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Monday, December 11, 2006

soft cheese

Granny has spent the weekend around each of her three granddaughters in turn, taking them to the theatre show appropriate to their age; then putting them up for the night. All very successful - despite middle granddaughter's desperate plea for a loo just outside London Bridge station at 10pm. (Why couldn't she think of it back at the Unicorn Theatre.....groan.) Only possible loo to hand belonged to a bar and disco over the road. Nothing for it. There they went, fighting their way in and past somewhat bemused waitresses, dancers, drinkers, etc., not used to seeing an ancient (by their standards) plus eight year old with backpack, pink coat and a lot of blond hair joining their action. Which included a live band. You could not hear yourself think. All directions to granny and middle granddaughter could only be done by signs (you've guessed it. The ladies was at the end of a long trek, upstairs and down.) When the finally emerged into the grey cold street, middle granddaughter said, thoughtfully. 'I don't understand teenagers. Why do they have to hurt their ears like that?'

Granny hopes she'll go on thinking like that. But she doubts it, six, seven, eight, years on. At least if bars, discos etc then are still allowed to wreck ear-drums, just as food companies are allowed to feed children and everyone else chemical junk, in the name of commerce. What changes.

All the three plays were good by the way; in the case of Billy Elliott, for the eldest spectacularly good. But it was the smallest and simplest play, the one for the five year old, with just a single actor plus an occasionally speaking and always playing accordionist, about a small boy and his great uncle gardening together, that was the most profound. The great uncle had what appeared to be Altzheimers; the seasons came and went, the uncle died, in the end. Granny has noticed before the way that the best material for kids can go to the heart of everything without the fuss - and pretension, often - of the material directed at their elders. Odd that. Even humbling. Why does anyone else - including her - bother?

Back on the island Beloved is complaining about the awful weather - furious wind, furious rain - and demanding Granny bring back with her, along with the already acquired sage and turmeric, 'soft unpasteurised cheese.' He refuses to say why; he doesn't have to. Granny knows exactly what he wants it for.... starting his cheese.

Does that mean there will be goats when she get home?

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