Our weekly Family Zoom session is nothing if not inclusive. We welcome all-comers to our family circle at 5.30 precisely every Saturday afternoon.
Last week we were joined by Mr B’s sister, Angie, who confessed she had never “zoomed” before. She clearly wasn’t at all sure that she had missed out on anything. I was quite ridiculously pleased when the Youngest
of the Darling Daughters, appearing on screen a few minutes after the given hour, told her aunt that it had been her mother (that will be me, then) who had possessed the necessary technological expertise to set up Family Zoom in the first place. No (I must
confess) she didn’t actually say anything about technological expertise, just something on the lines of “well, Mum set it up, somehow...” but I’m sure that was what she intended...
On other occasions, we have been joined by friends who just happen to be in the company of one or other of us. One day it was Bea, who shares a flat with granddaughter Hazel Bagel; yesterday it was Lissie who was sitting by
the River Thames with Hazel, obeying the new rules governing High Alert London by meeting outdoors. They’d had to forego their plans to meet indoors and cook brownies, they told us. Mr B (who is always on good form when talking to this particular granddaughter)
said he hoped they hadn’t left their culinary creations in the oven when they headed out or “by now, they’ll be blackies...”. I love the fact that Hazel always laughs at his dreadful jokes.
Some members of the family prefer to make cameo appearances - like Sons-in-Law, Dunk’em Dave and Rules is Rules and the Darling Daughter-in-law. The (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys sometimes pop up to say hello, or show
their Grandad that they are wearing a Spurs shirt - but mostly they have different priorities and Family Zoom isn’t high on that list. Which is not a problem because, apart from being inclusive, Family Zoom is very tolerant of non-attenders and wouldn’t
dream of applying a Three Line Whip. “Zoom If You Are Free, Willing and Haven’t Anything Better To Do” is our motto. We understand completely if a family member has gone for a long walk, has invited someone to tea, or has booked a Click and
Collect slot at Tesco’s. But, oh, it’s so lovely to see as many family members as possible, albeit on screen.
Yesterday, as proof of our inclusivity
we were joined by a dolphin. Called Dizzy. Yes, indeed, that’s a first for Family Zoom, we have never welcomed a dolphin before. Dizzy, it turns out, is the mascot of Dolphin Class at Hook Infant School where the twins Tala and Lilia are enthusiastic
pupils. It happens in Infant Schools across the land - the class mascot is sent home at weekends to live with one of the pupils, during which time an account of all the exciting events in which he, she or it participates over the course of the weekend must
be documented in a diary for all to see. In vain did the twins’ mother, Middle of the Darling Daughters, protest that she had nothing exciting planned for the weekend. What about Family Zoom, I asked? I mean, what could be more exciting?
It turned out that the weekend was far more exciting than my middle daughter had envisioned when Faris the Rascal had an unfortunate encounter with a toy kitchen in his sisters’
dolls house (you might call it a “domestic”) and ended up in A & E having a nasty cut above his eyebrow glued up. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters, as always, rode to the rescue and looked after both the Twins and Dizzy for her sister,
encouraging them to join Family Zoom in their mother and brother’s absence. Dizzy the Dolphin took it all in his stride (if such a thing is even possible for a dolphin?) and, at My Boy’s suggestion, donned a face mask before taking centre stage
in a photo of the Zoom proceedings. I was pleased to see that this merited a mention and a place in Dizzy’s Diary.
So there you have it. Occasionally there
is real news to share on Family Zoom; sometimes we just need to know what everybody will be eating for dinner. Sometimes there’s just a few of us, sometimes we are quite a jolly crowd. All are welcome. Almost everyone has something to say.
Apart from Dizzy the Dolphin, that is...