A Safe Distance


This morning, Poppy demonstrated her recently acquired proficiency in completing puzzles – and in the process rather enviable flexibility.

Poppy 1Poppy 2Poppy 3Poppy 4Poppy 5

Here she works on one that she could not manage on her last visit.

Kneeling is an activity I avoid at all costs these days. It is an unflattering process involving a certain amount of grunting, grimacing, and agonising grinding of joints. However, in order to change the angle of focus of these photographs, it had to be done.

This is not a performance our granddaughter had witnessed before.

Poppy 6

She rapidly leapt to her feet, sped across the floor and observed the phenomenon at a safe distance. When assured that Grandpa was not a serious threat

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Β Poppy calmly returned to her task with evident satisfaction.

Soon afterwards she adopted her daytime attire and led her parents back home to Upper Dicker.


Helen and Rob had not seen the beautiful bouquet they had sent us, so I photographed it and e-mailed the image to them.

This afternoon, Shelly and Ron visited with another splendid floral tribute and congratulatory card.

Threatened with a return of high winds from tonight, we later returned chairs and hanging baskets to the comparative security of ground level.

This evening, Jackie and I dined on her savoury rice with spare ribs, spring rolls, and noodles. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Minervois.


  1. Poppy is adorable. I love the expression on her face whilst watching her grimacing granddad. My grandsons are arriving here in a few days – there will be grunts and grimaces from me as we set up the Brio and try to put together fiendishly difficult lego models. (They are a little older than Poppy! πŸ™‚ )

  2. Poppy is a poppet … flexibility needs to be preserved at all costs. Sadly, by the time I realized that I had lost most mine. Yoga – shmoga!

  3. The progress of Poppy’s puzzle solving prowess appears to have forced you on your knees. Those are excellent storytelling images. The bouquet too.

  4. My friend said to me one day as we both hauled ourselves up from the floor where we had been working on a project – ‘When did getting up become such a complex multi-step process?’ At which we both collapsed back onto the floor howling with laughter. That photo of Poppy says it all πŸ˜€

  5. Poppy is adorable, and your description of what you go through when you kneel made me laugh. I read it to my husband and showed him the photo of Poppy. πŸ™‚

    The bouquet is lovely.

  6. Like Poppy, I loved working puzzles at her age. Now, at 52, I always have a puzzle going on our dining room table. Adorable photos, Derrick! She is a sweetheart. πŸ™‚

  7. I remember kneeling. I used to do it. A long time ago. I don’t do it now. Not unless I have a starange desire to sleep on the floor. And that look on the face!

  8. She is such a lovely lass. You must love her to pieces.

    It’s not the kneeling that gets me, it’s the getting back up again. How did this happen to us, the youthful ones?

    Spare ribs … pork or beef?

    1. Many thanks, Yvonne. Stationed between two armchairs gives leverage, otherwise Matthew would have had to lift me. πŸ™‚ Pork. Only Desperate Dan could manage beef.

  9. After a certain point in the aging process (maybe 21?), kneeling is a no-no. I’m well past that and foolishly was kneeling on our driveway doing some repair work. Loved the dinner.

  10. Such a sweet story about Poppy. How fun to watch her development! As for kneeling, how I feel your pain!

  11. Ha ha! Can relate to the kneeling down process and the consternation shown! My granddaughter turns 1 this week and, even from her crawling position, finds my manoeuvring antics concerning when I try to get down and play!! πŸ™‚

  12. They grow up fast, the little ones! Poppy is a such a sweet, beautiful child.

    As keeper of cats, kneeling cannot be avoided around here. I have found that going barefoot in the house helps my knees. Wearing slippers, or street shoes for too long, tends to put my legs at some sort of slight angle that hurts the knees. I’ve been pain free for many months now.

  13. Ah, knees…

    My kids say that watching me get up and down is like watching a beached whale flapping about. I am currently looking at adopting some pleasanter children.

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