We adore our grandchildren, all eleven of them, but we are not blind to their varying degrees of behaviour mixed with a pretty good sprinkling of tantrums. However every so often there is an occasion when involvement with them suddenly all comes together and makes all the effort worthwhile.
We recently had the opportunity to attend one of the performances of the world famous Royal Signals White Helmets Motorcycle Display Team and decided that it would be a good opportunity to have a Saturday out to entertain three of the grandchildren with an exciting and very unusual experience.
We were not disappointed and all three plus Granny and Grandpa were totally overwhelmed by the expertise, noise and sheer skill of these young soldiers, several of whom had only started to ride such motor cycle beasts four months ago. Yet here they were giving an exhibition requiring courage, skill and the trust in their fellow team members. The three grandchildren were totally absorbed by the motorbikes hurtling across the open space, criss-crossing with only a hairsbreadth between their wheels and then for a change, somehow riding backwards controlling this powerful machine, apparently with no hands and whilst reading a magazine. The climax was of course when a straw covered frame was set alight and this years new riders were led by their team officer to jump through this great fire and smoke inferno.
Exciting and very impressive and well worth a visit to see these calculated well drilled but dare devil riders. You can see where they are performing on their website (www.whitehelmets.co.uk).
Since a part of our aim for the day was not only for us to have some fun with some of the grandchildren but to give their parents a break so that they could finish a number of unfinished house jobs uninterrupted with the usual calls for tissues, drinks, biscuits or ‘come and play’.
Therefore we decided we would give them a pub lunch on the way home. We chose an old favourite The Saxon in Child Okeford (www.saxoninn.co.uk) which we knew was both ‘grandparent and grandchildren friendly’ and recently has had a major refurbishment.
It had both a children’s menu and a standard one as well as a ‘menu of the day’ which pleased Grandpa no end – he had not had faggots and mash for years!
The children’s food was ideal for simple tastes with chips and whilst the nine year old made short work of scampi, the seven year old tucked into chicken nuggets and the five year old, normally very picky, refused to share his sausage and beans with anyone. For once all three were behaved immaculately (as they usually are when the parents are not around) and need no encouragement to ‘eat up’.
However the funniest moment of the day came whilst waiting for our lunches. Grandpa decided to have a general knowledge game to keep them amused and to prevent them from singing a song he had mischievously taught them previously about ‘why are we waiting?’. He nominated a letter and a subject and then the children in turn had to come up with an answer. After going through various subjects such as countries, birds, cities, we opted for ‘an animal beginning with the letter R’. Worldly wise elder sister chose Rhinoceros, clever elder brother found a Rat but the youngest simply could not understand the reaction of instant laughter to his animal choice of ‘Roast Chicken’! Clearly the excitement had created an appetite and puddings were in demand but the choice of Ice Cream Saturday instead of an Ice Cream Sundae took some beating!
A very amusing culmination of a marvellous day out for grandparents and grandchildren alike.