LET’S be honest. We’ve all done things we’ve regretted when we were young. But by the time you’re a grandad, you really should be a bit wiser and more dignified.

I’ll let you judge for yourself whether that’s the case with my old friend Nigel Dowson: hairdresser, charity fundraiser, raconteur, devoted dad to a beautiful daughter, and loving grandad to two lovely little boys. You honestly couldn’t meet a nicer fella, except for the fact that grandad-hood doesn’t appear to have matured him quite as much as might have been expected.

When I popped in for a haircut the other day, he was eager to tell me that he’s got a new girlfriend and how they’d been on their first date. He’s in that exciting first phase of a relationship when it’s all about trying to make the right impression and, naturally, I want it to work out for him.

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Anyway, Nigel took his new girlfriend for a nice meal in a pub and all seemed to be going well, with the conversation flowing easily. There happened to be a disco in the pub and, having had a few drinks, Nigel decided to take to the dancefloor and show what he’s made of.

We all know that dad dancing is embarrassing. Well, grandad dancing is even worse, but Nigel’s not the type to be bothered about what folk think. So there he was, up on the dance floor, giving it what fettle, and trying hard to persuade his slightly more reserved girlfriend to join him.

When the DJ selected “Sex On Fire”, Nigel upped the tempo. In fact, he was leaping around like Zebedee from The Magic Roundabout. I think it’s fair to say that he got carried away because the DJ was moved to warn him that he was jumping so high, his (bald) head was only six inches from hitting the large chandelier hanging from the middle of the room.

By Nigel’s own admission, he doesn’t know what came over him next, other than to acknowledge that he saw the DJ’s warning as something of a challenge. When the Kings of Leon hit the final chorus of Sex On Fire, Nigel found himself determined to defy his advancing years and jump as high as possible.

The rest happened in slow-motion, but suffice to say that Nigel – my friend of 35 years and fellow grandad – rose like a salmon, head-butted the upmarket pub’s ornate chandelier, bringing it crashing down and sending a hundred glass balls rolling round the dancefloor.

“I have no idea what was going through my mind, but if I’d known I could jump that high and use my head that well, I’d have played up front for England,” reflected Nigel, nursing a bit of a dent in his forehead.

As the pub’s staff swept up and collected the glass balls, a woman approached Nigel’s shocked new girlfriend.

“Is he always like this?” the woman asked.

“I don’t know – it’s our first date,” came the sheepish reply.

It remains to be seen whether the relationship has a future, but I’ve told Nigel he needs to keep his head down for a while.

The things they say

DO you ever get the feeling that kids get a bit too cute for their own good far too quickly?

Nigel’s five-year-old grandson, Blake, who lives up at Kielder, asked: “What do you want for Christmas, Grandad?”

There was a pause before the little lad added: “Because it won’t be shampoo, will it?”

THANKS also to John Tallentire, from Barnard Castle, for emailing to tell me about the time his three-year-old grandaughter, Annabelle, was helping her mother prepare a meal in Manchester.

“How are the mushy peas looking?” her Mummy asked.

“Nervous,” came the reply.