It doesn’t matter whether or not the sun is shining and it also doesn’t matter if it’s raining and there’s a vicious head wind.
The weather can never deter the Young Mothers of Mann from getting out there, pushing their prams.
(Well, they’re pushchairs invariably, not those vast, well sprung perambulators of olden days which were always a signal of wealth and social position, especially with a uniformed nurse to push one ).
In the event these are far too stately for today’s young matrons. A girl can’t work up a proper speed behind one of those things and speed is often an essential element in these maternal outings.
It also doesn’t seem to matter, from my observations, how many young are in the pushchairs.
Usually it’s one, sometimes two and, now and then, no less than three which requires pushchairs which have an upper deck for the youngest. As for the wind and rain, the cargo is secure under a plastic bubble.
The mothers are also nearly always encumbered by a substantial backpack, obviously carrying in-flight provisions. Just think of that when you have to cater for three.
Of course, the expedition might not be just a light constitutional. It might be a shopping expedition and for some young mothers, conscious of the necessity of cutting a shapely figure, an opportunity for healthful exercise.
On a sunny morning last week I saw two of them on Douglas seafront. They were obviously friends and not just walking but jogging on the push without a pause for breath.
They just kept on talking.
As a motorist, when I see them waiting to cross a road and hoping for a friendly break in the traffic, I try to stop and oblige, whether it’s on a crossing or not. It always wins you the nod of a fair head and a sparkling smile. If the young are awake you might also get a wave.
Occasionally you see some with a dog on a lead as well. In fact I once saw a girl not yet advanced into motherhood, wearing those otiose denim shorts to display long legs which should have had a licence, speeding along the promenade being towed by an eager Alsatian and talking volubly on her mobile.
She was going faster than I drive.
All right, I admit that husbands also take on the duty of walking the children in a pushchair at weekends. But there is a difference. You never see them out in bad weather. And you never see them jogging.
No, the Young Mothers of Mann are special. In fact I would like to see them use the phrase as the title of group organised for social occasions and the exchange of chatter.
I would be delighted to be invited to be the honorary pushchairman.
l The Manx Independent reported a debate in Tynwald on electoral boundary reform with photographs of three members who contributed to it. They included the Speaker of the House of Keys with the caption ‘Dogs breakfast: Steve Rodan’ which was no way to refer to Mr Speaker.
Hopefully it was a short reference to his view of the reforms proposed.
l I am assured that there was a sign by the road at Ballacraine encouraging people to attend ‘Kirk Micheal Fun Day.’ What fun, going there to tell the people how to spell the name of where they live.
l Karl Campbell’s Manx crossword clue is: Rubs down little animals trapped by Manx cat, possibly (7) – PUMICES. Times Jumbo Cryptic.