The Youngest of the Darling Daughters and her own Darling Daughter (known to you all as Hazel Bagel) have come on a flying visit. We had a bit of trouble arriving at the best day for their visit which might have been a
stop-over had it been on a different day but, let’s face it, even a flying visit is better than no visit at all especially when I am so very keen to have a long chat with this granddaughter of mine.
They arrive at 3 p.m. just as the District Nurse is leaving and my daughter suggests we might take advantage of the daylight by heading out for a walk along the prom, prom, prom, perchance taking in a refreshment break. Such
a good idea - until I notice that the nurse has left behind her kit bag, kneeling pad and fold-up seat. We all race to the front gate but she has already driven off which means that we have to stay in for when she notices her mistake and returns to collect
her possessions. As it turns out this is No Bad Thing as the weather turns decidedly rainy. I trot off into the kitchen to put the kettle on...
We do manage a
quick trip to the shops a little later when the rain clears so we can pick up some food for our dinner. What about pudding? I ask. The Youngest of of the Darling Daughters says how about rice pudding for a change (which makes me laugh because when I was a
littl’un, my dear mum made rice pudding every single day, almost always along with other delicious puds. Rice pudding will forever be known as 365 to my brothers, sister and me.) I reckon I probably have a tin at home but maybe we should pick up another,
just to be on the safe side. Then, because there’s a special offer on buying two tins, and it would be silly to refuse, we put a couple in the shopping basket. Inevitably, when we return home we find I already have three tins in the cupboard...
We pay a quick visit to the Wedding Garden at Field Place where Hazel Bagel is adopted by a stray cat who sits on her lap, allows itself to be petted and follows her around,
rather like Mary and her little lamb. Hazel is pleased as her own cats are rather more selective in bestowing their favours and, let’s face it, everyone likes to be loved, don’t they?
At home again my daughter sets to preparing our dinner and I sit myself on a kitchen stool to chat. It is not until we are plating up the food that I realise that I haven’t lifted so much as a finger to help. I
just sat there, watching as she chopped potato wedges and prepared a whole bag of brussel sprouts. What was I thinking about? I am ashamed of myself.
Hazel Bagel tells us about the dance project she will be working on over the next half-term, focussing on the Fifties and Sixties. I come over all excited and tell her about post war freedoms and the era of the teddy boys. We google pictures and my granddaughter
marvels at the Teds’ hair dos. Her mother, it seems, has also been delving into the past, re-reading her old diaries and discovering lots of photographs and negatives from her year long trip Down Under when she left university. “What’s a
negative?” asks Hazel, innocently. Spoken, I tell her, like a True Millennial. Her mother goes into a long and detailed spiel about the way we used to load a spool of film into our cameras, then send the completed film off to be developed, receiving
photographs and - yes indeed, negatives - back in the post a week or so later. I find a set of negatives to show her by way of illustration. It is clear that Hazel still doesn’t quite believe us.
If all this wasn’t enough of a Blast from the Past, the two of them remember, belatedly, that one of the reasons for their visit was to make a contribution to the loft clearance project. I protest that they can leave
this till another day but they have it in their heads now so up into the Lofty Heights they clamber, while I stand on the landing pleading with them to be careful.
Half an hour later, we have a small pile of donations to a local charity shop; several bags of potentially precious mementoes of years gone by; and rather a lot of items which can best be described as “junk.”
Next week the Youngest of the Darling Daughters is coming to visit us again and we are planning yet another of our Jolly Jaunts. To the theatre, you ask? Or the cinema? Oh, dear me, no -
We are off to the local tip, where else? You have to admit it, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I, we know how to have fun...