Grandpa’s Going to France
The phone rings. ‘Grandpa’s going to France! Grandpa’s going to France!’ my granddaughter chanted over the phone. She must have been rehearsing this bit text all day, putting a touch of posh into pronunciation of the word ‘France’ with a very long “A”, so it sounds “Fraarnce”.
“Yes, I am going to France, Anna. And how old are you now?’ I ask, so as to get her talking.
‘I am two years and eleven months. That means I am nearly three.’ She explains a mathematical conundrum.
‘So, when will you be three?’
‘On my birthday!’ I feel her wondering how dumb her grandpa is.
‘And when is your birthday?’
‘It’s in May.’
‘That must be soon. What day in May?’ I stump her with a question she cannot answer, and I hear her referring the query to her father.
‘It’s on the 29th.
‘Oh! I shall miss your birthday.’
‘Grandpa’s going to France! Grandpa’s going to France!’ She returns to the core message.
Her father picked up the handpiece. ‘She wants to go with you.’
‘You can come to France another time, when you are bigger.’ I console her hoping she will forget before she gets older.
‘What will you eat in France, Grandpa?’
‘Well the French people have some delicacies. They eat le cheval and le lapin. Ask Mummy about those. One thing they have is croissants. I know you like to eat croissant.’
‘How long will you be in France?’
‘One hundred and twenty days.’
‘That’s a big number. I know up to 100. Goodbye Grandpa’
‘Au Revoir, Anna. I shall see you after 120 days’
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