The Middle of the Darling Daughters - who is, without doubt, the artistic one in our family - is busily painting dinosaurs on the walls of Young Faris's bedroom. He is beyond delighted.
For myself, I am not sure I would be overly keen to tuck down at night in the company of prehistoric monsters but then, as regular readers know, I have always been a Wimp of the First Order. The Rascal is made of sterner stuff and considers the Tyrannosaurus
Rex, the Diplodocus, the Stegosaurus and others among his very best friends. His favourite TV programme is "Andy's Dinosaur Adventures" and if you look closely at photographs of him, you will almost always spot a plastic dinosaur clutched in his hand. I am
talking about photographs of The Rascal clutching a toy dinosaur, not Andy you understand. Andy may or may not be a Rascal but I couldn't possibly say, not having made his acquaintance apart from fleetingly on the TV screen.
As I say, The Rascal is delighted with Work In Progress on his bedroom walls but has requested inclusion of Andy and also of a volcano. Where the volcano fits in, I'm not absolutely sure but I can't imagine there is another three year old anywhere in
the world with a volcano painted on his or her bedroom wall. My daughter's friends are full of admiration for (I) her artistic ability and (ii) the fact that she would even consider such a major undertaking with three tots to occupy her time - she is Wonderwoman,
they tell her, truthfully. She says not to speak too loud or The Rascal might hear and insist on also having the Wonderful One With The Red Boots painted on his wall. I mean, she might well hit it off with Andy (making a welcome change, I imagine, from the
dinosaurs) but I'm not sure we should be encouraging cavorting on The Rascal's bedroom walls.
The (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys have jungle creatures decorating their bedroom walls, lovingly stencilled by
the Darling Daughter in Law. Hazel Bagel, when small, used to have a rainbow canopy over her bed. There used to be glow in the dark stars on the ceiling of Eleanor's bedroom - I know for a fact that they do glow in the dark as our granddaughter has given up
her bedroom for her Grandad and me on many a (star-struck) occasion.
I wish I had been even half as inventive and / or artistic when my Foursome were littl'uns. They were different times, way back then, of
course. I remember cutting out the animal pictures on the front of empty packets of baby cereal to paste onto the wall above the Eldest of the Darling Daughters' cot. I can't quite imagine the so-called JAMs (Just About Managing) of today thinking that was
in any way appropriate decor for a nursery. Mind you, Mr B and I used to consider our first born an infant prodigy for her ability to distinguish her panda from her bear and her elephant. Every night at bedtime we would lift her up and quiz her on her animal
frieze. She was spot on every time. It's possible she was indoctrinated, poor thing.
Out to the post box in the gloaming of early evening, on a mission to catch the last collection with grandson Jack's weekly
letter, I almost toppled over a young lass setting up her camera on a tripod. Ever curious, I asked what she was photographing. It turned out she was in the first year of a photography course at a local college and had decided for her latest project to capture
the twilight on film. I gazed up the road ahead in the direction in which her camera was pointed and tried very hard to imagine what the resultant photos would look like. The sunset had, indeed, been rather beautiful but now the sun was most definitely down
and the stars were not yet glowing in the dark as they used to do on Eleanor's bedroom ceiling. The young photographer, however, seemed to be seeing something completely different from me. I could tell she was a True Artist.
That's what differentiates an artist from the rest of us. Where I saw a dark road, the young student could picture, through her camera lens, a composition entitled "Twilight." Where many would see a bedroom wall, the Darling Daughter in Law saw a jungle
and The Rascal's mum saw dinosaurs.
Do you reckon it's too late for me to locate my Inner Artist?