Day 2 Friday 14th September 2012
I understand that Alfie hasn’t slept too well for the last couple of nights…he must have been getting excited about Adventures Day 2.
It started with a sleepover. Great news for us and Boo especially, as she got to see more of the little man. He had his bath and supper and then went to sleep in the nursery…that little bit of kid’s paradise that the lady of the house has set up for our grandkids…and a load of other kids too! … to enjoy. It’s a beautiful little place for the wonderful little people in our lives. The latest addition…a farmyard complete with a load of animals is going down a treat, well worth that early morning visit to Splott Mearkatt, to visit our old friend the ‘toy doctor’. She’s a lovely lady who rescues and renovates toys. Alfie had a good sleep and was awake early.
My mum was always a very positive person and one thing she always taught me was ‘rain before seven…sun before eleven, so when we got up today and saw the rain lashing down, I wasn’t too bothered: I just looked and the great lady’s photo on top of the cupboard and smiled…so did Alfie. He, like me, was looking forward to a great day.
By the time the lady of the house had been taken off to work, the blue sky was just breaking through. As soon as we got back to the house, Alfie smiled – not because he was happy, but because he had got me! The smell gave the game away… a full nappy this early. I was torn, what a choice, eat my bran flakes first and then change the nappy or change the nappy, then maybe not feel like bran flakes. The nappy won! I remembered the early years of fatherhood… remove all you can with the nappy, then wipe with a wet wipe…but disaster Boo – had gone to work without leaving me any wet wipes. Fortunately I remembered that I always keep a supply of Andrex Wet Ones near the loo for when Princess Mia is in attendance. After a few minutes looking for a nappy pin, before remembering they were disposables, I had him back clean and tidy. Job done, Alfie comfortable, and I still managed my bran flakes!
Nap time followed and while he was asleep, I played that game that all mums play at this time – see how many jobs I can do before the precious little darling wakes up. I got most of them done today, in order of importance – check Facebook, check e-mails, have a quick look at Sky Sports news followed by the BBC news, quick visit to The Jeremy Kyle show, followed by make the beds, tidy the lounge and wash the breakfast things. I only failed on the final one. I lied about the quick visit to Jeremy Kyle. I love watching it all…open mouthed and bemused most of the time!
After Alfie’s morning nap we were set to visit Cardiff Bay and the second chapter in his education of the wonderful city of his birth. I thought about the bus, but to get to the Bay, it’s a 95 into town then a Bendy Bus to the Bay, so I went by car. We parked near the Coal Exchange and I showed Alfie the building and explained that it was where the world’s first £1million cheque changed hands. He smiled and I thought about the nappy and moved quickly on. I took him down all the narrow passageways, where in years gone by, in the days of Tiger Bay, they were places where you would not have dared venture alone! It was fun.
We made Mermaid Quay and it was a beautiful day. I looked up and was sure I sensed my mum smiling down. It was just before eleven. Oh how she would have loved Alfie!! Although this side of heaven she will never see him, she knew one day God would hear K8’s prayers – and He did – and bless her and Jas with a little one to call their own. None of us could ever have imagined anything as beautiful and I have him all to myself once a week. Priceless!
As we strolled peacefully across to the Millennium Centre, Alfie was taking it all in and smiling at every single passer by. I am sure every single passer by smiled back – this little fella makes the world a happier place. The Oval Basin was a hive of activity and it appears there was a Car Rally or something on. I am sure Alfie was thinking ‘Find me a rally car grampy’ but all we managed was a big picture of a rally car, where we had a photo shoot and a load of huge lorries. I got chatting to a street entertainer who claimed he could make balloon animals whilst riding on a monocycle…I said to Alfie “He probably makes thing up as he goes a long.” Alfie smiled.
Next we made our way passed the Welsh Assembly Government building, once the domain of Chris Franks but now a quieter less interesting place. We were aiming for the Norwegian Church where Roald Dahl was christened and his family attended years ago. I am just longing for the day when I can sit the grandkids down and read The Vicar of Nibbleswick, The Great Mouse Plot and Mrs Pratchett’s Revenge and many other Roald Dahl stories. I had so much fun reading them to the hundreds of children I taught and look forward to getting ‘Boy’ off the shelf and sharing the treasures inside with Mia, Millie and Alfie! I am sure Alfie liked it here, I could tell!
On the way back to Mermaid Quay a coach arrived with a big notice in the window ‘Wales Team Coach’. I thought that’s a big bus for Chris Coleman, maybe I can help him out with some new tactics…he needs it! However it turned out to be the Wales Ladies Football Team. We got chatting and we wished them all the best in tomorrow’s match and then they agreed to have a picture with Alfie. I asked if they needed a mascot for match days and they said when he was a bit older they would definitely have him, I said no…me not him! This very pretty centre forward looked me up and down and said “Sorry Fatboy, too old, too grey and too ….chubby! Come back when Alfie has grown a bit!”
It was getting towards food time, so when we arrived back near Coffee Mania, I was wondering where to go and Alfie flashed a Starbucks card, so Starbucks it was. Annoyingly there was no highchair, so I waited till the leather sofa was free, tucked Alfie into the corner and opened his packed lunch. I had laughed when I made them earlier in the morning I had prepared two pieces of Braces Extra Thick bread with extra thick butter, only to open the fridge and find the two pieces of medium sliced wholemeal K8 had left. Gutted Alfie… but he enjoyed them sat there in Starbucks. The Wales Ladies Football team arrived while we were there, obviously on the look out for that good looking fella they had seen earlier, but I kept Alfie tucked away so they wouldn’t notice him him.
We strolled through the Bay back to the car enjoying the autumnal sunshine and each other’s company. When we arrived back home I turned around to see Alfie; he had a hint of a smile on his face and a finger in his ear and I thought how wonderful he is, but the smile turned to a beam as Bes came out and swept him away. As he went I am sure he winked at me and whispered ‘Looking forward to next Friday grampy…’
Bes took him away smiling.
Alfie with his new pet!
The Wales Ladies Football Team with future mascot Alfie Jay Newberry
Friends…enjoying a Starbucks!
Alfie..you are loved!