LIKE all grandparents, we are utterly besotted. We're so desperate to capture every moment of baby Chloe's life that she's already been photographed more times than Kate Moss.

But I can't help thinking that Chloe's other Grandad - a lovely fella now known as Grandad Tom - is even more besotted than me.

On impulse, he bought a drone, fitted with a camera, for my son, Christopher and told him it was so he could "take pictures of Chloe from above".

Now, bear in mind that Chloe isn't even two feet tall yet and isn't quite walking so we're looking down on her most of the time anyway.

Nevertheless, it’s the thought that counts and Christopher – The Big Friendly Giant (BFG) – brought the drone round to our house to show off his newly-honed flying skills.

Naturally, I was desperate to have a go and the BFG spent a few minutes giving me instructions.

"You push the left-handed lever forward to increase the rotation speed, and steer with the right-hand lever," he explained in the kind of tone you’d use if you were talking to a small child.

Then I was left to my own devices and, to my delight, managed to make the drone take off gently from the lawn and hover over the garden.

"I think I'm a natural," I shouted.

With confidence oozing, I have to confess that I then got a bit carried away. I wanted to go higher but my steering went a bit erratic and, somehow, I managed to land the drone on top of our biggest fir tree, standing maybe 50 feet high.

Christopher, sighed, shook his head, snatched the controls off me, and manoeuvred the drone out of the tree. I’m gratified to say that he then lost control himself and flew it straight into side of next door's house.

"You must have damaged the steering mechanism," he snapped. This is clearly a trait he's learned from his mother - if something goes wrong, it has to be my fault.

He went next door to ask the neighbours "Can we have our drone back" and, when he got back, I pleaded for another go to rebuild my credibility as a pilot.

"No, Dad, you'll do some damage," he said.

“Don’t be silly, give it here,” I replied, wrestling the controls out of his hand.

Once again, I expertly lifted the drone off the grass. I made it go left, then right, before taking it higher, and bringing it round in a perfectly executed circle.

"Pretty good, eh?" I called to the various family members who were watching from a safe distance.

I don't quite understand what happened next but suffice to say that the drone suddenly developed a mind of its own. It started coming towards me like a heat-seeking missile. I frantically tried to steer it away but it just kept coming.

"Help! Help! It's trying to get me," I found myself squealing.

Still grappling with the controls, I began to run backwards but the drone chased me round the garden before flying into my groin and knocking me into a flower bed.

I think I’ll stick to taking pictures of Chloe from the ground.


THE last Grandad At Large included a Things They Say about a child asking his dad what a Durex was.

It prompted an email from David Williams, of Willington, who was reminded about his late mother.

When she was 76, she was reading the paper, and looked up to ask: “There’s an advert in here for Durex – what’s that?”

“Having given birth to thirteen children during her life, it explains a lot,” said David.

GILLIAN Atkinson, of Middlesbrough, got in touch to let me know that daughter Abi had left a letter under the pillow for the tooth fairy.

It read: “This tooth took a very long time to come out so it hurt as much as two tooths.”

And, yes, she woke to find two £1 coins had been left.

“WHAT have you been up to today?” I asked my Mum.

“Oh, I was up early. I went down the paper shop and delivered the papers to some old people down the street,” she replied.

She’s 86.