It seems very quiet around here now. Squiffany came to visit for only three hours, but I’m lonely without her.
We were very busy this morning. She arrived clutching a small pot of yoghurt and a punnet of raspberries, asked for a spoon and sat and ate them, giving me two of the raspberries. Then we went for a walk round the village. I had a key to deliver and Tilly was keen for a walk. As we set off down the drive, she charged across the field excitedly. She rushed back to us, galloped off again, went through the hedge onto the other field and vanished. “Where’s Tilly?” asked Squiffany. Tilly belted back, wild-eyed and mouth agape, vanished into the field. She was gone for longer than I’d expect for a dog hoping for a walk. I was not surprised to see a rabbit hop through the hedge onto the drive and unhurriedly lop along towards the garden. Quite half a minute later, Tilly reappeared, sniffing for tracks. She really is the world’s worst rabbiter.
When we arrived home, Squiffany asked for some orange juice. While I was squeezing the orange, I heard the computer ‘ping’ a reminder and realised I had Meals on Wheels to deliver today.
It’s not especially awkward taking a child with you to deliver M o W. What is awkward is the car seat. One has to align three separate pieces of buckle simultaneously and clip them together. It needs to be tight fitting of course, or it isn’t much use. I put her in the seat and fastened it, drove to the café, took her with me to fetch the food, clipped her in the seat, drove to the first house, took her out — so it went on. She was very charming to all the old people, although quiet – too much attention for a little girl. When we arrived home, I asked her what she wanted for lunch, giving her several options. “I want to go upstairs, please, Granny.”
I know what that means. Granny has a very bouncy bed. Also, Squiffany lives in a bungalow, so the stairs themselves are fun. While we were bouncing, I asked again about lunch. “Would you like pasta?” “I like pasta,” she replied, “But not today, thank you.” Everything I suggested received the same response. It was far too polite to take exception to. “Well,” I said in the end. “I’m hungry. And I’m having chips. You can share them if you like.” I put the chips in the oven (no, I don’t normally give a child such naughty food, but hey, being a granny means you can get away with it) and we went off to feed the chickens. They are still living in the greenhouse, which is well ventilated, but if this warmth continues they will have to move soon.
Chips, egg and tomato ketchup went down very well. Some of it down her front, indeed. Afterwards, I rummaged through the bag Dilly had left. Clean clothes, fortunately. By the time Dilly returned to take her to playgroup, her face and hands were washed and she was wearing a clean top.
And now I miss her.