As part of my Plans For Change, I have decided to begin taking Stardust to out for walks as often as possible in the mornings. Getting out of the house before 8am is a little bit of a challenge, as it means that I have to be more organised getting both myself and Stardust ready.
By the time we reach the park, the tai qi enthusiasts are already dancing in slow motion to the tinny melody issuing forth from a battered-looking stereo. The dew is still shimmering purple on the grass, and the mynah birds and sparrows hop ahead of us, their heads tilted hopefully. There are a few people walking their dogs, pairs of jogging women with blond ponytails and iPods, bird-fanciers togged out in camoflauge gear and toting giant cameras...but Stardust is always most fascinated by a group of hardcore exercisers led by an aging aerobics instructor.
"Yap, Ee, San, See!!" yells the geriatric Jane Fonda vehemently, punching the air. Stardust flails his arms wildly in imitation, chuckling loudly. I am pleased to see that amongst the group there are a few wheelchair-bound folk present with their friends or helpers who are participating enthusiatically, wiggling their hips in their seats.
Further on, we reach the waterlily pond and stand by the edge, waiting for the ducks to swim towards us. The pond is crowded with fish, all pouting in the shade of a wooden pavilion. Now and then, an archerfish will swim up and send a jet of water flying to shoot down a wandering insect. Something spooks the fish and with in a silver flash of tails and bubbles, they are all gone.
The sun is rising higher and I can feel the sweat beading across my nose. From the depths of my bag, I fish out a tumbler of water - still icy cold. Stardust gulps down the water greedily, holding the tumbler in his two little hands, then generously offers me the rest. He waves goodbye to the park as we leave.