Sunday, 31 July 2016

Rapunzel: the real story

Rapunzel was locked in a tower, high.
High enough to reach to the sky!

One day a prince came on his horse,
and what did he want? The maiden, of course.

He reached out to take Rapunzel, on his knees.
Then he cried out, "Come down, please!"

"Oh my prince, I really would.
I would if I knew I could.
But alas, my hair isn't long enough..."

"But I need you!"


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Silly Season

Yesterday we spent a few hours with our daughter and our grandchildren. We munched our way through some cookies, had some wonderful fresh ham baguettes for lunch, followed by chocolate sponge made by SW's own fair hands.

It was a fine day, so I mowed the grass and, afterwards, SW asked if I would play a board game she had made up. We played it few times. Each time I won, I grabbed my sun hat and declared it the 'Celebratory Hat". The levels of daftness quickly escalated, so I decided to trawl YouTube for some of my favourite comedy clips, just to demonstrate how high the silly bar has been set. The girls enjoyed this one in particular. At one point, Iris asked, "Why is he doing that?" I replied, "He's just being silly. And it's perfectly fine to be silly, especially when you're on your school holidays, and especially especially when you're only seven."

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Grandad Can Be A Rock, & Role...Model

When I was growing up during the 60s, that’s to say when I was growing to rely heavily on music as a life support system, the word ‘grandfather’ was only spoken in the same breath as ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ in a pejorative sense. Aimed at male members of the older generation who thought the Mike Sammes Singers were hip.

Back then I couldn’t imagine myself as a father, much less a grandfather. Although rock star seemed a distinct possibility. At least it did in the mirror. And as for the heroes of the day, well, do me a favour, didn’t you hear the man? “Hope I die before I get old.”

Like dreams, catchy song lyrics don’t always deliver, so many of the ‘names’ managed to foil Daltrey’s frustration-filled wish. He, along with others who have had gerontologists scratching their heads survive, still. The drugs and the Rock ‘n’ Roll were powerful factors, but sex was always going to win the day. Our libertine luminaries have become grandparent rockers.

My favourite among them is Keith (Keef) Richards. The man who has defied medical science to edge beyond his three score and ten. I recently watched him in Julien Temple's documentary, 'Keith Richards - The Origin of the Species', giving an entertaining account of growing up in post-war Dartford. And what struck me most of all was the touching tribute he paid to his grandfather, Gus. He’s even written a children’s book, dedicated to Gus. A permanent ‘thank you’ to a grandfather who made such a profound impression.

Those affectionate recollections of Richards’ relationship with his grandfather resonated. My relationship with my own maternal grandfather is well documented throughout this blog.

Seems Keef and I share some things in common. We both love our rock ‘n’ roll, we’re both a little anti-establishment, and we both revel in our grandfather roles. I’ll let the man himself have the final word:

"At first I was a bit wary and then I thought for moment... I suddenly thought about grandfathers and the relationship between grandchildren and grandfathers and what great thing it can be if it can happen."

Monday, 25 July 2016

Big Friendly Read

Kids come to different things in their own time, in their own way. It's called development, and we all experience it, at varying paces. Reading and a love of books is not something everyone gravitates to instinctively. But most of us love stories, and all of us have imagination. Sometimes we just need a door to be unlocked.

I'm a huge fan of initiatives like this year's Summer Reading Challenge. Follow the link for more information on The Big Friendly Read.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Got any grapes?

Kids do the marvellous things. They bring sunshine into our lives. They melt our hearts. They dismantle our arguments with crystal clear logic. And they are responsible for landing us with EARWORMS!

The theme tunes to children's programmes are just something we take on the chin. Even the songs from Frozen can be excused through gritted teeth with, "Actually, it's a really great tune."

But around the age of six or seven, kids are well on the way to excellence in the art of annoyance. I should know. I went through a lengthy stage of only answering my mum with "Arp." I've know idea where it came from, but the more she protested, the more I kept saying it.

A while back, our granddaughters were constantly filling every gap in conversations with, "What does the fox say?" followed with, well, if you bother to watch the video, you can read the lyrics for yourself.

But yesterday, SW landed us with the Duck Song. Truly an earworm to beat all earworms. I dare you to listen all the way through.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Moon Cheese

The girl's been at it again. Maybe one or two vaguely recognisable influences in the story but, even though I say it myself, the artwork is 'knock-out'! So proud of her.

© 2016
© 2016

Monday, 18 July 2016

Tickling the ivories

Ladies and gentlemen, for your delectation, SW will play a short piece entitled "On the River". I thank you!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Whatnot at 7 Day Wonders

By way of an experiment, I've started a new blog. I'm not sure where it's going, or even if it's going anywhere, but I've kicked it off with a post about me and some of the things I've discovered about myself, having indulged in a little 'thinking time'. Check it out at 7 Day Wonders. I've neglected this blog for so long, I feel it will serve as a poor signpost. It now reminds me of a board my gran used to display outside her gate during tomato season. She lived down a lane that carried hardly any traffic - much like Square Sunshine - but despite the odds, she eventually enjoyed a steady flow of customers. I can but hope.