Living Arrows: a little moment of the week to pause, savour and treasure
By the time I got home on Friday night there in the road was a shiny silver car, and there sat on the sofa, underneath both my daughters and a veritable mountain of book, was my Dad. He came to visit for the weekend, to start Kitty’s first ever half term with a wonderful treat, and to catch up with all of our doings that haven’t yet made it to the blog. I wasn’t there to greet him but I strongly suspect that he’d barely set foot inside the door before the girls claimed him as their own and put him to work. By the time I did arrive, they’d already had a wonderful long trip up to the playwark, just them and Grandpa (big treat), and played a very convoluted game of Pirates that involved sailing around for treasure and dropping the anchor a lot, and read at least half the bookshelf. Not for them Mummy or Daddy’s promise of “two stories, but then I have to go and put supper on”, here was someone who could and would read stories all day long.
I’d say that they were his devoted followers but it’s more accurate to say that they were his devoted and benign dictatrices; they’d go and ask him if he wanted a cup of tea in the morning, shout the answer down the stairs and I’d find them curled up in his bed with another story when I went up with the cup.
And when they’d read through most of our bookcase (no mean feat in itself), Grandpa revealed his master stroke; he’d brought from home a boxful of the grandchildren’s library, including my childhood favourites, the Pip Squeak books (from which eponymouse hero our own little Pip gets his internet pseudonym). They have been read, and read and read again. For bedtime stories and sitting outside in the sunshine after church.
The girls’ favourite is Pip Squeak Saves the Day, in which Pip gallantly rescues Mrs Meadowvole from drowning in the stream, breaks his leg recovering her basket of shopping (hence Kitty’s concerned look) and after Mr Squeak gets away with a fine of just one hazelnut for speeding the two of them to hospital in the school bus, they all have a big party to celebrate his bravery, complete with marching band. I’ll never understand why they aren’t still in print.
And while our own Pip took a little while to warm up to another person who is Not Mummy, by Sunday he was keen to get in on the act too, cuddling into Grandpa when we went pumpkin hunting and playing catch on the lawn at Charlecote (which does seem to be becoming our regular weekend garden!)
It’s been a lovely weekend, full to the brim of moments to savour and treasure.