She called me Gran… or was it Anne?

The world came to a grinding halt today for a nano-second, you may not have noticed it, but I surely did. The run-up to this phenomenon was quite innocuous, we'd arrived at Hannah and Tom's hilltop farm in a cloudburst of hail and lashing rain, in  hindsight, this was portentous. Tom had to rush out to build water breaks to stop his newly-laid pebble path ending up in the cattle grid while we got soaked walking two metres to the house. That was some storm.

Almost immediately Elisabeth, who's two next month, took me by the hand to go and play in her playroom, at least this time I didn't have to crawl into the wendy house. We passed a happy hour, eating cake baked by her own fair hand, the calorie-free type made from cloth and kapok, drinking tea, the unwet type, poured with imagination, pulling all the toys out of the wendy house and toy box, putting some of them back to take them out again. It was like being at home, except without the putting away.We watched Tractor Ted on the DVD, a first for Noel and me, the millionth time for Hannah and Tom, she knew it all off by heart – and even corrected Tom when he called an excavator a digger, well, there is a difference, you know.

The rain finally stopped, and I was taken by the hand again to see the new addition to the farm, a John Deere tractor with spiky fittings, she knew the technical terms, but they've escaped me. Then, while the grown-ups chatted about the economy, politics and the state of the nation, we explored the farm yard where I was invited to splash in every puddle and inspect the sileage, quite a different experience from my own urban childhood!

Then it happened, the world creaked to a halt.Tom had just joined us to coax her back inside when she turned to me and called me… no, I can't say it…..but it rhymes with Anne. I turned to Tom and asked what she'd called me. Ever the diplomat, Tom said he wasn't quite sure, bit ot sounded like……….. noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!

First my half century, now this….I think I'd better get my gran coat and a cake for my head, buy in my Sanatogen and Horlicks and take out a subscription to Saga.

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