After we'd chosen some other presents, I told him he could choose five beads from the bead shop. He sort of got round this by choosing five charms and five beads, and wouldn't give any of them back because each bead had apparently developed a strong and unbreakable attachment to him...
On the way back, as a special treat we visited to a gorgeous ice-cream parlour, with a very kind waitress, fifteen sorts of ice-cream, tables with white table-cloths and a mirror that showed us eating our ice-cream in an "upside-down world". It was magical.
We also managed to cover lots of conversational topics over the day, including:
- how soldiers now tend to wear camouflage gear rather than full suits of medieval plate armour
- the difference between a true friend and a false friend (this came from something he had heard from the older children at school - a false friend is apparently someone who "gives you expensive presents and throws wild parties")
- what children (his age) mean when they say "I won't be your friend any more!", especially when everything is fine five minutes later
- why children should not run off in shops so that their parents can't find them (I heard this later re-enacted, with him featuring as the parent and his toy shrimp as the wayward child)
- how the planets are all named after Roman gods
- how, with the weather, You Never Can Tell (a favourite saying of his)
- what you can see when you are in an aeroplane (and why you are not in space, even when you are above the clouds)
- the different methods for dyeing one's hair (or beard; this particular conversation was prompted by seeing a man with a pink beard)
- what money is for
- what a "chicken dinner" is
- how God is the reason the world is "full of lovely things"