Young Morgan and I are engaged in Meaningful Conversation.
Regular readers may recall that the littlest of my (Not So Very
Little) Welsh Boys enjoys nothing more than setting the world to rights with me, though he remains a trifle miffed that, no matter how much he tries, he can’t catch up, age-wise, with his older brothers. He has, however, adopted the principle that number
is an irrelevance and he can behave like a nine or an eleven year old whenever the mood takes him. Which appears to be most of the time.
Today, Morgan is holding
forth on his Grandad’s state of health. It must be far better, he tells me, earnestly, for his Grandad to be as he is, rather than to be blind and unable to see, or deaf and unable to hear. Not for the first time, I can’t help thinking that our
Morgan has an Old Soul in a young body. I suggest he passes on this piece of wisdom to his Grandad who has just woken up - and he trots off to say good morning. I listen in, shamelessly, but to my dismay instead of repeating his words to me to his Grandad,
our grandson embarks on a convoluted conversation about his toy dog which isn’t actually a toy dog at all but a cunningly disguised pencil case in which he has secreted one of his father’s pens from work.
We leave Mr B to his morning TV and decide to play a game of chess, it being still far too early for breakfast. Morgan explains, as he sets out the pieces, that he knows all the moves having learnt them on his DS. I am impressed
that here is one five-going-on-six-year-old who is willing to apply what he has learnt virtually to the real-life game, you know, one with proper wooden pieces which get stuck under the armchair if you accidentally drop them on the floor.
I am not the world’s best chess player but my opponent forgives me my errors and is keen to enlighten me to the game as he knows it. The pawns, he explains, are the “minions”
while the bishop, knight and castle are the “good guys”. The queen is presumably a good guy, too, but Morgan isn’t too bothered about her, presumably because she is a girl. Political correctness is not one of Morgan’s strong points.
The king? The king is, well, the king.
Morgan sends his king out manfully at the head of the battle, for all the world like the kings in those far-off days
of yore when Richard of York gaged battle in vain - and in so doing helped hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren remember the colours of the rainbow and their order in the colourful arc. You’d think I would win, in the face of such lack of protection
for the Main Man, but it seems I have lost. Brother James arrives to take over from me. He has shared his chess strategy, he tells me, with his younger brother. They have a hard-fought game which the younger player loses, but with good heart.
Playing games is always part of a weekend when my Welsh Boys come to stay. This weekend, in between a glorious Seaside Day (of which more tomorrow) and their homeward journey, we
actually manage, for the first time, to finish a game of “What’s Rubbish” which is one of those Terribly Worthy Games intended to teach young’uns the value of recycling. In order to speed up the game, we change the rules slightly so
that we don’t have to remove items from our recycling bins if we spin the spinner and land on a bug. Don’t worry too much if you can’t work out what I’m talking about - it really is far too beautiful a day to tax the brain with the
rules of any game, especially one called “What’s Rubbish.” At the end of the game, which Sam the Eldest wins, it turns out that neither Morgan nor I could have won anyway, on account of the fact that we have mislaid two pieces.
We play Sequences and Sevens and Old Maid - then, our final game, Cheat. Morgan hasn’t played Cheat before but is more than willing to give it a go. “Six tens!”
he cries, excitedly, midway through the game, which sends us all into fits of laughter, so much so that nobody can stop guffawing for long enough to remind him that there are only four of any card in a single pack. Morgan is in high dudgeon but accepts my
offer to be on his team if he will consent to continue with the game. We win.
But then, whatever the game, I always feel like a winner when my Welsh Boys come