I was so pleased with myself. I had completed my second challenge and I had done it without cheating too. What I needed now was a third challenge.
And so I asked her again, "What shall I photograph tomorrow?"
She said "A gigantic bra that is purple and can fit a blob in one boob hole and a Winefride in the other?"
And she smiled the broadest of smiles, doing an impression of Blob Thing.
I panicked. I said, "That's impossible."
She asked why and I responded, in my flat panic, "Because I would have to go to big shops for big people."
She accepted this. Challenge closed. And she said "A giant shoe?"
I panicked again and said "There is only one in Southport. Blob was in it." It's true. He was in it.
She accepted this. Challenge closed. And she said "A smoker next to a no smoking sign."
I immediately knew how to complete this challenge. I would just have to go back to the Royal Victoria Infirmary. There were nearly always smokers puffing away right next to signs telling them that smoking is not allowed on hospital grounds.
That challenge would be too easy - and possibly embarrassing for someone if they ever saw the photo.
She accepted this. Challenge closed. And she said "Spidered spiderweb."
This challenge seemed difficult. But perhaps not impossible. I accepted the challenge.
But it was too late. My head was already considering the possibilities of other challenges. The bra. The shoe. I promptly forgot about the smoker, something I dearly wish I could do when standing at bus stops.
Due to panic, due to not being able to see through difficulties, I had not one challenge but three. I will think of them in order of which ones I happen to want to write about them. And I will end with some terrible soft toy parenting skills.
Challenge number one: The giant shoe.
Facebook friends came to my aid. I asked where I could find and photograph such a thing and within minutes I had the answer. I could have kicked myself because I've walked past this shoe many times. In Grainger Market there is a shoe shop called Scorpio. They have a large shoe. [Actually it's a boot but I'm not going to get picky about it.]
So today I have detoured into the market, eaten samples of custard slice and sausage, witnessed a lizard and a giant snail, wished I was signed up for an underground tour, and photographed a large shoe. Here it is:
Blob Thing, being Blob Thing, asked whether he could have his photograph taken sitting on the shoe. Who am I to refuse such a request?
And then a man passed me, pointed to the roof, and said, "There's a bigger one up there. You can see it from over there."
So instead of taking a photo of a giant shoe I have taken a photo of a giant boot and then another of a giant giant boot.
I think that's good enough. I can call that challenge completed.
Challenge number two: A spidered spiderweb.
Before going out I walked round the garden. No spiderwebs. I looked on the way to the Metro. I looked everywhere I walked in the city centre. No spiderwebs. This was going to be a very difficult challenge.
I went to a meeting in a building in town and then wandered round it a little. It was the kind of place where a spidered spiderweb might have existed. On a doorway on the top floor I found a door sized poster. It contains webs in the corner.
I walked round a little of that floor. I didn't want to disturb the children's party and play going on. Underneath the Peace Tree I found a small tree decorated with leaves by children.
And there on the tree, joy of joys, I found a spiderweb.
It wasn't enough to satisfy me though. I left the building determined to do better. And as I walked I looked up at this.
I looked closely and got very excited about it because there was a real spiderweb. A real one! Spun by a real spider.
I promise you that it's there. It's difficult to see but it's there. Unfortunately the web was far above my head. I had no chance whatsoever of exploring to see whether there might be a spider there who could be coaxed into view.
I wanted more. So I thought hard and wondered where I might find a spider on a web. Or at least a picture of one. An image somewhere. Combining spider and web. I had an idea! Maybe the Laing Art Gallery would have a painting or a picture of some kind containing both a spider and a web. Maybe. I walked round much of the gallery and had no joy, or at least no spider related joy.
But then I turned into a room used for children's art and I could hardly believe my eyes. Among the art there were spiders.
Lots of spiders.
There were lots of webs too. [Cotton wool type webs but I'll ignore that technicality just as I am ignoring the technicality of the spiders being plastic rather than being alive.] And on some of the webs there were spiders.
I think I can say that I passed the second challenge with flying colours.
Challenge number three: A large purple bra.
This was the challenge that had panicked me so much. And yet I completed the challenge with ease. This house contains - don't ask why - a number of bras destined eventually and theoretically for eBay. I looked among those saleable items.
And there among them I found a suitably large purple bra. Anyone want to buy a bra?
Photograph taken. Challenge done.
Sometimes things are a lot easier than expected.
She had said last night, "Thank you for meeting my challenges. I bet you'll even do the bra."
And I had. [Takes a deep bow.]
But that wasn't the end of it. Oh no! Not at all. She had bigger plans for my challenge.
She saw the photo and said this:
"Wow. Now like a hammock!"
And then she said this:
"Swing swing swing swing."
Okay my challenging friend! A hammock. Outside. Made of a bra. And holding my two soft toy friends.
A hammock. But how about that swing, swing, swing part of the challenge?
That video is exactly what the internet was created for. Tim Berners-Lee would be so proud!
Oh dear. My parenting skills. How will she ever trust me again?!
Don't worry. Winefride wasn't hurt. There's a soft landing below.
Three challenges accepted.
Three challenges accomplished.
It's good to have accomplishments!