The Duracell Bunny is on fine form.
"Morgan knows everything!" he informs me, within minutes of our arrival chez the Cardiff Ball Family. "Is that so?" I say,
playing for time. Young Morgan eyes me speculatively, summing up my capacity for entertainment. As in, me doing the entertaining - though, to be honest, I suspect my Little Welsh Boys will keep me royally entertained all weekend. We have travelled by train,
Mr B and I, and we are a trifle travel-weary but nevertheless up for anything. We are, after all, here to help James celebrate his sixth birthday and it's going to be fun all the way. Oh, yes it is!
Six years old already! Oh dear, my Little Welsh Boys really aren't so little anymore. The Darling Daughter in Law and I go to meet the two big boys from school (I push the Duracell Bunny on his trike - "Not that way! That way!" he exhorts me regally
every so often, from his commanding position up-front) and it is quite clear from the moment they tumble out of the school doors that they have grown even in the month or so since I saw them last.
the eldest of the LWBs, is clutching a small, credit card-sized piece of paper on which is written his user name and password to sign on to something called Mathletics, which is his homework for the weekend. Only when he has completed all the homework will
he be able to play the games, he tells me seriously, so we clear a space on the dining room table for the laptop and he sets to work. I am impressed by his concentration to the task, concentration not generally being one of his strongest trait unless the task
in hand involves animals or the telling of a story. But this is Maths and he sticks at it gamely until every task is finished and he has totted up 940 points out of a possible 1000. It would have been even more, had he not pressed the "submit" button a bit
too hastily on a couple of occasions. In fact the only downside to Mathletics, it seems to me, is that the promise of the games, once he has completed the hard slog of times tables and multiplication, doesn't live up to his high expectations. "They aren't
as good as I thought they would be," he says, a little sadly. Possibly because they are mathematically based games. This is Mathletics after all.
In the kitchen, the Making of the Birthday Cake
is taking up all the Darling Daughter in Law's attention. There will be 33 children at Sunday's party, so the cake must be (I) large enough and (ii) on a par with all the other magnificent cakes she has made in the past. She likes to set herself a challenge,
you have to admire her. She has pulled up on the laptop a picture of a Pokemon character called Pikachu (or something similar, I am sadly deficient in Knowledge of All Things Pokemon) and is busily fashioning a fair replica of the person (?) in question out
of coloured icing.
As it is his Birthday Weekend, the choice of activity falls to James. We go swimming and I am doing well until yellow lights flash and waves start crashing from one end of the pool to the
other. I am, shall we say, taken aback. Mr B, sitting in the adjacent cafe, looks up and waves back at me - did he but know it and I am not waving, but drowning. I've read a poem about that....
I have to be
rescued by my two grandsons. Their father is laughing so much that it is a few minutes before he, too, wades to my rescue by which time I apparently resemble the proverbial drowned rat. I believe it is not a good look.
In the afternoon, a less dangerous trip out. We go to a farm shop - with the emphasis on the word "farm". There are donkeys, alpacas, hens, sheep, goats, cows and a really fat pig. It's just like the Darling Buds of May - apart from it being September
and there being nobody resembling Pa Larkin around. Nor Catherine Zeta Jones for that matter.
The boys are tired out by the end of the day. Morgan falls asleep over his tea and sleeps right through
being washed and put to bed. It means we have a peaceful evening, eating delicious home-made curry and playing Nomination Whist.
The down-side is that the Duracell Bunny (who, you will remember, knows
everything) is likely to be up very, very early in the morning....