Today my great-nephew, seven year old Jay, succeeded in tying his own shoe-laces for the first time.
Earlier in the day,
both he and his mother, the lovely Debs, had been struggling with sheer frustration as he (the learner) and she (the teacher) tried and failed to crack the knack. In the end we called time on Tying the Knot and went off to play putting instead.
We played Boys versus Girls in the beautiful surroundings of Tuckton Tea Gardens. The combined age of the Girls Team was 170; the combined age of the Boys Team was 77.
Fortunately neither Jay nor his younger brother Ben seemed to be at all bothered at how many shots they needed to get their ball into each hole so the fact that the boys lost by 114 shots to the girls’ 104 troubled them not a jot.
Mr B and I have had a totally lovely weekend in the company of my Little Sister and her husband. On Friday evening, it was the Fiftieth Anniversary Concert of The Seekers at the Bournemouth
International Centre. On the big screen behind the foursome as they sang, charmingly old-fashioned footage of their concerts and TV appearances, charting the successes of their long career in show-biz. My sister and I rocked with laughter at the
grainy film which accompanied their famous lullaby “Morningtown Ride” – this featured a particularly grumpy-looking child sitting with Judith Durham, looking as if he / she (we couldn’t make out which it was) would rather be absolutely
anywhere but on a steam train with one of the most famous folk singers of the day. I had to sober up when Mr B dug me in the side with his elbow and said I was rocking the whole of Row D with my guffaws and could I please desist? Or words to that
It was an emotional evening, given that Judith Durham had suffered a life-threatening brain haemorrhage only a year ago. Still frail, but with a
voice which soared just as we remembered it, her return to the stage on the other side of the world from her Australian homeland was a triumph of hope and courage.
Saturday was spent looking
round the recently opened Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre where my brother-in-law is a hard-working volunteer, followed by a trip on the Land Train round the Head. In order to reach the cafe, where we shared two portions of chips with our cups of coffee,
we had to run the gauntlet of a determined young twosome who were selling painted stones outside one of the beach huts – 20p for a small stone, 50p for a large stone and 50p for an arrangement of small stones strung together to make wind chimes. We couldn’t
decide whether we should reward their initiative or obey our baser instinct which told us that we really didn’t want or need a stone daubed with paint or a set of wind chimes which didn’t chime. We chickened out by telling them we were on our way
to the cafe and would consider their offer over a cup of coffee, crossing our fingers that they would have been called into lunch by the time we re-traced our steps.
Mr B and I had been requested to come on our visit armed with £1 each in pennies, five pences, ten and twenty pences. This was easy enough as Mr B likes to save loose change in a selection of empty tins and graciously shared his pennies
with me. We needed the cash, we discovered, in order to play a game called Five Crowns which is a kind of rummy. I proved to be spectacularly bad at this game, ending the weekend with just 22p of my money left. My sister sat triumphant, with a huge pile
of pennies mounting up steadily beside her, hand after hand. I fared rather better at Mexican Train (a version of dominoes) but unfortunately for me we didn’t this play this game for money.
And so to our Sunday morning putting game – and as we left sunny Tuckton Gardens, on our way back to the house where a delicious Sunday Lunch would complete our Great Weekend Away, I suddenly realised that Young Jay
was hanging back. Crouched down on the grass, without fuss or fanfare, he was painstakingly working out for himself how to tie his shoe-laces. The look on his face when he succeeded was truly wonderful. His technique was spot on too –unlike
the thirty year old man I read about recently who bewailed the fact that he still had to resort to “bunny ears” when tying his shoe laces.
Such a special
weekend we had, to be sure. Thanks to my lovely sister and brother-in-law for making us so welcome (even if you did rob us of all our pennies.)
thanks to Young Jay for reminding me that perseverance always – but always – pays off.