A hug from a pair of arms still young, but with a potential strength from one only eight years old: a whispered ‘Thank you Grandad’: smiles from faces which life has yet to mould: a tiny hand gripped my thumb: and the last noises of an exhaust pipe echo amongst the trees. My Christmas visitors have all decamped; the famous ‘attack dog’ is safely seated in the rear seat of my eldest son’s car; the grandchildren have all gone home, and the silence is impenetrable.
It was a Happy Christmas, with turkey and all the trimmings twice over, a modest amount of wine was taken and enjoyed; but all good things come to an end. The road home beckons, and an early start is necessary to avoid the speeding morons who infest our motorways. Presents were exchanged; but the unspoken thought behind each gift is simply ‘Don’t be a stranger; keep on calling, and let me hear your voices; because Grandpa, who is also Dad, needs reassurance that you are alive, and well, and remembering from whence you came.’
Here’s to Hopes for a Happy New Year, and for many more to come, for all of mine; and to all of you!