Sam the Storyteller is nine years old. How old is that? Far too old, I fear, to be called a Little Welsh Boy any longer. I feel just a little bit sad at the thought.
for long, of course. We will be celebrating next Sunday by combining our Family Beach Day with a Worthing Birthday - as I always say, why have one celebration when you could have two? It means I shall be baking yet another birthday cake come Friday, that will
be the fourth grandchild's cake I will have made in so many months. I will push to the back of my consciousness the undoubted fact that my cake will never match up to (i) the Pokemon cake Sam's mum made for his birthday yesterday or (ii) the stunning alpaca
cake fashioned by my sister for two of her grandkids, celebrating their "Walking With Alpacas" activity. The latter cake actually had alpacas (of the small, plastic variety you will be relieved to hear) on top and everything. My cake will be modest in comparison
but made, as always, with the help of good old Delia Smith and lots of love. And why have one birthday cake, Sam, when you could have two? You can probably tell that I am working up towards a theme here...
spoke to the Birthday Boy via FaceTime yesterday and he recounted, in full, the events of the day, from getting up in the morning through the opening of presents, the swimming, the High Ropes party outing and the cake. It was almost as good as having been
there. Though not quite. Brother James then took over. He was proud of his achievement in negotiating the High Ropes like his brother - his Dad had accompanied him "just in case" but found himself Surplus to Requirements. James unfortunately didn't have time
to say too much before The Duracell Bunny arrived centre screen. It was the equivalent of photo-bombing - presumably there is an appropriate name for such behaviour on FaceTime. If not, perhaps somebody, somewhere could invent one.
Sam's Dad carried his laptop into the dining room so that I could check for myself that the all-important Birthday Banner - "SAMUEL IS NINE" it reads - was in place. There, too, were Sam's other grandparents, Bampi (Welsh for Grandad)
being busy putting together Sam's main birthday present, one of those new-style, self-propelling three-wheeled scooters. Apparently you propel them along by moving your hips and legs as if you are skiing downhill - not that I would know, never having been
skiing in my life. It's all about using your body power. Always assuming you possess body power. I am not too sure, speaking personally.
The Duracell Bunny was keen to demonstrate that, young as he is, he
not only has body power but has also mastered the art of self-propulsion. His feet just about stretch across the foot pads while, at a considerable stretch, he can reach the handlebars. Off he travelled across the dining room floor, hips and little legs moving
in easy rhythm. He even managed to demonstrate the easy braking system which "offers kids increased control and a safe ride." The Duracell Bunny may be only three years old but he believes himself to be every bit as old as Sam.
I used to wonder, when the Duracell Bunny was but a babe in arms, whether he would ever be able to infiltrate the close brotherly bond between his older brothers - so close that they even invented their own language, understood by nobody but themselves.
I should have known better. Nobody, but nobody, could ever leave the DB out of anything. My Welsh Boys are a Gang of Three. One of them may, in the future, emerge as the Leader of the Pack. My money is on the Duracell Bunny.
For the moment, however, it is Sam who mostly dictates the State of Play, not simply because he is the oldest but mostly because Sam is the storyteller. Sam it is who will painstakingly write out the script for the boys' latest puppet show or other
entertainment. Sam who will take over my latest bedtime instalment of The Tales of the Jolly Boy Boat and create ever more exciting, exaggerated, unbelievable adventures than those I have plucked from my own imagination. Sam reminds me so much of myself when
I was nine years old. Apart from being considerably braver than I ever was - you wouldn't have caught me negotiating the High Ropes when I was his age. Or any age for that matter.
Happy Ninth Birthday, Sam
the Storyteller! Next weekend I am hoping we will spin some more stories together.
Some of them will doubtless be Tall Tales...