The Next Generation

Today was not only the first time I’d managed to get into the fields in exactly four months, but also marked a small milestone in my shooting “career”. For the first time ever, my boy came with me for my afternoon walk and – bless him – behaved as well as I’ve ever seen. My wife tells me that there is quite a lot of “he wants to be you” going on with him at the moment and that this explains his ability to behave, essentially, perfectly, when he thinks he’s doing something that “only daddy does”. I’m extremely proud of him.

The DIY continues unabated, albeit at a slower pace than it has previously. We’re almost there: radiators, skirting and architrave are all on the walls; the painting is finished barring a few spots in need of a touch-up; curtain rails, lighting and so on are all fitted; the fireplace has been unexpectedly and successfully rebuilt. We await the arrival of the new carpet and fitters with baited breath: by the time it’s put in, everything else will have been done.

My wife said to me the other day that she now trusts me to do DIY over hiring people on the basis that I’ve done such a good job. I did tell her before we started (to much disbelief) that I would (and having the proper tools helps) but it was gratifying to hear after all the effort. What this all means – other than that I will now be expected to redecorate the rest of the house to the same standard – is that trips into the fields can once again become a regular feature of my existence and updates to this blog will be less “filler” and more “content”.

Perhaps my boy will even come out again.

It was pleasing that he took the wood pigeon I shot today “in his stride” so to speak. Although he behaved appallingly after we returned home -regression to the mean, no doubt – whilst we were out, he asked lots of intelligent questions, followed my instructions and seemed happy enough that we having a walk with the chance of a bird or two to take home and eat, even though he knew there was no possibility of him shooting anything. Beyond a few nettle stings (which usually have him in tears, but which today he shrugged off happily enough) nothing was amiss. Most importantly, we were safe and although hot, well-prepared with sun cream and water. It was a good “father-and-son” afternoon. Meanwhile, I managed 1-for-3 with the 16 gauge, which I didn’t think was too bad, given that I’ve barely picked a gun up in the last four months.

I’m looking forward to getting out again soon.