Breaking with my resolution not to show pictures of my grandson, I couldn't resist posting my favourite recent photograph.
Baby E became Toddler E and is now well on his way to becoming Big Boy E. Or perhaps only to look at; he's petite, energetic, muscular, with the most serious face and brilliant smile, wildly enthusiastic, full of feeling and capable of spectacular tantrums. And he turned two recently.
We had to miss the actual birthday he shares with his Daddy, who was exhibiting at the London Design Fair, so went up to London a week later. There had already been a gooey chocolate birthday cake, so I baked a supposedly-healthier carrot and walnut (thank you, Mary Berry, for your never-fails recipe), froze it, wrapped it well, and took it with us.
We were laden like pack mules with presents for both the boys, cake and topping defrosting gently, and made our way from Paddington across London by our now-preferred route - one Tube journey and a slow bus to their door. It takes a little more time than our previous Tube-Tube-Overground train-bus, but you get to sit down in one seat and become accustomed to the noise, the crowds, the slow heaving traffic before reaching the smiling face of one small grandson.
Everything, gifts, cake, and our presence were received with delight, although the serious face belies this. E - like his father before him, 40-odd years ago, has the most serious approach to enjoyment, and a very thoughtful frown. Left to his own devices, as a child who is rarely allowed sugar, he would have eaten half of that cake in one day: "Kike! More kike!" Sorry, little E, no more kike for you, but we will light your candle yet again. And again.....
We returned home the following evening incubating colds, and I had a severely pulled back which has kept me barely mobile for almost a week (our birthday presents all seemed to be heavy). It was a relief to travel home with only one light case. But our visit was great fun; E is a charming and entertaining companion, and we love him dearly. He howled mightily when we left, although some of that grief may have focused on the loss of our wheeled suitcase, one of his favourite objects, but these painful farewells always result in a rather stiff-upper-lipped journey back to Paddington for me. I so wish we lived closer, but then, don't most families wish the same?
Note: Photographer Grandpa has set him on the right path....