BEING a dad is worrying enough, but being a grandad adds a whole new layer of anxiety.

Not only do you worry about your children, but you worry about whether your children are capable of raising their children.

Our eldest, Christopher, now 27, is in the middle of his first foreign holiday as a dad. He and his partner Lisa have taken their 20-months-old daughter, Chloe, to the South of France, staying at my friend Ted’s place in a lovely seaside resort called Port Leaucate.

Based on the regular updates via the internet, they seem to be having a fantastic time but it’s such a worry. Would they manage on the plane? Would they pick up the hire-car OK? Would they find their way from the airport? Would they remember to put enough sun-cream on Chloe? Would they keep her safe near the sea?

These are no doubt the same anxieties our own parents had when we were venturing off on our first holidays with our children. Now it’s our turn to fret, try not to think too much about what might go wrong, and look forward to their safe return.

It’s made me get all nostalgic about the times we had holidays at Port Leaucate when our children were little. Such exciting adventures, so many happy memories, it seems like yesterday.

Our youngest, Max, was eight when we last visited in the summer of 2005 and he took a liking to a local delicacy of crepes covered in lemon but without sugar. He’d go into his favourite café every day, walk confidently up to the counter and say: “Crepe au citron sans sucre s’ll vous plait.”

He wasn’t quite so good with the written French language, sending a postcard to Grandma and Grandad, saying: “Having a great time. Mum has tort me how to order a crap in French.”

I also remember the time we were having fun on the beach and challenged a French family to a game of football. T-shirts were placed on the sand as goal-posts and the England versus France World Cup showdown was played out with such passionate rivalry that a small crowd of spectators gathered.

Thanks to a spectacular diving header from yours truly, England won in the last minute and I couldn’t contain myself. I started jumping up, giving my team-mates high-fives, shouting “Champignons, champignons.”

Instead of looking bitterly disappointed, the French players and spectators burst into hysterics of laughter.

“You’re on a French beach, in your trunks, telling everyone you’re a mushroom,” shouted my wife.

Anyway, I just hope my son isn’t making a fool of himself in Port Leaucate this time round. You can’t help worrying about them, can you?


THANK you to Gavin, of York for passing on this exchange with his toddler… “I love my Daddy,” said the little one.

“Aw, that’s lovely; I love you too!” said Gavin.

“No, not you – I mean the My Daddy book at the library,” came the reply.

A COUPLE from the archives…Elsie Byers, in Leeds, told me how a little girl was watching a baby being breast-fed.

“It’s having a drink of milk,” explained the child’s Mummy.

“Is it orange juice on the other side?” enquired the little girl.

KATHLEEN Caig, treasurer at Teesdale Luncheon Club, remembered the time her grand-daughter, Maisie, aged seven, came home from school to a big surprise.

“I’ve got some really exciting news,” announced Maisie’s Mum. “We’re going to Disneyland in Florida for a half-term holiday.”

Maisie promptly burst into tears.

“But why are you crying?” asked her Mum.

“I thought you were going to tell me you’d bought me a goldfish!” sobbed Maisie.