To Be Frank by Frank Edmonds, March 31, 2015

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When I was five, I ... OK, I confess, it was simply too long ago for me to remember anything very meaningful about it now.

I don’t seem to recall my doing a great deal of anything much, until I started school – which I absolutely hated, with a passion, although at least I was able to make some new friends (and the acquaintance of some who were, shall we say, a little less friendly).

Now, though, as we’re quite fond of saying, it’s a different world. By the time our five-year-old granddaughter started school – which she absolutely loves, with a passion – she was a veteran of nursery school and had already been to more groups, classes and activities than you could shake a particularly fat extra-curricular guide at.

(At one point, there was even talk of her doing tap lessons. Heavens to Betsy! I didn’t even know what tap dancing was until I discovered Fred and Ginger in my teens).

So I suppose nothing should surprise me, really – although I must confess to being a bit baffled on hearing about some homework she had to do recently (homework? Did I really have homework at the age of five? Oh ... was what started me hating school with a passion?).

Her task was to invent something a farmer might use. Wow! They don’t expect much from five-year-olds these days, do they? The Other Half wonders if this is all a ruse by Defra (or the Ministry of Agriculture, when I was a lad). Perhaps having exhausted their own resources, they’re trying to harness the youngest imaginations of Britain, in the hope that they’ll come up with wacky ideas that just might work.

You have visions of Wallace and Gromit-like creations (or Professor Branestawm, when I was a lad), being designed by five-year-olds across the country, and helpfully being passed on to farmers all over the land. So that’s why farms have such big barns!

Our granddaughter’s only real taste of farm life so far has been when she’s visited the newborn lambs – and even then she was really more interested in the trampolines (in the children’s play area, I mean).

Perhaps farming simply isn’t in her blood (so I just can’t wait to see what she comes up with in this homework project!). That would explain a lot of things, actually ...

Her mum is currently trying to get her to understand that the Nando’s chicken she loves so much actually comes from a real chicken, just like you’d see walking around on a farm.

Granddaughter wasn’t having any of it – she shrieked with laughter, and thought Mum was having a joke with her.

And that’s not all, either. Granddaughter has decided she hates potatoes, and simply won’t touch them, even though she loves chips. None of us have had the heart yet to break the news to her about where chips come from ...

So, good luck with that one, Defra! You’re on your own!