Jaqui's Daily Blog

Leaning Forward and The Golden Ticket

I telephone the Youngest of the Darling Daughters to tell her that I have good news and, potentially, not so good news. She is laughing at me at the other end of the phone, I can tell. Either that, or she is simply feeling happy that she has finished work until Thursday morning.

The good news, I explain, is that I have managed to source theatre tickets at an excellent price. The not so good news is that, due to the presence of a safety rail, we will have to lean forward. Does she think leaning forward will impair our enjoyment? I am hoping that she will reach a decision quickly because, according to the website on which I am attempting to book our seats, I will be timed out in precisely 5 minutes 31 seconds if I haven't placed my order within that time-frame. When did websites get so bossy, I'd like to know. The Y of the DDs is not renowned for swift decision-making, being one who likes to consider all the possibilities first, but she reminds me that we had to lean forward to experience all the action on our last theatre trip and the only downside was a slight crick in the neck by the time the cast took their many curtain calls. With her blessing, I book the tickets.

My daughter has had the excellent idea that, now her twosome are old enough no longer to need her at their beck and call every minute of every day, she can exchange their clamouring for attention with a monthly slice of mine. In short, we will meet in London once every month or two and take in a show. We will meet at an agreed rendezvous, find somewhere for lunch, enjoy a show then depart, with a hug and a kiss, to return to the demands of our individual households.

Tomorrow we are going back to childhood to watch Charlie in his Chocolate Factory. If questioned why we two adults are here watching what is, after all, a show for youngsters, we will invent a couple of Small People whom we have treated to this extravaganza. Invisible though they are. Or possibly we will wave a nonchalant hand in the direction of a likely lad or lassie implying that he or she is, of course, with us.

I love the story of chocolate-loving Charlie, he with the four grandparents who all share a bed, two at one end, two at the other. This must be impossibly uncomfortable but thanks to Roald Dahl's story-telling, sounds positively cosy. Though I doubt Mr B would agree.

Years ago, we adopted the book as the theme for a highly successful Brownie Pack Holiday when eighteen Brownie Guides vied with each other to complete ten tasks over the course of the week, in order to win ten golden tickets. Every evening, before bed and Lights Out, we read our way, chapter by chapter, through the whole book, sitting around a pretend camp fire, every Brownie wrapped up in a blanket from her camp bed. It was magical.

My friend Sallie went not just one, but several better with a truly splendid birthday treat for her little grand-daughter. First, before the Big Day, a real golden ticket was secreted in a chocolate bar to be discovered by an excited Birthday Girl. On their subsequent trip to the theatre (to see Charlie of course, what else? Sometimes I wonder if you are taking the Daily Blog sufficiently seriously..) they encountered many a person - the guard on the train, the waitress in the restaurant where they had lunch, the doorman at the theatre, the seller of ice-creams - all of whom had been primed in advance to exclaim in a voice of wonder: "So, you're the girl with the Golden Ticket!" Each one then posed for a photo with the Golden Ticket winner, providing a set of happy memories. Bless them, they all played the game, not one of them spoiled the Little One's experience.

I haven't laid on any surprises for my companion. Believe me, she wouldn't thank me for it. She has never been one to enjoy being the centre of attention so on her birthdays I know not to take a surprise birthday cake into the restaurant where we may be enjoying a celebratory meal. Low-key, that's the way she likes it.

With or without surprises, whether leaning forward or back, I am so looking forward to tomorrow. Not only for the whole Charlie experience, Oompa Loompas and all, but for the chat, the company, the sharing of skinny decaffeinated lattes as my Darling Daughter and I weave plans for Our Jack's eighteenth birthday gathering, for Christmas, for all the many trips we will take together in the months to come.


Lucky, lucky me to hold such a Golden Ticket!



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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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