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Spanish Secrets: Normal Service Is Resumed

Two whirlwinds hit the Briggs home in Galicia recently. One of the whirlwinds was five years old, the other two... Craig Briggs writes of fun and games with Mason, Erren...and a green aligator called Gary Gator.

Recently our house was hit by two very severe whirlwinds. This most unusual phenomenon for Northern Spain, began without any real warning, and was centred on the house for the following four days.

Our normally ordered and serene lives were thrown into disarray and turmoil.

But unlike the devastation of a catastrophic natural disaster, these whirlwinds proved to be not only physically and spiritually uplifting, but also a shear delight.

Let me explain.

The whirlwinds that descended on our humble abode were a little boy called Mason, aged 5 and his sister Erren, aged 2˝. Two tiny dynamos of self-perpetuating energy - perfect fission without a half-life.

At their age life must appear infinite and boundless. Everything is a challenge, a goal to be achieved, and a discovery to be made. Fears, both physical and emotional, simply don’t exist.

Praise and encouragement from their parents and mentors is greeted with the beaming joy of achievement. Disappointment and disapproval is met with tearful remorse.

These two innocent young lives have all the positive characteristics of humanity, and few if any of our less desirable traits.

As time passes, greed, jealousy, envy, and politics, will almost inevitably become unwelcome additions to their personalities. What a strange contradiction, linking these emotions with maturity and adulthood.

Since their previous visit 12 months earlier, their own individuality and personalities have developed at a staggering rate.

Within seconds of their arrival Mason had swapped his clothes for a pair of swimming trunks. Calm parents and a startled adopted Aunt and Uncle were busy inflating arm bands, life savers, dinghies, and last years favourite, Gary Gator, a large green inflatable alligator.

As an adopted Uncle, with little if any responsibility for discipline, I regularly discarded the shackles of middle age and reverted once again to being a 5 year old boy – wonderful!

In and out, up and down, round and round.

Throw this, catch that, lift this, lower that.

This wins, that wins, I win, you win.

As each day passed these four little words became more and more popular,

“Uncle Craig can we………………………..”

With only the briefest intermissions for the application of factor 50, their energy levels throughout the long hot days never waned. This was more than could be said for Uncle Craig and Auntie Mel. Even the dog was too tired to go for her normal late night wander.

Bedtime was stretched to its limits, with narrated Enid Blyton tales of “The Dirty Hippo” and “The Heated Thimble”.

As quickly as these natural little wonders entered our world, they left. The tears and heartache of leaving will soon be replaced by ever more interesting voyages of discovery.

As for Auntie Mel and Uncle Craig, we look forward to our next youthful shot-in-the-arm.

After a few hours of deafening silence, normal service is resumed.

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