Thursday, 22 October 2020

Chapter 283: Faster Higher Longer


A mass gathers on the athletic track. Stretching their legs, jogging and talking.

I hear talk about past injuries, training and the weather.

“How are your knees; hamstrings; hips?”

“How far did you run this week?”

The starter’s gun unleashes a centipede of runners. Legs pumping up and down. The running beast moves quietly around the track.  As it nears me, I hear breathing and feet slapping the artificial surface.

The running peloton contains shorts and shirts of different colours, shapes and sizes. Everybody looks and runs differently. Everybody is doing the same thing differently. Everybody has a unique style. Everybody has a unique reason for running. A reason to run around a track as fast as possible. Everybody aims for their best.

And everybody has a method of motivation. I must catch that guy in front of me.  I must prevent the guy behind me passing me. They said I couldn’t do this.  I’ll show them.  The time on the clock tells me to push my legs faster, make bigger strides, breathe deeper, relax my mind.

I must keep that string connecting me to the guy in front of me taut. I must keep that string tight. Not let it grow longer. This is the lap I must push myself.  

The runners become muscles acting instinctually and naturally. Legs contracting rhythmically resembling a gazelle or horse or tiger.  The runners don’t think about where to put their next step. They concentrate on acting instinctively. They concentrate on thinking about running. Not thinking of other things. Just running.

In the final straight the arms take over. They pump harder and faster. They swing bigger and bigger and power the runner across the finish line.

After running the runners lean on their knees and talk.

“I’ve got to get under 20 minutes.”  

“What are you training for?”

“What have you got coming up?”

The throwers are loosely gathered on the field. An official with her notebook says a name and a thrower takes centre stage. The thrower smoothly and gracefully spins and turns and unleashes the flying discuss through the air to land and bounce. Eyes watch and mark its divot in the grass.

Another name is called and this time brute force and power propel the discus spinning towards getting measured.   

“That was 25.67m.”

“I’m aiming for 26 m. I’ve gotta get it over 26m.”

All the throwers look younger than their passport age. They all look very fit and healthy. Not just physically healthy. They all behave mentally and socially healthy. They behave well. They are kind and considerate. They take turns and don’t cheat. They help others. They always say the right things at the right time.

They all have the confidence to find out more about themselves. By taking a risk. They all push themselves. They all aim to learn more about themselves by throwing further.

Next week I pick up the javelin.

One young guy looks like he is playing a different sport. He runs and runs and runs and launches the javelin into the stratosphere. It smoothly dives and neatly digs into the grass. Perfect.

He is proving that everybody has a different physical body, experience, technique, mental attitude and medical history. He has just proved that he belongs with us because he is different. All of us throwers are different but we are all aiming for the same thing. A good throw. Maybe even a PB.

I don’t’ receive a PB. I receive a PL. I receive a Personal Learning experience. I need to work out how I could have done better. How do I prepare for next time? How should I train? If I can work out what I should have done today I will have learnt something about throwing the javelin and myself.



Sunday, 18 October 2020

Chapter 282: Are we there yet?

Grandmother says: Before you get in the car go to the toilet.

In the car the grandkids are told to sit quietly. Don’t move squirm or fiddle. Be passive. Watch the passing world. Look without comment. Don’t annoy us. Sit still.

I adjust the aircon; adjust the radio; adjust my seat. It’s warm in the car. I take my jumper off.  I lean back and watch the road sweep up between the rolling hills. Kay says: I need the toilet.

The next town appears and our car slides to a stop. We all fall out of the warm car. We wander around hoping to stumble upon a public toilet.

Kay: I’m cold.

We return to the car for her jumper.

Bruce runs non-stop. Attacking every badie he sees on the path ahead. He runs, twists and spins around poles.  He swings a sword.

Back in the car:

Kay: How much longer?

Grandfather: Now everybody together. Can you all say. How much longer? All say it together.

Grandkids: How much longer?

Grandfather: That’s good. This time sing it. How much longer? Are we there yet?

The grandkids sing together.

Grandfather: Very good. Bit soft though. Next time louder with actions. Put your head on your hands and raise your eyebrows. Now all together.  

Grandfather:  Now we have the chorus. How much longer? Are we there yet? We need a verse.  What else can we say?

I see many confused faces.

Grandfather: We need a verse about sitting in the car. We need a verse about where we are at the moment. About the road curving past sheep and cows. We need a verse about what is happening now. About what you are thinking?

Grandfather: What words? How would this verse go? What are you thinking?

They all look confused and unsure of what to say. No sound from their mouths so I have to read their minds.

Their minds say: Now we have to say a verse to make grandfather happy. Another thing to keep grandfather happy. Grandfather sure needs a lot of looking after.

Grandmother’s mind says: You’re more annoying than the kids.

Kay: I’m thirsty.

Bruce: How much longer?

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Chapter 281: We look and see wonderful sights. Where did they come from?

Tasmania is an island with many acres of enticing and alluring native bush. Attracting people from around the world.

Because of Covid there are no tourists coming to Tasmania.

However the government has a plan.

The government says: The people involved in the tourism industry are suffering. Let’s help them.

The government says: Holiday locally.  Visit the places everybody else travels miles and hours to see.

I say: Its school holidays. I can’t leave the state.  The government. My government wins the argument.

We find ourselves (three generations) in one of our national parks. Not a wilderness area. Managed native bush.

After unloading our bags we reconnoiter. Surrounding our huts are dark, brooding, drooping trees. They have dark bark. They sway and dangle hanging wet leaves. The trees are mysterious and haunting. The background for the trees is a wandering mist and a blue sky.


Grazing wombats, pademelons and wallabies prefer the grassy areas so they can eat it. The animals much, chew graze and wander on. They are quiet. We stand just as quietly and watch them grazing, munching and chewing. Unfortunately they are not frightened, wary or concerned about us tourists. Signs abound saying please don’t feed the animals. Domestic food will habituate them and kill them.

The animals fascinate and mesmerise us and we take multiple photos and say: The tourists would love them.

A black currawong lands on a dark mossy branch. Fully awake and alert. Shiny beak dominates as he curiously looks for his next snack.  An unlucky insect is about to finish its life in the large powerful and impressive beak of a lucky currawong.


We encounter others and all agree. We are lucky. It is a wonderland. Beautiful. We all agree we wouldn’t have come here except for this cursed virus.


Next morning the virus has changed breakfast. The buffet has been cancelled. My grandkids are not unhappy. They then prove they know a lot more than I did when their age. Unlike the other side of the window they don’t have to look, scratch and fight for their food. All they have to do is speak to the waiter.

Kay: I’ll have pancakes with maple syrup and cream and strawberries.

Me: What about blueberries?

Kay: Yes blue berries around the edge.

My mind wanders to the windows. Outside the bush subsists and survives and continues as it has for eons. Animals and birds are having their breakfast. The bush awaits us.

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Chapter 280: Kay is rich

Kay presents me with two things.

A bloody, red lip and blood seeping and oozing from her mouth.

A tooth in her outstretched hand.

I ask her: How is your mouth? Is it sore?

She looks at me bemused. How could I possible think of such things when she is holding a precious tooth.

Okay. That’s where my mind should focus.

Me: Okay I’ll wipe this tooth and then we will wrap it in a tissue for the tooth fairy.

I am really curious about what she thinks of the tooth fairy.

I ask her countless questions about the tooth fairy.

Why does he come at night when you are asleep?

What does he do with all the teeth?

Where does he live?

What does he look like?

How much is a tooth worth?

Kay is exasperated and frustrated with my countless questions. She finally raises her eyebrows and says: Mum is the tooth fairy. We do this. To make mum happy. Tonight I place the tooth under my pillow. Mum takes the tooth and gives me five dollars. I will then have ten dollars. I will be rich.

I am left speechless. Nothing to add. I can’t think of anything to say. Luckily she can.

Kay: And when all these teeth come out I’ll be more rich. I will buy Stephanie and her friends.



Monday, 5 October 2020

Chapter 279: The perfect breakfast

 Some grandkids have slept over. They wake with speed.

They immediately begin moving randomly. Flexibly, unplanned and spontaneous. Living in the moment.

Unhindered by their clothing. Their pajamas are fluffy, soft, loose, comfortable and unfashionable.

They all decide they need new names.

They float names such as bunbun, bonbon, waffles and snowy butterfly and fluffy.

They decide nobody should be lumbered with the name orieles.

Kay eventually decides she will be called snowflake.

Gertrude grabs snowy butterfly.

Bruce claims bonbon.

Replete with their new names they are ready for breakfast which is just about perfect. Perfection involves having a choice. In front of them are multiple little packets of cereal. They have the fun of choosing the best packet. They all prefer the same packet. Coco pops. But they are happy to shake, tear open and pour a colorful, noisy alternative. 

They lean on the table with her elbows flayed widely. Exactly the way their mothers did 30 years ago. Kay sticks out her tongue and licks her lips. Her mother did that identical same movement thirty years ago.  

And now Gertrude is sucking her spoon after each spoonful. Her mother used to do that. And her mother used to look around the room just like her. Gertrude stands and kicks her leg behind her. I am lost between what is happening now and what happened thirty years ago.

Their mothers always used to choose coco pops. Their kids have taken her place.

It is about now Catherine used to say: I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.

Gertrude doesn’t say anything. Gertrud just picks up her I-phone and says: Mum look at this photo.

Her mum says: Can I see it.

Gertrude: I will email it to you. Did you get it?

Mum looks up from her I-pad: Yes I got it. Good photo. I think I’ll tick like.

Gertrude now takes a photo of snowflake. I’m sure she only did that in order to remind me it’s 2020. Not 1990.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Chapter 278: Espress, instant or express coffee

In Hobart all coffee (milk based or black) comes from an espresso machine. An espresso machine is a machine which forces hot water and steam under pressure through finely ground and compacted coffee. It results in denser coffee than drip or plunger coffee.  It results in a crema which is a layer of creamy foam derived from the coffee not the milk.  Espresso comes from the Italian word for press. Espresso does not derive from the word express which means quick.


An espresso machine delivers either a single shot of coffee or a double shot. Single shot is 30-60ml. In Hobart milk coffees will have two shots or one shot.  


Milk is devoid of agreement. Most cafés offer “normal” milk and skinny milk. Most also offer soy, rice milk or a vegan milk.


If you order a skinny cappuccino and extra cream with your cake you will give the staff something to talk about. Let them talk. Enjoy your cake.


Skinny milk contains about half the calories of normal milk. And dramatically less milk fat and less saturated fat.

The NHMRC recommends reduced fat milk.


I finish my food and drink and wait and watch grandmother finish her drink. We never finish together.


The topic of caffeine flows to the surface. How much caffeine in a cup? Does a cup of coffee stop sleep? Should I only drink coffee before certain hours. What hours?


A single shot of espresso is 30–60 ml, and contains from 60-200 mg of caffeine. 


Every medical study I could find tells me caffeine taken six hours before sleep affects the quality and quantity of sleep.


Every study I could find says the amount of caffeine in a cup varies dramatically. And the people drinking the coffee vary dramatically.


400mg of caffeine a day is considered safe by everybody under almost every circumstance. Which may be 2-4 shots of espresso coffee a day.


Caffeine has other affects on the body. I list what experts see as some of the main affects of caffeine.


Decrease drowsiness. Increase alertness.

Can make you anxious agitated and insomniac.

Withdrawal leads to headaches

Lower risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia

Lower risk of depression and suicide

Increases acid to stomach. Causes acid reflux

Increases urination

Decreases risk of diabetes.

Decreases risk of bowel cancer.

Increases blood pressure.

Increases irregular heart rhythms.

Decreases calcium absorption. Increases osteoporosis.

Increases muscle twitching.

Decreases risk of Parkinson’s Disease.

Increase risk of miscarriage.


Monday, 14 September 2020

Chapter 277: My coffee vocabulary

When I was young a cup of coffee meant a spoon of instant coffee followed by two questions. Milk? Sugar?


Now that I have grown old my coffee vocabulary has increased. Words on the periphery are ristretto, macchiato, chai latte, affogato, mocha, piccolo, Vienna, Irish coffee and deconstructed coffee.


In Hobart the basic words are cappuccino, flat white and latte. Every café uses these names and makes their coffee differently.  


The differences are in the amount of froth; the amount and type of milk; the amount and strength of coffee; the type of cup; the service.


There is no agreement on what cappuccino, flat white and latte are but one opinion is:


Latte: a double shot of espresso; 170-225 ml of steamed milk; 1cm of foam; served in a glass.


Cappuccino:  A latte with less milk and more foam.

A double shot of espresso; 150-180 ml of steamed milk; 1.5 cm of foam; served in a cup; foam dusted with chocolate.


Foam is the tiny bubbles created when steaming and heating the milk.  Foam should taste nice. It should be smooth and creamy.  I don’t know why adding bubbles of air to something makes it taste nicer. It doesn’t alter the flavour. I see froth as air in which will eventually become air out.


Flat white: A latte with less milk and no foam.

A double shot of espresso; 110 steamed milk; served in a cup. 


Flat white is Australia’s contribution to the global coffee culture. It originated in Australia in the early 1980s as an alternative to the frothier cappuccino.  I don’t know why the flat white originated in Australia or what is uniquely Australian about it.  In New Zealand they behave refreshingly typical.  They say the flat white began in New Zealand and you Aussies claimed it as your creation.

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Chapter 276: My favourite cafe

Going by Mr Goggle everybody has a favorite café. Everybody rates their café as the best.

My cafe makes the best coffee in Hobart.  Better than others.  


Why do so many people tell Mr Goggle that their cafe is the best. Why tell other people to come to your café. Crowd the tables. Eat all the food. Dilute the staff’s attention. I can’t tell people to avoid my cafe but I can say nothing.


I return home and browse the internet. The café I have just been in has comments about its coffee. It is organic, fair traded and environmentally friendly. There is further info about different types of coffees. It rates very well.  Nothing about the cups, the tables, the menu, the service, when they serve the food, the ingredients or health of the food. 


The café that seems to rate highest on the internet is the one that attracts most internet uses. The café full of people on their mobile phones or typing away on their lap tops. 


I rate a cafe highly if it does the basics well. Provides good food and drink in a relaxed comfortable atmosphere with good service. And convenient for me.


I remember going to a café in the country and receiving a cup of coffee made with instant coffee. The owner was very proud of the coffee and I celebrated the last of a breed. I couldn’t help but think this man is endangered. I had better enjoy this cup. He won’t last. He will be replaced by an espresso machine and paper cups.

Chapter 275: This coffee tastes like mud

The waitress approaches our table. Grandmother places her order. That helps me decide what to order.  There is a law against both of us ordering the same thing.


I love to ask the staff, “What do you recommend?”


I love staff who are proud of and love talking about their food and love saying what they like. I love it when they have an opinion. When they are personally involved. When they say what they have for morning tea.  When I was a dentist, I loved people who asked me: What do you do? Tell me how you look after your own teeth.


The waitress skips away with the precious information. She will tell others what we told her.


We sit and I fiddle with the salt and sugar. Sugar is pourable. Not cubes.  Table has a number. On the walls are landscape pictures and photos of food and food instruments. 


Another difficult decision has arisen. What do we talk about? Around us the talk is continuous. Every table talks. We can’t sit quietly the way we do at home. That would create a bad impression. I have to create a good impression. The impression that I am enjoying myself. If I am talking then I am enjoying myself.


Why is my regular coffee an espresso? Who decided I was an espresso person? How did grandmother decide she was a skinny cappuccino? 

Where did these names come from?

I remember the day in South Africa I asked for a long black. The look I received told me not to order a short black or a long black.


I can’t say the old coffee joke. Grandmother has already heard it. Many times.


This coffee tastes like mud.

That’s because it was only just ground.

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Chapter 274: Time for morning tea

Time for morning tea as we make our way down the footpath. I sidestep a sandwich board. It proudly says: Homemade cakes.


It is telling me: Come in for your morning tea of coffee and cake. And please don’t ask me what the phrase “homemade cakes” means.


We enter the café. I sneakily watch grandmother. Which table is she heading for? I don’t think she will take the one near the door. Or the one in front of the counter. I think she is going for the one the corner. I reckon she will ask the staff, “Is it okay if we sit anywhere?”


Our lives involve less choices if there is only one empty table in the room.


She takes possession of a table by standing behind a chair. I could sit opposite her or next to her. Should I face everybody else or face the wall. I can’t sit in this chair which is cramped.  Not enough room.


I eventually sit down and survey the room. I am standing atop a mountain admiring the view. I have to make sure I can locate everything. I can view a bain-marie.


I stand up to get closer to the bain-marie. In the bain-marie are cakes and slices and slices of frittata arranged on plates. Each plate has a label. One plate has the words, ‘gluten free’.  On the counter are a few muffins on a tray.


Maybe there is something on the menu which is not on display.    There is a pile of written menus which I take.


The menu tells us when breakfast finishes and lunch begins. The menu tells me the chef knows foreign words and fads such as gluten free, organic and vegan. The menu doesn’t tell me what is low in sugar and fat. What is high in fiber and healthy.


I look for food that is fresh, tasty, healthy and environmentally sound.  If it is also socially acceptable, easy to cook and cheap then everybody is happy.    


If I see blackboard and a chalk menu I assume the food is as fresh as the menu.


Before choosing some food I have to think daily. What else am I eating today? What exercise will I do today? How much food can I eat without feeling guilty? How high is my guilt limit today?


Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Chapter 273: I'm wearing my magic shoes

It is a pleasure to walk down the hill. Breathe the fresh air. Every garden contains different flowers and shrubs and garden beds of pride. Our local streets look pleasant. Without evils. Lacking harms and ills. Friendly sun lies behind a gentle breeze.  

Kay: I’m wearing my magic shoes. They tell me when there is dog poo on the footpath and then step over it.

Me: Is there a baddie who can put an evil spell on these shoes? The evil spell that makes you walk in dog poo.

Kay: Jeremy. He’s always naughty. He was talking in class. When you had to keep quiet. The teacher told him off.

Me: I hope those shoes keep on avoiding the dog poo. I hope they retain their magic power.

Me: I can see your magic shoes. Do you have a super power I can’t see?

Kay is bewildered and confused. I am talking about magic shoes. Not super powers.


Bruce: If I don’t pick my nose for two weeks will you give me $5.

Me: Is picking your nose bad or good?

Bruce: It is a bad.

Me: Then don’t do it. You will get your own reward. If you don’t do something bad you will get the benefits. You will win.

Bruce is confused. His good plan for earning money has vanished.


We continue walking. I am still enjoying the walk. My grandchildren are as lively and spritely as before. More confused but just as energetic and happy.

Approaching us is a big clumsy dog pulling his master. The master is carrying a small black plastic bag. No need for Kay’s magic shoes.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Chapter 268: Kay's face shines and sparkles

 In the supermarket between the dark, gloomy shelves overflowing with packets and cans there is one gleaming, bright light.

It is Kay’s face. Her face shines and sparkles as she dances in the aisle between cereal boxes and soup packets.

Her smile is relaxed, happy and unforced as she spins in the aisle. She raises her hands above her head and claps her hands.

I can’t resist. I spin awkwardly and raise my hands and clap clumsily. I keep on clapping as I keep on spinning. Kay’s smile does the impossible. It becomes bigger.

Behind Kay a pair of adults push a trolley around the canned tomato pyramidal sculpture and enter our aisle.  They see me dancing, stop and laugh. They then give each other a private little glance and continue laughing. I have just embarrassed myself. Time to stop dancing.

As I slow down I see Kay. She glows. She is enjoying dancing. She is having a great time.  She enjoys having other people look at her.  I keep on dancing. If I keep on dancing I can help make Kay happy and maybe make other people laugh.

Monday, 31 August 2020

Chapter 267: She pushed me

 A multi headed mass travels erratically down the footpath.

Some of the mass walks. That’s grandmother and grandfather. Some of the mass runs helter skelter. That’s Bruce, Gertrude and Kay.

Grandmother: Don’t run. What if everybody did that?

They continue running.

Grandmother: It doesn’t matter what I say. Everybody does exactly what they want.

Bruce runs back up the path and stops in front of me. He has a really important message to give me.

Bruce: Guess what?

Me: What?

Bruce: I’m wearing Spiderman underpants.

I nod and he turns and runs down the footpath. Towards Kay and Gertrude.

Kay and Gertrude run up the footpath. My gaze wanders and I don’t see the accident.

I see tangled legs and arms and Kay staring at her bleeding knee.

Me: What happened?

Kay: She did this. She pushed me.

Gertrude’s face looks guilty. She mumbles to herself.

Me: Kay that is a bad injury to your knee. It needs a bandaid. When we get home you all get to have a band aid. You all get to choose your own bandaid.

Me: (reasonably privately to Gertrude). We will draw her a card. To help you apologize.

Gertrude: Do you want it landscape or portrait?

When we give her the card you will say sorry. You have learnt a lesson and you will never do it again.

Me: (reasonably privately to Kay). If Gertrude gives you card and says sorry you also have to do something.

Kay: She pushed me. I get to push me.

Me: No. You won’t push her. You have to do something really difficult. You have to accept her apology. Say thank you for the apology and then move on. Don’t keep on and on about it. Don’t keep on mentioning it. Don’t mention it every time you see her bandaid or your bandaid.   

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Chapter 266: Does she stll suck her thumb?

 I stroll in my back garden. Over the fence I hear my neighbour say hello.

She has some beautiful agapanthus. I must ask her why they doing so well.  They look better than ours.


Me: Love your agapanthus.

Angela:  I gave him money so he could tell me what I already knew.

I nod.

Angela: He told me her teeth are crooked because she sucks her thumb.


Me: Are we talking about your daughter?

She looks at me: Yes of course we are.

Me: Okay are her teeth crooked?

Angela: Yes they are.

Me: Does she suck her thumb?

Angela: Only when she’s tired.

Me: Does sucking her thumb cause her teeth to be crocked?

Angela: Of course it does. I didn’t need him to tell me that. I already knew that.


I now ask a relevant question: How old is she?”

Angela: She is six.

Me: Does she still have baby teeth? Or does she have any adult teeth?


Angela: That’s what the orthodontist said. He was only interested if they were baby teeth or adult teeth.

Me: Okay how is he going to get her to stop sucking her thumb?

Angela: Easy. I’ll do that. I’ll tell her not to.  Whenever she does it I will tell her not to.”


I still retain some memory of teeth and of trying to change behaviour. I will try and give her some advice about teeth.


Me: I would be positive. Find some way of rewarding her for good behavior. Start with a chart. If she achieves a period of non-sucking then give her something. A star. After so many stars give her something she wants. Give her something to aim at. Find out what are the weak times. The times that are associated with sucking.


Angela: You are retired. What would you know? I’m just telling you. I know what to do. I don’t need his help or your help.


A week later we meet.

Me: I know nothing but has she stopped sucking her thumb?

Angela: She has cut down. She is sucking less.

Me: Why is she sucking her thumb less?

Angela:  Because I tell her. Everytime I see her I tell her. She wouldn’t dare.

Me: That’s good. What about the babysitter. How is she helping you?

Angela: The babysitter has enough to think about. I don’t want to fill her tiny brain with things she doesn’t need to know.  I haven’t told her what I am doing.


How can I tell her that the babysitter needs to be on the same page?

I am a retired dentist. But I am still a real live living dog owner.

Me: If you are training your dog would you expect someone looking after the dog to have the same rules for your dog.

Angela: Yes of course.

Me: Do you think the babysitter should know about your plan to stop thumb sucking.

Angela: Are you saying my daughter is a dog. She is not a dog.


Me: Can I ask you about your agapanthus? They look beautiful.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Chappter 265: I will let them win. I will try and build up their confidence.

 The computer game is alive. It is blinking, flashing, making music and goading me.

I can use this game to help me grandkids. Build up their confidence. Make them feel good. Give them confidence to attack and take on this world. I will let them beat me.

I start by saying: I’m gonna win. I’m gonna beat you at his game.

They immediately begin pressing buttons. They ask me. What my name is going to be. What color do I want be.

The game starts and they hand me the controller. They press buttons, turn buttons and twist buttons. The buttons become a part of them. On the screen their monkeys put up shields and easily dodge nasty, evil arrows.

I whisper: I’m gonna beat you. I’m just getting warmed up.

Bruce seems to lose interest in beating me. Winning is too easy. No competition. He lazily spins his button and raises his eyebrows.

Bruce decides its time to help me.

Bruce: You have to watch the monkey and press your button when it moves. You have to throw a banana and hit the other monkey. You have to press the color that appears.

I spin my button and press it a few times and watch some randomly disconnected monkey get bombed.

Bruce: That was good. You are getting better.   

The game finishes and they look at the leader’s scoreboard. 

Me: Looks like I won. I got the lowest score. By lots. You didn’t even come close.

Kay: The highest score wins. You came last.

Me: I think lowest wins. I won.

Kay: You lost. You came last.

Bruce: You are getting better. You are learning. You are learning very quickly. For your age.

Bruce tries to encourage me. He tries to build up my confidence.

Bruce: You will soon be an expert at this. Good enough to play me.

They play another game without me. I disappear. When they are at school I will have to learn how to turn this game on by myself. I need to practice by myself. I need to practice without them watching. I have to get good enough to let them beat me. 


Friday, 21 August 2020

Chapter 264: Who ate this cake?


I wander in with grandmother.

Filling my eyes is a missing slice in a cake. The missing slice is not there but it is the most obvious thing in the room. Apart from the crumbs around the mouths of two grandkids.

Grandmother: Who was it ate this cake?

Gertrude: It was grandfather.

Grandmother: Sometimes I don’t know why I bother.

Gertrude: It was grandfather. He did it.

I move around the cake and stare at it.

Me: I can’t tell if this cake is worth eating. Is it tasty? Is it worth eating?

Gertrude: Yes. It is very good.


Kay looks lost, confused and anxious.

Me: Are you Kay?

Kay stands unsure about what I said.

Me: You look to me like Kay but Kay is a beautiful dancer. She is the best dancer in the world. Kay is really good at dancing.

Kay smiles and dances around the room. Graceful, lithesome and supple.

Me: It is Kay. You are a beautiful dancer. You must be Kay.

Kay continues her graceful movements. Smiling.  I don’t know who wins the most.  With a few words I have managed to make her happy. I reckon with her smile and her dancing she has made me ever happier.