Town mouse on the Slow Movement

I was striding down the King’s Road with my eight-year-old son one afternoon recently, when an unknown Scandinavian lady put up a hand. ‘Stop! Too fast,’ she commanded. ‘I was one of nine children, and my mother would never let us walk with our father when we were little, because his legs were too long.’ The little ones had to trot to keep up.

Initially, I may not have welcomed the observation, akin, in terms of pricking the privacy bubble, to the cyclist who banged on the roof of my car the other day. But, of course, she was right, as Charlie confirmed. I bowed to her wisdom. Apart from anything, we Aslets, I’ve just learnt, have Viking blood.

There may be a wider lesson here. We’ve had Slow Food, even Slow Water. Now, perhaps it’s time for Slow Life. Why hurry in a recession? Charlie and I got to the Chelsea Gardener, intending to buy cress seeds, and left with bulging carrier bags filled with small watering cans and salad planters.

He’s been off school with a tummy bug. ‘Been anywhere near a barbecue, has he?’ enquired the doctor, immediately identifying the cause. Watch out for the perils of summer. As for that cress, it’s quite the wrong plant for the times too fast.