Jaqui's Daily Blog

When James Was In Charge

James's Dad had told him that he was In Charge and I have to say he took this responsibility extremely seriously.

It was pretty clear that he had major concerns about my ability to locate the correct brand of breakfast cereal, apportion exactly the right amount of milk to each bowl and find the appropriate beakers for his and Morgan's early morning drink. I wouldn't say I was either hopeless or helpless - but with James at my side, nothing (much) could go wrong.

With their older brother in hospital for day surgery and needing his mum and day at his bedside, James and Morgan had to put up with me instead today. I can't say I was in charge, you understand, because that position had already been filled. I did come in useful, nevertheless, at strategic moments. Of which more later.

Our first task was to make the jelly for our pudding later. We couldn't make Ready, Jelly, Gos ( see my cook book page) as we only had one flavour jelly - but we were able to make Purple Ninja Jellies. I doubt anyone has ever made these before. I may be wrong, of course, but I rather doubt it.

With the Purple Ninja Jellies setting in the fridge, we set off for the bus stop to catch the bus to Cardiff City Centre. Because James was in charge he insisted on standing to keep an eye on Morgan and me, rather than sit next to a strange lady. As in unknown to him, rather than necessarily of a peculiar nature. Fortunately the strange lady sitting next to me was kind enough to tell me where we needed to alight from the bus. It's called The Kindness of Strangers though James, being In Charge, said he would have known anyway.

What a great time we had at the Museum. Aside from the dinosaurs, the various rocks to be studied under a microscope, the skeleton to be put together (dem bones, dem bones....) we found ourselves in a workshop, learning about the early days of photography. I had seen the poster advertising the workshop at the Museum entrance but imagined it might be a bit over Young Morgan's head, he being not yet three years old. However James was In Charge so he marched us into the workshop and the Duracell Bunny (aka Morgan) proved me wrong and James right yet again.

We emerged from the workshop knowing all about how people in Victorian times had to stand very, very still for simply ages while their image was captured on film. This was why, we learnt, the people pictured always look so cross - wouldn't you be if you had to sit still for ages? - and also why occasionally people appear blurred, having wriggled about a bit.

Photographs used to be only in black and white, don't you know, so the Victorians used to paint over them. Both boys tried out this technique on a black and white photo of David Niven. Why David Niven? Please don't ask me Impossible Questions. You could ask James, of course, he being In Charge, I am sure he would come up with a plausible answer, if not necessarily the correct one. James did a good job painting while the Duracell Bunny did what he does best and smothered poor David (or Dewi, as we are in Wales) with a mixture of all the paints in the paint tray.

We emerged with a folder of work, including a fabulous sepia photograph of the boys as Victorian explorers, very serious faced and holding a giant turtle, and a colour photo in which Morgan appears in a ghostly halo of light, owing to the fact that he couldn't stop wriggling.


All the time we were at the Museum, I was on tenterhooks waiting for news of the eldest of the Little Welsh Boys, having eye surgery in hospital. People must gave thought I was one of those people addicted to their mobile phones, but I just had to keep checking. I was so relieved when the news came through that he was out of theatre and doing well, though a bit groggy.

Another bus, another journey, and we were back home. It had been a most successful expedition. Of course it was, James told me, he always knew it would be.

After all, he was In Charge.

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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