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Hilary Coombes

Looking after a two and five year old grandchild for the past eight days [without their parents around] has been fun, exhausting but above all it has brought me back to that wonderful place called ‘childhood’. So I’m sharing it with you …you’ll enjoy it and I’m sure you’ll laugh.

As a writer I always have a notebook to hand and I quickly scribbled down what they said as soon as I could. Everything here is totally true. Here’s a flavour of a few snatches of conversations that took place.

Hilary Coombes

Melissa (aged 2)

Me “Melissa that bag is meant for the building bricks.”
Melissa “No-o-o Grandma. It’s not. It’s my dolly’s hat.”
Me “So why are you wearing it?”
Melissa “It’s too small for my dolly.”

Hilary Coombes

Eddie (aged 5)

“Did you know I went camping?”

Me “Yes. Did you like it?”

Eddie “Yes, I stayed up very late and Daddy told me a story by the fire and we saw fireworks for free”
Me “For Free?”
Eddie “Yes they were somebody else’s. Then Daddy told me a story.”
Me “Which book?”
Eddie “No, his own story. Only Daddy and I know it, but of course Jesus listens in and God knows all about it anyway.”


Eddie “Melissa do you know how to make cars?”
Melissa “Sorry Eddie I don’t know how to make cars.”
Eddie “Nor me.”
Melissa “Eddie, so why are we talking about it?”


Eddie “Sometimes when I want something like crisps or sweets or something and Mummy or Daddy say no we haven’t any or no I can’t have any, do you know what I do?”
Grandad “No. What do you do?”
Eddie “I write it on the shopping list in the kitchen when nobody else is in the kitchen and sometimes I even cross out something else boring on the list, like ham. They never know!”


Melissa “Eddie needs a plaster.”
Me “Oh dear, has he hurt himself. Is he bleeding?”
Melissa “No.”
Me “Why does he want one?”
Melissa “He just needs one. He’s like that.”


Eddie “When I grow up I’m going to be really lazy and sit down and not do things and let everyone else do all the work!”


Eddie (we’re travelling in the car) “Shall I throw this sweet wrapper out of the window?”
Melissa “No! No! No!”
Eddie “Why not?”
Melissa “You’ll be in the big trouble. Big. Big. Big.”


Melissa and I are in a public toilet and she gets really upset at the sound of the noisy hand dryers so we have to use a paper handkerchief to dry hands.

Me “Why don’t you like the hand dryers Melissa?”
Melissa “Because they’re very noisy. They’re even noisier than Eddie.”


My Grandson was dipping churros into melted chocolate … I asked –

Me “Don’t you like eating savoury things Eddie?”
Eddie “Well, yes but only if there’s nothing nice around.”


And I’ll leave the final word to Melissa …she had used the toilet rather than the potty and was rather proud of her efforts —

Melissa “Phew, I need toilet paper.”
Me “There’s plenty. Here you are.”
Melissa (as she drops it into the toilet) “Oops, it’s landed on top of it. Oh well I’ll sort that out later!”


Meet The Author...
Hilary Coombes
Who Am I?

Hilary Coombes lives between the UK and Spain and tries not to shrink in the rain (she’s already vertically challenged), nor bake in the sun (which causes too many wrinkles). She’s not sure she is having any success with either quest.

She is the successful author of five books, the last two being fiction, and both set between England and Spain. Her latest book ‘Beyond Promises’ is a love story. It follows the life of Charlie, his heartbreak, humour and passion, and his love for one woman that lasts a lifetime.

Hilary has won several writing awards and is particularly delighted that she won the 2017 Ian Govan Short Story Award and the 2015 national Spanish Radio Story Competition.

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