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Carol H Grandma

When You must be mad was young, the nearest park involved a fifteen minute walk and crossing a very busy road with no traffic island.

The nearest open space was actually the local cemetery, which was why You must be mad grew up with a finely tuned sense of mortality and a collection of green gravel

Cut to today, and Little G lives two minutes away from vast expanses of lovely green park with a lake, swings and tennis courts. It is our favourite go-to place. The park clientele varies depending on the time of day. If we make an early morning swing run, we tend to see lots of dog walkers, or people using the park as a cut-through to the station.

From mid-morning, the park fills up with tourists (it is adjacent to the Cathedral) and mums with frazzled faces walking their babies to sleep. From three onwards, the park is taken over by children and teenagers enjoying their freedom from the constraints of learning.

Afternoon also brings the ice-cream van

Now,You must be mad has issued strict instructions about the non-offering of cake and other sweet stuff, so when the recent heatwave lures me into rashly buying myself a dark chocolate Magnum, I have it all planned out. As soon as Little G begins eyeing up the ice cream, I offer her the standard rice cake.

She gives it a withering look, drops it over the side of the buggy and points at the Magnum

I peel off the shiny paper and give it to her to play with. She drops it over the side of the buggy and points at the Magnum. So reluctantly, and telling her it isn't really allowed, I scrape off the tiniest bit of dark chocolate and hand it over.

What happens next completely negates the theory that the sum of its parts is not greater than the whole

Within a nano-second, Little G has chocolate all over her face, all over her hands and in her hair. Also on her 'Everything's Better At Grandma's' top that I like to dress her in for publicity purposes.

I remind myself that one cannot swear in front of a baby

Under the chocolate, Little G's face is a study in blissful contentment. I gulp down the Magnum in record time and we head back for a change of clothes and a wipedown with a warm flannel.

To be continued ... .....

Meet The Author...
Carol Hedges
Who Am I?

Carol Hedges is the successful UK author of 11 books for teenagers and young adults and one ebook. Her novels have been shortlisted for various prizes and her YA novel Jigsaw was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal. Diamonds & Dust, A Victorian Murder Mystery is her first adult novel. It is published by Crooked Cat Books, and available as book and ebook on and or to order in bookshops.

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