Pascoe was about to leave. Nigel had already driven off with the twins.
If you had only two hours before your oldest child disappeared off to a neighbouring country, what how would you choose to spend the time?
Well near us, there’s an old gravel pit, now a picturesque lake, where Pascoe once learned to sail. He spent many hours in and on the water and I spent many hours by it. To while away the hours, I used to watch the grebes.
We decided that we just about had time for a walk round the lake.
As so often, we saw the grebes with their sharply drawn plumage. A pair of them were sitting in the water, bobbing their heads at each other.
“You know, Pascoe, for the last couple of years I’ve had it on my to-do list to see the courtship display of the great crested grebe.”
“For longer than that Mum.”
“It’s meant to be pretty spectacular.”
Disappointingly, the pair stopped head-bobbing and dived beneath the water.
“No. I’ve still never seen the whole display.”
“Maybe it’s just after they dive that they do it,” joshed Pascoe.
I laughed, and we walked on.
But something made me look back at the gleaming water. The grebes had re-emerged. Heads down, they were speeding towards one another, low in the water.
As we watched, the grebes met each other and somehow stood up in the water. And finally, the male presented the female with the magical gift of a strand of weed, the clincher, the bit I’d never seen before.
“That’s it, Mum, you can tick it off your list now.”