I telephone the Little Welsh Boys and unwittingly set off World War Three
Young Morgan (also known as the Duracell Bunny
because he never, ever stops) insists on taking possession of the phone, pressing all the buttons and effectively cutting off his grandparents (that is, Mr and me.) At the second try I can hear attempts by his parents to remove the phone from his grasp, ending
up in screams of protest. My Boy (father of the Little Welsh Boys) suggests we Skype instead.
After a little bit of messing about with the laptop, we are connected.
I can see that Young Morgan is still clutching onto the phone for dear life. He appears a little flummoxed that we have suddenly appeared on the computer screen, rather than being safely hidden away in the telephone where he last heard us.
James, the Middle of the LWBs, stands himself four square in front of the computer and tells us about school. Tomorrow, he tells me, he will be wearing his pyjamas to school over
the top of his ordinary clothes. A pyjama party? I ask him - but no, it’s much more serious than that. Class One is studying Day and Night. The wearing of pyjamas is an important Learning Point. However, while we are talking about
parties, he has been invited to lots of birthday parties – it seems he is a Popular Person. I am pleased, but not surprised to learn of his popularity. If I were still five, I would desperately want to be James’s friend. I hope I’d
be invited to his parties. He would certainly be invited to mine. "Can I talk to Grandad now?" he asks me. Chastened, I consider myself well and truly dismissed. I bet Grandad would be invited to James's parties...
Sam the story-teller has a new story to relate. I think he has made it upon the spur of the moment as is the case with all the best of our stories. I am not surprised to hear that animals figure large in his story
– Sam is set to become the 21st century equivalent of David Attenborough. I can just picture a grown-up version of my eldest LWB creeping through the jungle undergrowth and befriending a family of gorillas.
My Boy takes over the laptop at his end and we talk about his new job. He looks tired and I wish I could magic myself to Cardiff and lend a helping hand with the bedtime routine. It works for
Harry Potter, why not for me?
This is what I love about Skype. Not just the conversations but the “I Spy Family Life.” Sometimes My Boy
will set up his laptop at one end of the dining room table while the boys are having their dinner. It is just like being sat around the table as if an extra place has been set for me. The boys include me casually in their conversation and show
me their empty plates when they have finished them. Obviously I am unable to help with the washing up....
Skyping my older brother was a similar experience. “Come and look at our new bathroom,”
he exhorted me, carrying me (or at least his laptop with me on it) up the stairs. I admire the new bathroom and then he carries me downstairs again, only a little more carefully in case he loses his footing. I feel as if I am descending the stairs backwards.
It is a disorientating experience and one I am not keen to repeat in a hurry. But the new bathroom is, indeed, lovely.
My other Skype buddy is grand-daughter Eleanor.
We talk about homework and Hunger Games. Not necessarily in that order. She shows me how she has tidied her bedroom and how neat her book-shelves now look. I rather think she should be doing her homework but I am enjoying myself too much to suggest
she turns me off.
Back with My Boy and his boys. While we are chatting, My Boy and I, his biggest boy – Young Sam – creeps in and throws his
skinny arms round his Dad’s neck. “I love you, Daddy,” he says. They have both forgotten that I am there, inadvertently eavesdropping, via Skype, on this most private of conversations. I probably shouldn’t have overheard it.
But I’m rather glad I did.