Two of my (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys have joined me in bed for Early Morning Conversation. Their older brother, though still two years away from turning into a teenager, is still asleep in the next door bedroom though
he would doubtless have had many insights of his own to add to the dilemma his brothers and I are discussing.
The boys are concerned that their Grandad is insisting
on sleeping downstairs in his armchair where he finds it easier to breathe. Despite the large hospital bed installed in our main bedroom (Young Morgan is sleeping in it for the duration of his visit - though we have purposely not explained how to operate the
remote control which will raise the head, knees and, potentially, shoot him out of the end of the bed and down the stairs) Mr B is determined not to listen to any arguments on its benefits.
“We need to convince him!” states James. Convincingly. We all three think about this for a few moments while we consider what inducements we might offer. Five year old Morgan reckons he has the answer: “We could try
chocolate?” he suggests. Now there speaks a lad for whom chocolate evidently always, but always, works.
There is something very special about time with my
Welsh Boys. Hence, despite still feeling a little wobbly around the knees and inclined to succumb to sudden onsets of the Usher Gene at Emotionally Charged Moments, I am determined to make the most of every minute. Indeed this becomes our mantra over the two
days the family spend with Mr B and me.
I am introduced to two new games: Sequence and Skyjo. Young James and I join forces on Sequence, forming what we name the
JEBJAB team, this being an amalgamation of our initials. Thanks to our invincible Team Spirit - and, possibly, the fact that we have a few important One Eyed Jacks and Two-Eyed Jacks in our hands - we see off the opposition, consisting of James’ parents.
Playing Skyjo, which involves a level of chance taking, I introduce my boys to the concept of “Risk it for a Biscuit.” Unfortunately all three take it rather more literally than it is meant, leading to considerable disappointment when I don’t
produce the biscuit tin every time I exhort them to risk everything for a sweet treat.
Down on the prom, there’s a bitingly cold wind so we take refuge
in the Lido Arcade where I (last of the Big Spenders) change £1 each into two-penny pieces and explain that, though they may think they are winning as the money rolls out of the slot machines, by the end of our visit all their money will have gone. This,
you understand, is me delivering a Life Lesson on the Perils of Gambling. Sam and James proceed to win £1.70 on the roulette game, thus proving that I am an extremely fallible Life Coach.
We enjoy a magnificent roast lamb dinner produced by My Boy and the Darling Daughter in Law who refuse to allow me into the kitchen except, occasionally, to explain the mysteries of my larder and the pitiful contents therein.
Every time another deficiency in my larder stocks is identified, I make the feeble excuse that I have not been able to go shopping for the last few days. “For how long!?” my kitchen chefs are clearly thinking but love me too much to put this into
In the evening we head off on our magic carpets to Bognor Regis and Panto-Land. Oh, yes, we do! There is a Christmas tree outside the Regis Centre made
of green recycled bottles, and inside a large model of Aladdin’s lamp where we pose to have our photo taken. Considering how late I was in booking our seats we have a fabulous view of the stage where Wishee Washee, Widow Twankee, Aladdin, Jasmine and
all strut their stuff, making us laugh out loud at a stream of silly jokes. I keep telling myself I must remember them, to entertain Mr B on our return home - but only a couple stick in my mind. The woman sitting next to Sam is amused to see that he has brought
his book with him to read during the interval, book-worm that he is.
All too soon, it is tomorrow and the day of their departure - though I am loving the
fact that the family is heading up to join two of the Darling Daughters and their off-spring for more festive fun. I will be there in spirit, I tell the boys who look askance at me as if I might turn any moment into a Witchy Woo on my broomstick.
Not such a bad idea, I tell myself, as I wave them off a trifle tearfully. Even for one such as I, with no head for heights or sense of balance.
I’d Risk it for a Biscuit…