Sunday, 14 June 2020

Back in the Saddle?

 After so many, many weeks of being a virtual Granny there is at last some chance of being  a real one: a Granny with hair like a gone-to-seed dandelion, but one who can still cook and read stories and make people laugh. One who can also hide miniature picnics in unexpected places, find (and possibly even write) notes from fairies and, more importantly, keep the house and garden entirely familiar for children who haven't seen the place for a long time.

Cheerful, noisy, happy life returned just for the day yesterday. In no time at all the garden buildings had become a den, a shop and a stable. The whole garden became a village, a farm, a jungle, a road down to a different village and a pond-side exploration place.
"The sound of this little fountain is so relaxing", said Grand-Daughter as she scampered past. Towards the end of a long play session the rockery, now a carpet of wonderfully scented English Pinks, was also discovered to be somewhere you could relax for a few seconds and think about anything you liked. Secret paths, hiding places, concealed doors leading to even more secrets were rediscovered and invented.
Grandson Senior remembered his plastic motor-bike and roared down an adrenaline-boosting slope with his knees under his chin. He has grown a lot in recent weeks. Then he mastered my sound-system in order to play his nursery rhyme CD, and had more fun than seemed possible, washing his hands with extremely slippery soap.

 All the work of maintaining this time-consuming place becomes so wonderfully worthwhile. What else has there been to do in the last three months, and how incredibly fortunate I am to have such a place. Even more fortunate to have the grandchildren to let loose in it.
Some day Grandson Junior will come and have a go too, but at the moment he's having his first holiday beside a lake in Austria, where hotels are open and people have much more freedom to move about.

Some things I didn't get right. The rabbit who unexpectedly came for her birthday party was not provided with a carrot cake. I didn't know it was the rabbit's birthday. How un-Granny-like is that? But surely even a toy rabbit should be able to understand that I can't just go shopping, that I haven't been shopping for three months, that I wouldn't even know what you're supposed to do in a shop these days.
 Have I got carrots in the garden? No, I've got raspberries though. Rabbits like raspberries. Have a bowl and pick some raspberries. Oh, your brother has eaten them, and your Mummy has scoffed a few as well? Oh dear. But as a special treat in warm weather have some frozen peas in your bowl. Yummy!

I'm still not getting it quite right. The horse who has been left in my care came with a list of feeding, grooming and exercise instructions.  You can see it lounging about over the stable door. I haven't fulfilled all the requirements, but the horse hasn't either. I needed the manure for the garden.


Elephant's Child said...

Hooray for creative Grannydom.
It sounds as if you got a LOT more right than otherwise. I suspect the rights will be remembered for longer too.

Pam said...

Oh, so lovely! Yes, I'm enjoying a bit of Grannying again... but only with one lot. Still, it's been really good.

Marigold Jam said...

Brilliant! I loved it and wished I was your grandchild too. Never having had a granny myself nor being one either I feel I really missed out in the Grannny stakes.

I should think that you and the horse might need a pleasant lie down till the next time now? But what fun you all had.

Relatively Retiring said...

E.C.: Sometimes the not-getting-it-rights can have interesting results. My Grandson was pestering about watching something on screen (no television at home). I said that I didn't want him to do that because I hadn't seen him for such a long time, and I thought we would talk or play games or read together. He thought for a moment and then said, "You could watch me watching something. You'd like to do that". Good lateral thinking!

Pam: Thank you for commenting. Yes, I've seen that complex rail system weaving through your garden!

Marigold: being a Granny has been a great unexpected bonus. I hope they will all eventually realise how much it means to have them charging around, reorganising my life.

Elephant's Child said...

That is a very focussed young man. And I am sure he was right too.
Like Marigold I never knew either of my grandmothers and will not be one myself and I am aware that there is a lot I am missing.

Relatively Retiring said...

E.C. No, we still didn't agree about watching a screen, but I appreciate the thought process - so much better than having a tantrum (either of us)!
Much of this blog is written for my grandchildren. I am a lot older than they are and am aware that our time together may not be long. I hope it doesn't come across as being complacent about them.

Peregrina said...

I'm so glad to see that your isolation has eased and you've been able to have a visit from the family again, even if only briefly. I hope the relaxation of restrictions also means that your time of house-arrest is over and you may go outside the gate for walks again.

At first I thought the horse was being Covid-conscious and wearing a mask - until I enlarged the photo and saw that it had a spectacular blaze on its face. I hope it co-operates and provides your garden with plenty of fertiliser.

Relatively Retiring said...

Hello Peregrina, good to see you again.
I suppose things are easing in somewhat erratic ways and who knows what will happen next! Yes, I'm allowed out for walks, and anyone encountered en route is very respectful about distancing. The horse is really no trouble unless I forget it's there and fall over it. I like the idea of making it a mask. I'll probably do that in case it wants to go shopping.

Zhoen said...

My own well loved and well tended garden agrees.

Perfection is neither possible nor desirable, as it would end creativity. Anyway, only stuffed rabbits are ok with carrot cake, real rabbits need leafy greens and hay. I looked it up of course I did. They are fortunate children to have you, that love will grow in them the rest of their lives. The love of a couple of my aunts thrives still in the garden of my heart.

Relatively Retiring said...

Hello Zhoen: Good to know about rabbits. The horse-on-a-stick is slow to produce manure, I must looks that one up!
Everyone learns so much more from mistakes than from getting it right. Not that I have vast experience of getting it right - or if I have, I've forgotten it.
That's lovely, about your aunts.

molly said...

Sounds like a wonderful, if short, return to proper granny hood. As much as I loved picturing your grandchildren thoroughly enjoying granny's garden and letting their imaginations run riot, what stayed with me (I first read this a few days ago, on the run) was the 'hair like a gone to seed dandelion!' Such a great word picture, that also perfectly describes my hair these days. Shame you failed to provide a carrot cake for the rabbit though, and shame on the stable occupant for not providing manure - though you seem to be maintaining your garden very well without it.

Relatively Retiring said...

Molly: the dandelion hair was dealt with unexpectedly and with full p.p.e in the garden yesterday. Despite the strong wind the results were good.
Thank you for your comment and I hope I haven't spoiled the image for you!

molly said...

No, the seeds were blown from my dandelion head just yesterday and now, every time I pass a mirror I get a shock and wonder why a woman with a short and tidy haircut is wandering around in my house.

Relatively Retiring said...


Jenny Woolf said...

It's wonderful how children can create a whole different world and most gratifying that they are only too willing to share it. Your house and garden always sound like an ideal place to play in - hope you also get to lie in the carpet of pinks and think about anything you like!
Funnily enough I have always found that toy horses are happy to eat completely imaginary things. The problems seem to come if they decide to share their food with real children....