What I’ve learnt this week: 15th May 2014


  • Kids can sit through a classical concert, if they’re given sufficient sweets and incentive. I can’t believe my Mum is 80 – she looks and acts no different than she did twenty years ago. For her birthday she wanted to go with her family to a concert at the Festival Hall. She chose it – last night of the Spring proms – and we went into London last Saturday afternoon to listen to it. The grandchildren were aged from 9 to 16 years and though their marks out of ten for the concert afterwards ranged from -1 (my fourteen year old son) to 7 (my youngest niece) they were all as good as gold. The incentive – fish and chips back at our house, plus the knowledge that they were doing this for their lovely grandma.

Spring proms

  • Old 35 mm slides put onto DVD make a memorable evening – but only for those who were there when they were first taken. As a surprise for Mum’s birthday, we put a selection (1,000) of the family 35 mm slides onto a DVD. On it were photographs Mum couldn’t even remember being taken. Watching it provided a suitable nostalgic end to the day – though by the end the grandchildren had taken themselves to bed…
  • Even if the day looks sunny, a cricket pitch will feel like the coldest place on earth. You can recognise the occasional spectators straight away. They are the parents who turn up to watch their sons play in shorts and a T-shirt, because the sun is out. The seasoned cricket spectator turns up with three fleeces, boots, a coat, hat and a blanket. By the second innings, with the wind howling round your face and down your neck, all of them are on. But though the seasoned spectator might be warmer than the occasionals, they are also the ones who have the score book thrust into their hands when they arrive. And are still trying to make the flipping thing add up while the occasionals are in their cars and half way home.

Score sheet


  • Well done to all of you for creating a special family occasion all of you will remember… unlike some of those old slides (great idea though)! I know girls play cricket too – but I’m so grateful to my non-sporty girls for sparing me cold mornings/days as spectating parent!

  • Kathryn Freeman

    Thanks for dropping by Chris – and yes, the day will stay in the memory for all of us – but for varying reasons! As for the cricket – I used to be glad they didn’t play football, but at least that’s over in an hour and half. Cricket takes three hours for a simple 20 over match in the evening, and all afternoon when they start playing 40 over weekend cricket. Deep joy – especially when they get a first ball duck!!!!