HELLO! Although that's Grandad Ian's photograph by side of these words, it's me, his grandson Thomas, that's writing the words. He's just dictating them and I'm typing. I'm a good typist but not as fast as him so you might not get this column on time.
For those who don't know me, I'm six-years-old and I go to Milefield School in Grimethorpe and I play in goal for Brierley Cubs under 7's. Well, I take it in turn with my friend Atton. We play four 10-minute bits and he plays the first 10 minutes and then I play the second and then he plays the third 10 minutes and I play the fourth. Grandad writes about me a lot in his column and people like it but he's just telling me to hurry up so I'd better get on with it.
So between you and me, the reason I'm typing the words this week is that Grandad has had too much to eat over Christmas, and that's why he's sitting on the settee like a collapsing bouncy castle, breathing heavily and falling asleep for a second and then waking up and almost slipping off the cushion on to the floor.
He says he can't lift his hands to write but he can just about open his mouth to talk, if he takes it a word at a time. He says he's going to talk about all the lovely things he got for Christmas and put them in his column but I've got other ideas: I want to write about the mountains of food he's eaten these last few days.
It started on the day before Christmas Eve when we all decided to have fish and chips and bread and butter and mushy peas because, as Grandad said, we'd be having turkey for the next few days till we were fed up with it. So we went to the Fish and Chip shop and we made the mistake of asking for large chips and they were so large that when they were piled up on our plates we couldn't see each other and we had to shout over the chip-mountains to get the sauce or the bread and butter.
The rest of us just ate what we wanted and left the rest but I noticed that when Grandad was clearing away, instead of just throwing the unwanted chips in the bin, he kept pinching one or two. Or a handful. Or a mountainside.
The next day we went to Grandma and Grandad's house for tea and we had a big Christmas Eve spread like we always do. Grandad's asking me to describe all the lovely things we had but I'm going to tell you about how he still couldn't throw anything away. If there was a spare crisp at the side of a plate he'd grab it; if he saw a bit of cake that looked like it wasn't going to get eaten he'd swoop on it like a bird and snaffle it. I watched him as he cleared away and again he was doing that thing of snaffling rather than binning.
On Christmas Day of course, me and Grandad both enjoyed our turkey legs while the rest of them picked at little shards of breast. I saw a cartoon of Henry the Eighth on the telly the other day and he was tucking in to a turkey leg just like Grandad does; it looked like he was hacking at it and gnawing away like a wolf until there were just some tiny little bones left. Just like Grandad except Grandad's only got one wife. As far as I know. Everybody else was full after Christmas dinner but Grandad insisted on having some Christmas Pudding with cream. He licked his spoon. He licked his bowl.
On Boxing Day, we went to Auntie Margaret's for our tea and there he was again, first in the queue, picking stuff up like one of those mechanical claw things at the seaside. I asked him why he was eating so much and he said he'd spent the whole year being careful about the things he ate and at Christmas he was just going to enjoy himself. It's true that he does eat sensibly most of the time but look at him now, on the settee, like a whale washed up on Cleethorpes sands.
Yes, Grandad, I'm typing as fast as I can; no, I can't fetch you a mince pie, I'm too busy. Yes, I'm writing about all the lovely things you got for Christmas. No, I can't fetch you a bit of Christmas cake and some lovely crumbly cheese. His head is slumped down and you can't tell where his neck ends and his head starts. He looks like he's wearing a space helmet.
Now he's fallen asleep. Now he's sliding off the settee. He won't mind if I write about that, will he? He's slipping right to the edge. He's woken up just in time, just stopped himself landing on the carpet. Yes, Grandad: it'll soon be time for tea.