28 January 2021

Gift

Shirley and I spent yesterday afternoon in The Palace of Princess Phoebe where she is attended to by her two slaves. Not quite two weeks old, Princess Phoebe's life chiefly involves three activities - the consumption of mother's milk, the filling of nappies and sleeping like a baby.

Yesterday her grandfather - King Pudding de Yorkshire - sang her songs and she was bemused, lying in his arms as the vibrations of his tuneful singing were absorbed by her rib cage. She looked up with her bright blue eyes wondering, "Who is this man?" and "Can I make him a slave too?"

How heart-warming it is to observe our lovely daughter Frances taking to the role of motherhood like a duck to water.  She is so patient and so loving. In spite of her tiredness there is a beatific aura about her. After all, she has been the engine of an ongoing miracle.

When we got home there was a mysterious Amazon package lying on our doormat. It was addressed to Phoebe Pudding so I guessed that it had come from someone in Blogland - but who could it be? Over the telephone, Frances gave me permission to open the package and inside were these two lovely children's books:-

But there was no note. However, later a comment in this blog revealed that the sender was none other than Mrs Jennifer Barlow of Florence, South Carolina. What a kind and generous thing to do! Once again - thank you so much Jennifer.

It is well-known over here in England that all Americans are stupendously rich. They drive around in massive cars and have massive refrigerators and every night they go to drive-in movies where they watch cowboy films on massive screens while munching huge handfuls of popcorn from massive paper buckets. Given this fact, we have decided to appoint Jennifer as Princess Phoebe's official American auntie. Henceforth she will be known to the princess as "Your rich Auntie Jennifer from South Carolina". It has nothing to do with the wealth. Honest.

44 comments:

  1. Are you going to re-name your Blog "Yorkshire Pudding, Grandfather".

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    1. No. "Yorkshire Pudding. Philosopher and All Round Good Egg".

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  2. Are you stalking me and my stupendous life? How could you possibly know these things? This is also a bit frightening.

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    1. Americans also wear big stetson hats - even the women and they eat meatloaf every night and watch "I Love Lucy" or "Bonanza" on massive TV screens in their massive wooden houses that all have massive swimming pools at the back. See I know just about everything about Americans Debby.

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    2. Fairly accurate, actually, except I think "I Love Lucy" has given way to "The Real Housewives of New Jersey."

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    3. Steve - you read books all the time when you should be riding a horse into the sunset. Are you sure you are American?

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  3. I love that book. The grandad looks just like you!

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  4. Well done, Jennifer!

    YP, do suggest if you ever get over here for a visit, you not dive into my "backyard pool" (after I drag it from the shed). Two meters round and made of plastic. Only 6" depth. Not to mention, it would annoy my grandchildren should you break it. :)

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    1. Are you sure you are a bona fide American Mary? Only European people have pools like that. By the way - a couple of questions I have always wanted to ask - how much chewing gum does the average American get through in a week and do you keep chewing when visiting what I believe you call "the rest room"?

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  5. Please would you make a video reading Wonky Donkey to Phoebe, so we can compare your storytime skills with the grandma in the video Mr. Brague drew our attention to.

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    1. Ha-ha! Yes that was very funny. Regarding your request I shall have to check my busy schedule and consult with my blog administration team.

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  6. It is a typical Jennifer-gesture - she is just such a kind and generous person, as every reader of her blog will know.
    You and Phoebe will have hours of fun with those books, and it won't be long before she'll be old enough to sit on your knee for story time. I predict she'll be walking and (more or less) talking by Christmas, if not earlier!

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    1. You are right. Babyhood does not last for very long.

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  7. Great books to read to Phoebe. Have you written a few stories to tell her YP?

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    1. Once upon a time there was a big, hairy ogre who lived in a cottage on The Sheep Shed Peninsula. He was very scary and every day he would stomp off to his polytunnel chuntering and grumbling about this and that.

      In the polytunnel he grew the same things that Roald Dahl's famous BFG ate -snozzcumbers, which are disgusting striped cucumber-like vegetables with wart-like growths that taste like frog skins and rotten fish... etc.

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    2. Why does that sound familiar? Hmmm....

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  8. I once tried to fit my sons' Cross Country Track team in my VW. Ha!Four very sweaty teenagers and me.

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    1. "Four Very Sweaty Teenagers And Me" sounds like a porn film.

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  9. Phoebe Pudding has a nice ring to it methinks.

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    1. It could be the title of a children's story. Watch this space.

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  10. It is most gratifying to see that you have already acquired the proper attitude and practices of a true grandparent.

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    1. I have a long way to go before I am on a par with The Moons.

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    2. Well, it just takes practice.

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  11. North Americans do indeed have large fridges, certainly comparted their English counterparts. Yesterday I had a patient who grew up in Yorkshire, 18 miles from Sheffield he told me. I asked him if he liked Yorkshire Pudding, the food, not the man and then he told me about his mum's cooking.

    "The Night You Were Born" is one of my favorite children's books.

    Enjoy grandpa:)

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    1. That poor man! Fancy living in the wilds of Canada when he could be back in Yorkshire. He must have done something terribly wrong.

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  12. A lovely gift from Jennifer, God bless Carolina.
    It is wonderful to watch little fingers turning the pages of a favourite book.

    I hope Phoebe grows up in a better country than the one we have: In parts of Britain 30 per cent of children are living in poverty. People have lost hope.
    Everyone I speak to says, *Boris and the Tories just don't care about the poor.*
    *A parcel of rogues,* to quote Rabbie Burns.

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    1. It would have been the same without COVID. Johnson is a posh toff and he has gathered other posh toffs around him. I note that he was up in Scotland today. Why couldn't you keep him there? Very disappointing.

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  13. Awww, what a nice thing for Jennifer to do! You'll get to spend many happy hours reading those books to Phoebe, I'm sure.

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    1. I think I will have to wait many months before the books register with Little Phoebe.

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    2. My daughter in law read to Iris as soon as she was born. It was part of their day. She's two and is part of a library program "500 books before Kindergarten". She's read nearly 300 books already. When little Phoebe loves a book, you will read that book a dozen times in a single day. There is no greater gift you can give a child than the love of books. What a wonderful gift, Jennifer!

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    3. I am looking forward to reading "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" to her. I read it to Frances countless times.

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  14. What beautiful books from Jennifer - she will be good at choosing them having worked in a book store! I am also a lurker on her blog and find it very interesting!

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    1. Isn't lurking around blogs a criminal offence Jo?

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  15. That is a sweet and thoughtful gift from Jennifer! The books are wonderful and you and Princess Phoebe will enjoy them many times over. It is wonderful to read to a child even at her young age.

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    1. I believe in the importance of reading more than most - having spent most of my working life as an English teacher.

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  16. the first few weeks of development are rapid. Enjoy them while you can.

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    1. We are so lucky that Phoebe is nearby. Her other grandparents are down in Bristol and because of COVID may not see her in person for several weeks.

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  17. It's a great book title and how kind of Jennifer.

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  18. I'm so pleased that you liked the books, Neil! I planned to do a little something for Phoebe as soon as you announced that Frances was expecting, and books are my go-to gift for new babies. It's never too early to begin reading to them. I shall be honored to be Phoebe's American auntie, but rich? Haha! If only!

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  19. What a wonderful gift from Jennifer. Those books will be treasured and read again and again. Perhaps little Phoebe will keep them safe, and one day they may be read to her child? That's if there is still such a thing as a real book of course!

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    1. That's if there is still a world then!

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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