AND so, in the blink of an eye, our little granddaughter, has reached the grand old age of five.

“Ganma, Gandalf, this is the very last time you’ll ever see me as a four-year-old,” Chloe declared last Friday – the day before her birthday – when she called at our house on the way to school.

When Saturday finally came, she had a lovely party with her friends at a soft-play centre. She almost managed to blow out her five candles in one go without spitting on the cake, got lots of presents, and said it was “easily the best birthday ever”.

Given that her fourth birthday party had to be cancelled due to lockdown, and she’s highly unlikely to remember being one, two, or three, that was probably a pretty safe bet.

“Look, Ganma and Gandalf, I don’t need to sit on any cushions anymore because I’m a big girl now,” she went on to announce over the Sunday lunch table the following day.

Talk about dragging it out – we had to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ all over again and blow out more candles on what was left of her cake because was celebrating being “five and one day”.

Mind you, being five isn’t everything she was expecting. She’d got it into her head that all her teeth would fall out in one go when she got to five. Mercifully, as things stand, only one tooth is showing signs of being wobbly, so there’s time yet for the tooth fairy to keep her money in her purse.

Meanwhile, Chloe continues to settle in well at school. She’s enjoying learning her letters, has started forming words, and I’ve been particularly impressed with the way her artistic skills are developing.

The other day, after school, she came round to our house and had the box of felt-tips out on the dining room table to do some drawing with Ganma. Chloe wanted to draw Mummy and Daddy, and as many other members of the family she could think of.

As someone who once had a painting of a horse included in the gallery of the Vision On television programme, I glowed with pride when I saw the quality of her work. OK, they were only simple stick figures, with smiley faces, but there was definite promise in their composition. Not content with us humans, she’d also included Ruby, my sister-in-law’s dog, along with the guinea pigs, Roly and Miles, plus Baby Elephant, Winnie and Lamby.

“I’ll tell you what, Chloe’s art is really coming on a treat, isn’t it?” I said to my wife. “That drawing’s really not bad for a five-year-old.”

Ganma gave me one of her scowls. “Chloe got bored after five minutes, so most of it’s mine,” she sighed.

I decided to draw a line under that particular conversation.


“When I grow up I’m going to be an author,” Chloe announced.

“Like Grandad?” replied her Daddy.

“NOOOO!” exclaimed Chloe. “Like Roald Dahl.”

Fair enough, I suppose.

CHLOE woke up the other morning and shouted: “Daddy I’ve had a nightmare.”

“Well, did you have any nice dreams?” he asked.

“No, I can only have one dream because my head’s too small,” she replied.

MY Mum, now 90, loves Bradley Walsh. She likes him in The Chase and Blankety Blank, and she said the other day: “I’ve started watching him in The Gherkins.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell her it’s called The Larkins.