Hazel, the second oldest of the grand-daughters, informs me that the guy in the Tea and Coffee kiosk is "mango." Hmmm, I need an explanation - possibly you do, too?
a fella is described as "mango", Hazel explains, he is what might have been termed in other times, "fit" or "hot" or, back in my teenage years I seem to remember, "a nice piece of cheese." If he is "banana", then he is just so-so; if "beetroot", bless him,
he is a loser in the Gorgeous Hunk Stakes. I do apologise,incidentally, for the somewhat sexist stance today's blog appears to have adopted, but Teenology 2015 is eternally fascinating and, besides, I do like the Daily Blog to be educational every so often.
There are few experiences more educational than spending time with a sixteen year old granddaughter.
I tell Hazel that I need to check out her Mango Rating for myself and, on the pretext of sussing
out the price of a cup of tea, I wander past the kiosk. To be honest, I would rate the poor lad as Banana at best - which only goes to show how tastes change over the years. Hazel is somewhat mortified that I have acted in such a brazen fashion but I don't
imagine for a moment that Mr Mango Banana will guess what I am up to. Oh, yes, £1.50 by the way. The price of a cup of tea. Despite the charms or otherwise of the kiosk attendant, I maintain my alibi.
are on the beach at Littlehampton for our annual Family Beach Day. It is our best turnout yet, 23 of us in all including all four of our children and all ten of the grandchildren. The sea is coming in so the younger boys plus My Boy and the Darling Daughter-in-Law
set to building a boat. It is a battle against time and tide which, as everyone knows, wait for no one, not even small, excited boys wielding buckets and spades.
As the sea starts to lap around the boat's
prow, the four young boat-builders (plus The Duracell Bunny who won't be left out of any adventure), take their seats and Await The Inevitable. The Darling Daughter-in-Law is amazed how long the Inevitable takes to arrive; on Porthcawl beach, she tells me,
the sea comes in so swiftly that there have been times when there was hardly time to clamber aboard before the sea invaded.
We make our camp at the top of the beach so that we will not have to move lock, stock
and barrel at High Tide. This proves an excellent plan as those without folding chairs can sit on the wall and the Middle of the Darling Daughters doesn't have to struggle over the shingle with the Big Purple Buggy.
I imagine you are expecting a full and detailed report of unusual activities but, truth be told, the most important features of the Family Beach Day are The Conversations. Katie, the eldest of our granddaughters, has lots to tell us about her apprenticeship
- early days but she thinks she is going to love it. My great nephew, sports-mad Jay, has formed the totally erroneous impression that Mr B used to be a famous cricketer. Mr B talks cricket with his avid listener without letting on that his greatest achievement
was captaining his works 20-20 team in the days before that format went national.
News is related, holidays remembered, confidences exchanged, jokes groaned over. Even The Twinkles join in the conversation
as they are handed from one adoring relative to another. The water babies take to the sea, swimming, body-boarding and generally Larking About In the Waves. The sporty find convenient space for a game of beach cricket. We take a walk along the prom (prom prom)
so that the grandchildren can find their names on the Longest Bench - Tala and Lilia, the latest additions to the family, appear fascinated but then fascinated is their default expression. On the way back several of us let the train take the strain and board
the famous Littlehampton Boat Train. It's the Duracell Bunny's first ride on the Boat Train. How did he reach the age of three without experiencing its charms?
Our day finishes with the traditional Fish 'n'
Chips on the beach. It saves people having to cook when they get home. What's not to like?
Indeed, what's not to like about Family Beach Day? It's perfectly simple - just three words. It's one day. We spend
it on a beach. With family.
What could be sweeter?