There is a new man in my life. No, he hasn’t replaced my old favourite – George Foreman, as in my George Foreman grill. The Lean Mean Grilling Machine. “Big George” is a retired professional heavyweight boxing champion; Foreman’s fight against Mohammed Ali in Zaire (now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo) was dubbed “The Rumble in the Zungle.” Ali won; largely because of an injury that Foreman sustained about a month before the fight was due to occur. Foreman made a comeback but retired a few years later. He made another successful come back and then went on to retire a second time. I love the way it grills food on both sides simultaneously so that it’s ready in half the time. George’s place in my heart is safe. The grill is manufactured by Russell Hobbs and would probably have been made anyway but Foreman played a part in its design. So no, no-one can replace my George.

However, the new man in my life is little Daniel, the son of my niece-in-law Julia, (I think that’s the correct way to describe the relationship) and Jordi.

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Those who know me well know that I am far more interested in animals than I am in children but Daniel is a very special little boy. It was his third birthday when I saw him last week. He remembered me from the last time I met him, which was probably a year ago, so pretty impressive, huh? Julia said that he looks at the photograph albums so has seen my face in between times, but even so, photographs don’t change, faces do.

The first few pictures here are of Daniel in Julia’s Granddad Ken’s house.


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And here’s Daniel’s selfie.


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Julia, Jordi and Daniel came over from their home in Barcelona for a visit and we went out for Sunday lunch at a pub near to Ken’s home in Hertfordshire. Of course, I engineered it so that I got to sit next to Daniel; he’s such a little cutey. I’m not stupid.

When you consider that Daniel speaks Catalan and I don’t, communication was very easy. He’s such a friendly little boy that “Ola,” could easily be mistaken for “Hello,” and other people in the pub where we had lunch were very happy to respond to him. The photographs give a pretty good idea that this is a happy little boy. I think Daniel actually thinks I understand him when he speaks Catalan to me, but I just do what I do with all men, nod and smile in response to their smiles, and pull other faces when they do. All this NLP work about mirroring and matching seems to work quite well.

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I had bubble and squeak for my starter (bubble and squeak with bacon and eggs). He didn’t have any of the bacon but Daniel seemed to enjoy the egg and the potato. Well, it was only fair as he wasn’t having anything to start.

Julia tells me that Daniel sleeps all through from about 8pm to 6am which is great. I rather wish that I could get that much sleep every day, although I’d lose such a lot of time. Still, maybe I’d get more quality work done in the time available? Perhaps it’s Daniel’s ability to sleep through that makes him such a good natured little boy, because he is truly a happy child, very charming. You can just see in his face that he likes the ladies and is going to be a complete heartbreaker when he gets older.

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What was really nice was that an older gentleman who had been having lunch came over at the end of his meal and told Julia how lovely Daniel had been. I think there is just something about a smiling, laughing child that makes everything in the world seem better somehow.

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Julia is also a writer; you can see a couple of samples of her work here:

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© Susan Shirley 2015


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