Christine Grahame: Gran day out’s better than a good day’s doze

Christine Grahame is returning to Holyrood, right after grandmother duties are taken care of. Picture: comp
Christine Grahame is returning to Holyrood, right after grandmother duties are taken care of. Picture: comp
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A RESTFUL Sunday after a gruelling election count beckoned, says Christine Grahame, but then granny was called into action.

PICTURE it: 7.45am on Friday, May 6. The sun is up in a pretty well cloudless sky. At last we have the 2016 declaration for the Scottish Parliament constituency of Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale. I am back with an increased majority but finding it hard to even climb on the platform and make my acceptance speech (by the way many thanks to all who voted for me).

Back to Friday morning, and my head is only just awake although my legs appear to have gone to sleep. Most folk who had been there all night have long since gone to bed. We are the last result declared in Scotland, way behind the Western Isles, and for reasons I intend to explore.

For the rest of Friday I have one hour’s sleep so Saturday passes in a haze. It’s a bit like jet lag. I therefore look forward to Sunday, at home with Mr Smokey (rescue cat), plan a quick birl round the house with the Hoover, hang out the washing because there’s nothing like clean sheets for a good night’s sleep.

Later I’ll poke around the garden and plant myself in my garden “egg-shaped twirly” chair with a glass of vino and watch the birds darting inches from the cat’s nose. I might even doze off in the garden. Ah but the best laid plans etc. The phone rings. Urgent call from son no 1. I am needed to release them from parental duties and can I come and occupy my granddaughter (circa five) for some hours? I will confess my heart sank. Though I love her dearly I loved rest more. However, necessity prevailed and you know what? I had a grand time.

First we planted up two containers with violas I had brought along with her new watering can bought for the purpose. Of course she watered more than the containers: herself, me, random parts of the garden. Then Granny Scotland (me) being exhausted we couried doon under a shawl and watched The Little Mermaid.

I closed my eyes and tried to doze but found myself engrossed in the film. As soon as the credits came up, there was the unavoidable call of the swing park so rest over we wandered through the woods, stopping to play Pooh Sticks at the bridge over the burn, yelling as we went through the tunnel under the road and racing out to leave our echoes behind, then to the park where I commuted between climbing frame, roundabout, chute and swings. I had a shot on the swings myself, anxiously wondering what weight test they had passed.

I exchanged toddler tales with other grannies and dads (mums seemed to be having a well-earned time out) then after some prolonged negotiation it was back along the woodland path again, more Pooh Sticks (she won) and the game of I’m the Leader which consisted of me sneaking past her, albeit briefly.

Then there was Jump on my Shadow with lots of giggles and cuddles en route and chats about this and that along the way. Finally we were home to sitting outdoors with buns and coffee. Yes I was tired but in a good way and boy did I sleep that night on my fresh smelling clean sheets that night!

• Christine Grahame is MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale