Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Consider it a coming of age

The Hat called on us today. She is like sunshine flooding in. She brought smiles and hugs and cherry candies and ice creams.

The sweetie-treats were received, a tad too eagerly I thought, by the gritlets. Handing them straight into their gullets, they gave the appearance of having been starved of sunshine and sweet delights, probably since the last time the Hat called.

But every reader here knows how this is not true! Shark, Squirrel and Tiger have the most wonderfully stimulating education!

Just as a precaution, I reminded the assembled party of all our educational achievements. And I told the Hat not to listen if Shark started on her tale about how I sent her up the chimney when she was aged three.

(I say now, as I did then, it was a fun learning experience only to realise nineteenth century living conditions. Also, the chimney sweep could not come that year.)

But I need not have worried. The gritlets showed her themselves the exciting educational lives they lead by demonstrating how they could stab wolves with arrows.

Tiger said they had got the idea from Michelle Paver. In the absence of an actual wolf they were using the wooden badger we keep in the garden.

Well, that led to the Hat sharing with us her recent cultural experiences. She is hot from Hay and filled with opinions about Harry Belafonte's political activism and whether James Watson is nuts or whether he is just plain rude, as anyone can be if they have letters after their name.

Then she began to gaily anticipate all her other festival dates throughout the summer, from Aldeburgh to Womad.

It made me insanely jealous. Especially since my upcoming diary events include a field outside Newport Pagnell and a hedge in Grafton Regis.

Now the Hat has turned my head. I think it is time. I plan to join her cultural diary. And next year my little grits will be teens. Old enough to mob their favourite authors. Michelle Paver, Michael Morpurgo, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (Do not tell them he is dead.)

I plan to release the growing gritlets into the world of the opinionated literati, the musical elite and the intellectual scholars of the present age. I need to offer Shark, Squirrel and Tiger the opportunity to put down their home-made arsenal; to sit them in the audiences of scholarly debates, cultural slanging matches, political questioning and in amongst the crowds of the despairing and eager-to-please new writers with books to flog.

So, in the sunny aftermath of ice cream and cherry candy, I am studying the diary, pencilling in a few festival dates, picking the Hat's brain and plotting a Travelodge in Hereford.

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