Unplugged

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There is no Internet here, nor does my phone work.

"This is so peaceful!" says Scout, crouching on her knees eating ramen noodles at the coffee table. Outside, pretty brown ducks leave the river and waddle up to our balcony, hopeful.

In the afternoon, we walk on sandy riverbanks and collect driftwood treasure. "Can you hold this stick please, Explorer Mummy?" asks Ralph. He needs both hands free to clamber up a sandy staircase that leads to unknown lands.

City kids, I have to keep warning them: "Don't put your hand inside that hollow log!" and "Don't go into that scrub!" and, about every five minutes, or more, "Ralph, don't jump into the river!" My caution doesn't stop their fun, as they race from one new discovery to another.

Shadows lengthen, kangaroos begin to appear. Scout follows a mother and joey, who lead her around and about, through trees and over grassy fields, stopping to watch her with intelligent eyes, then hopping away just as she gets too close.

I didn't think to pack pantry staples so, as the sun sets, we eat Chinese takeout and grapes for dinner, washed down with cheap prosecco from the supermarket.

("I have a good idea," said Ralph earlier, while we were still in the car. "What's that buddy?" I asked. "Coco Pops!" announced Ralph, triumphantly.)

So we also buy Coco Pops to have for breakfast in the morning. And Cornflakes to feed to the ducks.

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