Grandpa has just spent three hours putting together the Boys new Table Top Table Football, he’s even begun to talk Mandarin or perhaps he’s just being diplomatic. It looks as smart as a new pin despite the fact that I know it’s what my Nan would call “cheap-by-junk”; a curious Welsh phrase which I feel quite sums it up. Far too much time spent on something that really isn’t worth it.
Anyway Grandpa has relaxed and is now talking normally thanks to a judicious glass or two of G&T. I do love that traditional English past time of a libation after Six o’clock and the curious expression that somewhere in the Empire it is always six o’clock does help – especially when flat pack, children’s expectation and holidays all roll into one!
We relax in the evening sun talking of everything and nothing, the occasional raised voice as a point is perhaps too forcefully put but hackles are smoothed with practised ease as can only happen among relatives keen to please and far too happy to see each other after such a long absence. Optimism in the face of reality.
The Boy storms out on to the deck. “It’s not fair Bog Boy won’t play properly. I hate him. I won’t play with him. He’s always doing it wrong!”
Grandpa remarks dryly: "Berlimey three hours’ work and hostilities break out after 10 minutes!”
I respond: “It’s boys Dad, you never had them. You may be a boy who grew up with boys but you never had any of your own.”
The Boy is still chuntering: “But it’s soooo unfair Bog Boy is just horrid. I try but he always gets it wrong.”
We hear Bog Boy wailing in the background: “Boy was horrid! He hurt me!! I’m telling on you Boy I’m telling.”
Bog Boy round the corner and sees his brother already ensconced in the protective arms of his grandmother.
He falters a bit. Then, welling up: “He wouldn’t let me win!!!!!”
Ah, yes Sportsmanship…the next great adventure in my parental learning curve…..