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J Bates

I’m a grandfather now (known as ‘Pop’ to the immediate family – in honour of my own dear departed grandfather Bates) and blessed with 4 grandchildren – 3 of whom who live in Herefordshire, plus another 4 ‘honorary grandchildren who are Judith’s great nieces and nephews (who, sadly, have no grandparents of their own on our side of the family).

And so they are all (ages between a few months and a few short/infant school years old) beginning their own great life adventures in this wonderful world of ours. Harrison (6) and Joey (2) are the main subjects of this contribution of mine – plus their (unwitting) baby American cousin Zia.

Earlier this year Harrison and Joey had the very good fortune to be taken over to America to visit their Auntie Sarah (my daughter) and her husband Thomas – plus their cousin Zia of course. Our Joey is a lively, bumptious, inquisitive youngster at the best of times, but he is also very ‘matter-of-fact’ when things he doesn’t understand are explained to him. He just ‘shrugs his little shoulders’ and ‘soldiers on’.

His older brother Harrison, however, is far more stoical

And so, these two little English cousins were first ‘introduced’ to their American cousin Zia when she was having her nappy(diaper) changed. Harrison just shrugged his shoulders and thought nothing of it. Joey, however, was completely nonplussed: ‘She’s got no willie! She’s got no willie!’

And that was the end of that, but it wasn’t really

Their American trip had really got Harrison thinking – about mums and dads, grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, etc. After they returned, Joey never said another word about it (why would he – he was only 2 years old), but it had really got Harrison’s mind going – into fast-forward gear as it turned out. He was now beginning to think about family/wider family relationships.

That mind of his was now going ‘twenty-to-the-dozen’. He had taken the first step into the…

On a subsequent quiet talk with Harrison (without his noisy boisterous fantastic little brother) I asked him what he remembered about his American visit. He started talking about his cousin Zia, and then his Auntie Sarah and Uncle Thomas, and then… he started talking about aunts and uncles, and his mum and dad, and grandparents, etc, etc.

And so I thought the time was right to explain to Harrison about ‘life, the world and everything’

“When you grow up Harrison, you might get married and have a wife, and then you might have some children of your own, and then you will become a daddy, and your daddy will become a grandfather like me, and then I will become a great grandfather…”
At this, he looked at me in his ‘matter-of-fact’ way and simply replied:

“You will be dead Pop.”

Meet The Author...
Jimmy Bates
Who Am I?

A grammar school boy from a working class family, Jimmy Bates has had a chequered career. Before becoming a writer he worked in a variety of jobs, then graduated with an honours degree in electronics, emigrated and became a scientist in Canada and then a director of the same hi-tech company in the U.S.A. He returned to England in 1980 and spent 25 years as a management consultant and held directorships of several high-technology companies before retiring and taking up writing full-time. His interests are history, sociology, science & technology and music. He was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, spent all of his school years in Stoke-on-Trent, is married has six children (all grown up now), four grandchildren and has lived in Herefordshire for the past 25 years. His books ( include:

My Blog...

ONE WRONG TURN: The amazing story of how one single bullet started The First World War

Are You Still Quizzical Joan?: How to run successful quiz nights and raise money for charity

SatNav Rules, OK?: A humorous novel of how modern technology can affect modern society

Fancy a Game of Darts Our Youth? A step-by-step guide on how to play (including humorous personal anecdotes)

Kick out the Brits!: A real-life family ‘US road trip of-a-lifetime’

To Death and Beyond: Short stories of real near-death experiences


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A 3-book fictional story of a serial killer

The Last Scrap: Factual account from turbulent teenage years to a caring father-figure to the next generation.

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