The Twinkles were in fine form yesterday. It must have been the new shoes.
Black patent shoes, they were, with bows on. Size
two and a half, since you ask. I know you always like the Daily Blog to go into detail. Their mum, the Middle of the Darling Daughters came out to meet Mr B and me ( we had made slow progress from the station - I think she may have thought we had got lost.)
Don't worry, she hadn't left the Twinkles alone. My best friend from school, Pat, and Pat's daughter, Pip, were in charge. As they confidently said: "There's two of them and two of us - what could be easier?"
When we finally arrived, The Twinkles were Holding Court. Tala was jumping away like a small and particularly active kangaroo on Pip's lap, obviously seeing her as a kind of human Jumperoo, while Lilia was eyeing Pat's dangly
ear-rings lasciviously. All four tiny shoes were notable for not being on either Twinkles' feet. " I didn't think they'd ever be able to take them off," mourned the Middle of the Darling Daughters. She should have known better.
The occasion was one of our regular "Godparents and God-daughters" get-togethers. Pat is godmother to the Middle of the Darling Daughters, while Mr B and I are proud god-parents to Pip. I don't think
we realised when we set up this mutually compatible arrangement all those years ago, what pleasure it would give us over the years to maintain our Godly Link. Especially when doing so involves a long lunch every so often in the convivial surroundings of Bill's
Pip and I took The Twinkles off to a long, leather seat where they could exercise their legs by cruising along to their hearts' content. After a
while they seemed to reach a mutual, wordless agreement to change over adults so that when lunch arrived we each returned to our seat carrying a different Twinkle than the one we started with. It happened so seamlessly that Pip and I hardly realised it was
So where was the Rampaging Rascal? I hear you ask. Well, he was at pre-school play group where the infinitely patient staff are painstakingly teaching
him important social skills like sitting in a circle with all the other children for story-time or home-time. Every time he does what every other child does without question, he receives a sticker. His red jumper is festooned with them. Our Rascal is in Sticker
I have to say I really missed our Rascal but there is no denying that lunch was rather more peaceful than it would have been in the Presence of a Rampager. Once the Twinkles settled down for their
post-lunch nap in the Big Purple Buggy, we could get down to Serious Conversation. As always, with good friends, we picked up where we had left off.
Travelling home was rather a trial as poor Mr B's legs staged
a mutiny. You could call it a "walk-out" except that walking was just impossible. Thank goodness for the Kindness of the Many Strangers who helped us home. The two burly policemen on Clapham Junction Station; the customer service staff from Great First Western
and Southern rail services who helped us on and off trains; the lovely guard on the 17.22 from Clapham to Durrington who made sure to find us mid-journey just to reassure us that he would be there to help us alight at our home station; and the kind fella at
Durrington who shepherded my brave Mr B carefully over the footbridge while I dashed home to fetch the car.
I particularly appreciated the two young school-girls on Wimbledon Station - light blue uniforms,
probably no more than Year 7 - who asked what they could do to help and ran off to find a guard to assist us. Their school should be proud of them.
It was SO good to reach home. We turned on Masterchef Australia
and put our troubles behind us. There is nothing like watching other people in hot water.
The Middle of the Darling Daughters texted to make sure we were okay.
"Drink wine, Mum!" she advised me. I responded, a trifle sadly, that we were right out of wine. A few minutes later, an intriguing text: "Listen for the door-bell!"
Not long afterwards, there on the door step,
a friendly fella from Shafiques, our favourite local Indian restaurant bearing a carrier bag in which nestled a bottle of rather splendid wine - and a serving of onion bahjis.
Our Darling Daughter knows us