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The boys have been a great source of pride and delight to us over Christmas when they have not been knocking seven shades of sherbert out of each other.
Here is a very useful present from them which I shall treasure for ever:
Among my Christmas highlights was a protracted game of cards with Ben (10 **). Our family card game is 501, a devilish affair involving cunning, skill, memory and mathematics at which I have, naturally, excelled - until now. After many many rounds Ben well and truly defeated me or Whupped My Ass* as his American father would say.
Ben also accompanied me as Deputy Junior Assistant On-Train-Guide on the 1146 from Settle northwards on Christmas Eve.
* ' To Whup ass' is a North American expression meaning to defeat resoundingly. Not only are US Americans prone to colloquial indelicacy they cannot even spell arse correctly.
** Since posting this entry my darling daughter Lorna has informed me that my grandson is not ten. He is eight. Why does NOBODY keep me up to date on these important things?
I distinctly remember Ben (8 it seems) telling me, on being asked, that he was ten. This was while he was in the process of whupping my ass at cards so perhaps (quite possible) he was trying to lessen the blow of humiliating defeat.