It’s half term this week. It seems to have become a bit of a tradition to have the twin grandsons – now ten – over for a few days. This time though, all plans got thwarted by almost a week of constant unremitting rain. No fresh air and fun for us this time.
An hour or two at the local adventure playground was rejected in favour of a visit to the local swimming pool.
We spent hours playing old-fashioned board games like ‘Go for Broke’. This involves trying to lose the million pounds with which you started the game. In ‘The London Game’, you have to blunder round London’s Underground system whilst your opponents do their best to prevent you reaching your destination. ‘Stone Soup’ means lying through your teeth about the cards you’ve just placed, face down on the table. All useful worthwhile life lessons, I’m sure you’ll agree.
It’s a tradition that breakfasts have to involve ‘Grancakes’ – pancakes to you. Here’s a shot of Ben tossing his – and that one didn’t end up on the kitchen floor.
A more recent tradition insists that during every stay, a traditional English Roast Dinner has to make an appearance, and the twins have to do much of the hard labour: roast chicken, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, carrots, broccoli…and the all-important gravy. I find the timing of all this a bit stressful. No wonder roasts don’t make a frequent appearance in this house.
And of course, we had to have a Grand Day Out. Malcolm had communed with timetables to plan our journey by train and bus: public transport’s a rare treat for these young twins. But the weather on the day was so evil, we abandoned the idea. Walking through town to stand in the rain waiting for a bus that would almost certainly be late suddenly didn’t seem that exciting. So we took the car to Elvington, home of the Yorkshire Air Museum. It was a Bomber Command Station during World War II, and was also the only base used by French heavy bomber squadrons. With one twin passionately knowledgeable about planes – his future career as a pilot is already mapped out – and the other fascinated by World War II, we thought we had a hit on our hands. We did. They clambered in and out of uncomfortably chilly, uninsulated, uncomfortable and draughty cockpits, trying to imagine how it would feel flying long hours through winter skies to the industrial heartlands of Germany, always on the look out for enemy craft, fearful of being shot down in enemy territory. We remembered that only half of all pilots survived the war. We looked round workshops and period displays. And we watched a few films, moving accounts of the lives of those young men who gave their youth, their normal careers and loves and often their lives to the war effort. Lunch at the NAAFI however raised our mood. We were glad not to be placed on wartime rations.
That night, Ben slept for 12 hours straight, and Alex managed 10. Result.
So that was Project Exhaust-a-Gran (& Grandad). No, wait……. it was meant to be called ‘Exhaust-a-Twin’.