WITH lockdown regulations finally being eased, Chloe and my wife have started having regular “Ganma Days” on Thursdays.

They love spending the day together – playing fuzzy-felt families, pottering around the garden, baking yummy cakes, and going for walks around the village. But Chloe has developed a habit of having a ‘drama queen’ moment when she’s dropped off at our house.

“I’m going to miss you, Daddy!” she wails, bursting into tears, and wrapping her little arms round his legs.

The other day, the drama carried on for several minutes, with impassioned cries of: “I’m really missing my Daddy and my Mummy.”

Thankfully, Grandmas are experts at diversionary tactics at moments like these, so my wife was quick with a creative suggestion: “Why don’t we go up to Auntie Hannah’s bedroom and take our fuzzy-felt family for a day out at the zoo?”

Chloe followed Ganma up the stairs, by now only half-heartedly lamenting the departure of her beloved Daddy, but unable to resist the lure of a visit to the zoo.

Once inside Auntie Hannah’s bedroom, she was quickly distracted by the cuddly toy animals laid out on the bed. At the same time, she caught sight of herself in the full-length mirror and declared: “Look, Ganma! I’m not crying anymore! I’m not missing Daddy as much as I was!”

Talk about fickle! Present a four-year-old with a stuffed lion, tiger, panther, leopard, elephant, kangaroo, penguin, lamb, bull, and over-sized hamster, and she couldn’t give a stuff about those who brought her into the world in the first place.

Anyway, last Thursday, the drama queen ritual took on a whole new dimension. Chloe was dropped off as usual by her Daddy, but before she had time to launch into the “I’m going to miss you, Daddy” script, my wife beat her to it.

Ganma threw herself at my feet and started sobbing: “I’m going to miss you Gandalf! I’m going to miss you!”

I’ll be honest, I was a bit taken aback because I wasn’t even planning to go anywhere, but my wife of 31 years was over-acting like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?

“Don’t go Gandalf!” she went on. “I can’t live without you! Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I’m going to miss you so much!”

It was so passionate, it fleetingly reminded me of the heady romance of our courting days, on the platform at Doncaster Railway Station, when I was working in Scunthorpe, and she had to go home to London.

Four decades on, Chloe looked down at her, gave her a bemused look and asked matter-of-factly: “Shall we take our fuzzy-felt family to the zoo now, Ganma?”

So, that’s where they headed. Me? I went for a walk. But I know full well I wasn’t missed.


CHLOE turned to her Daddy and asked: “Why is today called Thursday?"

"It's named after Thor, Chloë, it used to be 'Thor's Day'."

"Oh,” she replied. “When is it Hulksday?"

ONE from the archives…Helen Stanwick, of Aycliffe, recalled the time she was a little girl and tucking into a huge pie in front of her Uncle Jim.

“Ooh, I bet that’s nice,” said Uncle Jim.

“Yes, it is,” replied Helen, who was known for being fond of her food.

“If you really loved me, you’d give me some,” Uncle Jim playfully suggested.

Helen peered at the pie, looked back up, and replied: “Well, I like you a lot, Uncle Jim.”