After their crowd-raising success last night (the second standing ovation, I should have said, with the Belgians in Mechelen also leaping to their feet), and the predicatable ebullience that ensued, we thought the boys might have been keen on a lie-in this morning. How wrong we were.
Bright and early (every morning! When will they learn that a group leader before their compulsory morning coffee will put a bear with a sore head to shame?!) they were once again to be found prowling the breakfast buffet with intense and focused concentration. Warning to parents: I suspect we may have inadvertently opened their eyes to the ways of the world. You could easily find breakfast is no longer a 'proper breakfast' unless it now offers a selection of rolls, various cheeses, a good spread of different hams and a couple of different fruit salad options. Today was to be their day off, and they were not keen to waste a moment of potential "when can I spend my money?" time.
First stop was Experimentarium, the hands-on science museum. For those who probably find themselves wonderingly wearily whether their son ever concentrates, please can I propose a few case-closing illustrations:
(Be sure to observe the characteristic employment of The Tongue of Concentration in the final image).
Having swung, jumped, climbed, shouted and produced electronic fart noises - all supposedly in the name of science (incidentally, science museums were not at all like this in my day. Ed.), we moved on to visit Copenhagen's most popular visitor attraction, Hans Christian Andersen's 'Little Mermaid' statue. Whilst we would perhaps have had a "hard-sell" if we'd tried them on the original literary tales, there was the highly predicatable fascination with her numerous beheadings, and it did result in the quote of the day: see below (I'll keep you guessing just to ensure you read to the end. Mwah ha ha!!!)
With 'Culture: done', we finally moved onto the Lego shop, where Mr DofM found himself confronted by a brave new world of possibilities. A lego figure is typically around 1.5 inches tall. Here is a lego man with one of our choristers. Yes, he really is that small:Oh, alright, maybe this lego man is a *little* bit bigger than average, but surely my elaborate hoax was worth a go, my eagle-eyed readers? Boys did spend money. There's no denying it. Can I suggest storage boxes, and plenty of them.
Following this brief splurge of consumerism (and our first so far, despite the boys' apparent fear that their money might somehow go out of date if not spent within the first couple of hours of the tour), we had a bracing walk back through Copenhagen to the youth hostel, to change for dinner. Yes, I said dinner: a proper restaurant, where the boys tried, ate and liked squid (of all things!), followed by more familiar favourites like lamb and chicken. The evening was finished off with energetic games of table tennis, and not such energetic games of ludo and Happy Families!
Tired, happy boys in bed. Tired, happy group leaders in bed. What more can you ask?
Oh, and happy Valentine's day. And, since I did promise, and despite your lack of Valentine's cards for me, here is the long-overdue quote of the day. From an overhead snippet of chorister conversation: "Well you couldn't talk to a mermaid anyway: they speak in bubbles. You know, like fish-language and stuff."