much to his joy, James took Friday off school this week. no, it's not because he doesn't like it (quite the opposite, in fact Friday would be his top day as that's when they get baking!), but rather because he got to spend the day with Grandma and Grandad.
whereas Grandad would not doubt have just loved to have spent the day lazing on the couch, watching various Star Wars movies, James had distinctly different ideas. i might be at fault on this one - on Thursday i mentioned to James that he would have to be a good boy and help Grandad in the garden, which meant that when he woke up on Friday he was keen and raring to go with the wheelbarrow and shovels!
in addition to wheelbarrows and shovels, though, he did make a demand for his gloves, which Grandma promptly found for him.
did he want his gloves because he didn't want his hands to get dirty? partly, but mostly, as he tells it, he wished to have them on because (and i more or less quote him here) "Grandad has crocodiles [??] in his fish pond, and as they are reptiles they will bite my fingers.". apparently i was full of such information at a similar age; hope Mum & Dad are enjoying the deja vu then!
James did get to mess about with the wheelbarrow that he loves pushing around, which meant that Grandad got all the help he could want putting some new plants in!
whilst Grandad loves having James to come over and help, Michele and i suspect that Grandad is also not entirely against the idea of a return to Victorian values in respect of children in the workplace. we wouldn't wish to insinuate anything malicious, but all the same we are very glad indeed that Grandad doesn't have a chimney or coal fire. whoops, now that i have said that, watch this space for the next building project. best i get Mary Poppins and The Water Babies on for James so he knows what he might be doing next visit!
now then, James came home and told us that he got "quite cross" with Grandad. when we asked him why, it was because James had tidied up a great many leaves (and to James that could be three, it could be three thousand) and then Grandad had either left some up on the path or made a mess with some more. either way, James' displeasure at this saw, sure enough, Grandad being sent off to tidy up!
i wonder if it was leaves and not toys all over our house would he be so eager to tidy them up then?
as Grandad likes to attract more birds into the garden than even Alfred Hitchcock would use in a particular film they require a good deal of food to eat. James also loves helping fill up the bird seed holders - nice to see Grandad has learned to hold the tube over the container full of it whilst James pours away!
i note that James hasn't got his gloves on in this one - presumably, then, birds are not reptiles! he hasn't quite decided if he likes this "birds evolved from dinosaurs" theory as of yet, but i dare say he will share his thoughts with us one day.
it wasn't only in the garden that James showed off his skills, or if you will was put to work. oh no. he decided to have a whirl at baking too! as far as i can work out, he went shopping with Grandma, spotted some Barney cupcake mix and off he went!
with his usual hands on approach, James more or less did everything himself, except of course put them in a (presumably) rather hot oven!
Margaret doesn't look as quite as excited as she could about James being let loose with milk and eggs, but that's understandable as she would be cleaning up whatever he did! James was rather proud to report that he didn't mess any eggs on the floor, which is the opposite of what happened one Sunday when i took him shopping....
....and ta-daaaaah! the finished cakes!
now whilst they taste lovely, i would have appreciated a look at the ingredients required on the box the mix came in. why? well, going on the taste, i would love to know if it actually said "mix in 1 (one) tonne (imperial or metric) of sugar", or if this was a little bit of "flair" James added.
i am not sure if Grandad knew the high sugar content as he got handed one, but here he is accepting some of James' hard work!
these cakes are, i suppose, his version of Keith Richards giving you an unspecified substance and saying "go on, try a little bit of this". the effects are rather impressive - James was up at about 6 this morning, had one of them after breakfast at 7 and was raving away until he felt very tired indeed at around 9am!
and, of course, the golden rule in our family is "where there is food there is Marmite"!
if Marmite had so much as one quarter of one half of one of those cakes, she will still be running mentally around the garden by the time of our next visit!!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!