Tuesday, 18 October 2016


I really did mean to write something about our family camping trip – then my best beloved Badger wrote a piece for the Association of Christian Writers blog More Than Writers that covered it perfectly: The Call of the Relatively Wild.

The wild, in the particular instance of our short camp, was not so much the back-to-nature as our grandchildren. Oh yes. Little Sardine and The Blur.

Little Sardine particularly enjoys the Badger’s company. She does call him Badger some of the time, but having rumbled that his name is in fact Tony, that’s what she mostly says. “Tony,” she announces, “is my best friend.”

Recently she came with her brother to our place for an Emergency Morning when one of her mother’s teeth unexpectedly fell to bits. I drove her mama to the dentist while the Badger stayed home with the Lego, dinosaurs and (crucially) i-Pad. “Take care of Badger,” I said to her as I left. “I will!” she assured me.

On our return she was there to greet us at the front door. Even before she confessed to her mother “I missed you at the dentist” (the words “while you were” should have been in there somewhere, but no matter), she made sure to let me know, “I took care of Badger.” She certainly did. He had to have a quiet half hour with a book after she went home.

Here they are at camp.

Sometimes people ask me why I call them Little Sardine and The Blur. Sardine got her name before she was hatched – but not long before. Her mother, in the last few days of pregnancy, began to feel distinctly uncomfortable, and said the child was packed in there like a sardine. The tinned variety, she meant, in case you are bewildered. They wodge ’em in close.

And why The Blur? Well, here he is on our camping holiday.

That’s why.


BLD in MT said...

This is wonderful stuff all around, Pen. And so sweet, I could just not help but smile.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

Anne Booth said...


Pen Wilcock said...

:0) xx

Suze said...

How wonderful and I love that your grandchildren have special names.

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh - I don't call them that at home! They'd be furious - they are most particular to be called by their full proper names! But it's unwise to use children's real names if you post a picture of them online, as it makes them more vulnerable to predatory people. If there's a picture which shows the child in a neighbourhood context - maybe wearing an identifiable school uniform - and the blog gives the child's name - it puts them at risk. So these are just their online names, not what we say at home. xx

Josie said...

I liked the Badger's post so much I bought the book. I liked what he said about you so much I read your blog posts for the last few years. Next I will buy your books. Than you to both of you for hours of enjoyable but challenging reading. Josie

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Josie - I think you will love his book. Everyone who reads it loves it. Happy reading! xx