Yesterday we wandered around the pretty village of Overton. Our friend, Stephanie, who lives there, would doubtless have been able to introduce us to some of its best kept secrets but she was away so we muddled through
somehow. We are experts, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I, at "muddling through."
Mr B finds "muddling through" extremely stressful. He would far, far rather have a plan, including where we would
eat, when we would eat and (possibly even) what we would eat. He certainly would not have embraced our trip into the Overton Gallery which turned into our lunch venue. "This is a Gallery," he would have pointed out, "It says so over the door. It has paintings
and prints on the walls. It is not a place for lunch."
However that is exactly what it was - as we discovered when we wandered through to the back of the shop. To be fair, the Y of the DDs had been there before,
with Stephanie, so she did kind of know whither we were wandering. It was a bit too chilly to eat out in the beautiful courtyard but we sat at a table made out of a large decorated box, on stools which were smaller boxes, and admired the view from the window.
There was plenty to see and admire in the Gallery. As regular readers will know (having joined in the celebrations, albeit virtually, which accompanied the announcement) the Middle of the Darling Daughters is expecting
twins in December. Grand-daughter Hazel can't wait and wanders around gift shops like The Gallery, pouncing on appropriately sweet gifts and announcing: "The Twins! The Twins!" Her mother and I could hear her from the other end of the store: "The Twins! The
Twins!" We felt we ought to explain all to the gallery owner, who was as delighted for us as might be expected from someone who didn't know us from Adam but might be hoping for a sale. Or, presumably, two sales - one for each twin.
Lunch over, we decided to wander off the beaten track in search of the little bridge over the river where we could play that favourite childhood game of Pooh Sticks. I am sure you must have played it at least once in your
life, childhood not being childhood without a Bit of Pooh. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters led us a bit of a merry dance and had to pretend that she had always intended to take the long way round, so that I could see the church and read the names on
the War Memorial - but, thanks to Hazel's sense of direction, we finally emerged on the bridge, selected our Weapons of Choice, and entrusted them to the watery depths of the river, watched suspiciously by dozens of assorted ducks. Have you ever seen a suspicious
duck? No, me neither, I think I am being fanciful again. I rather think I need to rein in this unfortunate trait, lest the Daily Blog starts to suffer from Flights of Fancy. Hazel was convinced that she was the winner but it was a close run contest. My twig
was a bit of dead rose bush, all prickly and fierce looking. As Pooh Sticks go, it was a Force to Reckon With.
We delivered Hazel to the house where she was to enjoy a sleepover with friends then picked Jack
up from his work and eventually found ourselves, with friend Zoe, in a cinema in Basingstoke watching a film in which Harry Potter pretended to be someone called Wallace, who was in love with a girl called Chantry but was pretending he only wanted to be best
friends. Jack and I agreed, as we were cleaning our teeth in the bathroom later that night (there is nothing quite like a companionable chat over the toothpaste, even if you do have to say "Pardon!" quite a lot on account of having mouths full of toothbrush)
that it was wizard, albeit without a single owl in sight.
Now I am on my way home to Worthing where Mr B will hopefully be waiting at the station for me. As Young Faris would say, I am "in training." My last
lovely day was spent wandering around Eastrop Park, enjoying yet another lunch and visiting the Sixth Form College which Jack will be attending from September. While he and his mum were engaged in subject interviews, tours of the campus and the buying of train
tickets, Hazel and I took a little tour of our own, ending up in the college restaurant where free drinks were being served. As my daughter said when she finally tracked us down, I can smell coffee from any distance. Especially when it's free.
While waiting for daughter and grandson to join us, my Hazel and I had the best of conversations about anything and everything. How I love these grown-up grandchildren of mine! My relationship with them is entering a whole
new phase (even if we haven't completely foregone the pleasures of Pooh sticks...)
" I love our family," my golden girl of a grand-daughter tells me, confidingly, adding: "I love the way we all really, really
LIKE each other...."
I know what she means and I just hope that, somewhere along the way, I had at least something to do with it.
Even when I know that, for
the most part, I was just muddling through.