

I don't know much about cars but don't you need a new battery or saving that a new car? do you put in a new battery and it behaves this badly or what?

Joe Bloggs said...

Absolutely agree; the best things in life are free... guitars are nice too.. but of course, they cost money and have strings attached.

Steve said...

Clippy Matt: I quite like the idea of "Mindy Miller"...!

AWB: Pusstwitten? Sounds vaguely Germanic!

Emma: excellent solutions but alas they require that elusive of resources, money...

Joe Bloggs: I know what you mean, you've struck a real chord with me there.

The Crow said...

What a sweet story, Steve.

We have a chain of 'down-home-cookin' restaurants here in the US called Cracker Barrel. Grandson mistakenly called one Chuckle Barrel, which they are now and forever more.

Angie Muresan said...

My kids are past the age where the scenery interests them. Now they must have their laptops and/or video games with them, or car trips to anywhere are hellish.

Gypsy said...

Children are such wondrous little beings and remind us that we should all find joy in the simple things in life. I wonder at what point we screw it up for ourselves.

Steve said...

Angie: such is the Tao of our eldest boy. Entire journeys are spent head down... not naval gazing but poring into his DS-Lite. It drives me mad. I hate game stations. Give me real life anyday.

Gypsy: see answer above. The moment we get sidetracked into gimicky, fashiony, gadgety, materially inconsequential things!

Old Cheeser said...

Awww that's sweet. One day you should take the kiddies to Holland - there's plenty of mim-mills there and some good uns! On my last visit last Summer we went to an authentic Dutch village (as if there could be any other kind!) with some very good windmills with working parts etc. To be recommended!

Steve said...

OC: I must admit I fancy doing a real long proper tour of Europe. I never thought of doing it in my twenties as Europe never appealed but I feel very differently now. I've heard lots of good things about Holland.