"Small Talk" drabbles by Neville Hunt

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Washing basket

Small Talk #71

The villa has showers, lots, two inside, two outside and one of them is really outside, for when you can't be bothered to open a door. But there's NO bath. I hate showers, they get you all wet!

Daddy had an idea which Baba said was brilliant... huh! The washing basket was huge, so Daddy said it could be my bath.

"What about asking me then?" I would've said if I could. But I couldn't, so I yelled and yelled instead.

Daddy's next idea was putting me in the bathroom handbasin.

Brilliant fun! I love it... and it saves water!

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Something down below

Small Talk #70

Driving back from the beach, I suddenly had a bit of a feeling down below. So I said "Poo-poo, nap-nap." They laughed at me and Granny asked me what I was saying. So I said "Poo-poo, nap-nap", again and again and again. I think they thought I was just trying out new words.

Then Daddy said "He's saying he's done a poo in his nappy!" We'll see if it's true later.

They forgot as they made my supper. But later Daddy said, give the little fellow credit. He's done a poo in his nappy.

"Told you!"

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Hung out to dry

Small Talk #69

Granny laughed when she got soaked by the wave, but afterwards, of course, she needed to dry her soaked shirt and her shorts. Fortunately she had her bathing costume underneath. Amazingly, Daddy wasn't bollocked and fortunately she couldn't blame Baba, this time. Realising this, Baba decided to be helpful. That was a mistake.

"If I hold them up while the boat speeds along," said Baba, "they'll dry quickly in the wind and sun."

"No", said Granny, "you could let go of them"

"I wouldn't do that!"

"You might!"

"I love you", said Baba.

Granny just smiled.

Aren't grown ups strange!

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Granny's bucket challenge

Small Talk #68

We hired a boat today. It was fun.

"I like Baba's little boat, but I'm not so sure about speedboats." said Granny.

"It'll be fun" said Mummy. Daddy just had that naughty look.

Daddy drove at the start. He went very slowly out of the harbour.


"Go on, open it up!" said Baba.

Granny gave him a look! Not a good one. But she was OK, because Daddy didn't go too fast, then!

Then suddenly, the boat hit a big wave and a huge bucketful of water went over Granny. She was completely soaked. Everyone laughed, even Granny (amazing!).

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Small Talk #67

Dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum. The ants are on the March. Little ones, big ones, tiny ones. Destination... food. As fast as it appears, so do they. Dum dum dum dum... "if you don't clear away immediately, then you'll be infested with the little buggers", my aunty told Granny. Granny immediately became clearing up boss... which meant Daddy and Baba got lots of orders and quite a few bollockings (or that's what they said.)

But if they think the ant problem is bad on Paxos, wait till they go to see the next island, that's worse... Antipaxos!

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The rat-race

Small Talk #66

Round the big terrace in the villa is a metal fence, maybe to stop me from falling over into the olive trees. On the top is a nice wooden handrail. I thought it was a handrail, but Baba said it was a rat-run. He said that in the evening the rats get restless and need some exercise after sleeping all day, the lazy buggers. It's their racetrack, they're ratracers.

Granny is scared of rats, but she said these aren't like our horrid black ones, these are a pretty brown colour,

"Still vermin!" said Baba. "Still responsible for bubonic plague."

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Baba's problem

Small Talk #65

I went shopping with Daddy and Baba. It's apparently the cheapest on the island.

It wasn't anything like Waitrose! Granny would hate it. Baba and Daddy loved it.

I sat in the trolley - specially for kids - while Baba and Daddy got stuff. I'm beginning to wonder about Baba. While Daddy got all the food, Baba kept filling the trolley with booze. First was Metaxa, Greek brandy, then dark rum, then he got a 5 litre box of red wine. Then, "for the ladies" he went back and got a 5 litre white wine box as well. I'm worried about him.

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Small Talk #64

Call that a beach? Well I call it stones! I love stones. Granny loves stones too, otherwise why would she have a drive full of them? So I always collect lots of them to give to her. It's funny though, she never displays them. I wonder why not? I would.

Anyway, it's difficult to walk on the beach stones, even in my special shoes, but they're great to throw in the water, splash! to join all the other stones. Baba forgot his special shoes yesterday. "Ow!" Daddy joked that Baba got well and truly stoned. (Glad Baba didn't drive back!)

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Small Talk #63

Aunty W's house in Paxos is beautiful, inside and outside.

"This is so lovely" said Granny. (She always says nice things like that.)

"Rats think so too" moaned Baba, pointing to a big brown rat standing up like a meerkat. "And those blasted feral cats!"

The wild cats are always around, squeaking for food. Baba hates cats! No food from him. "It encourages them!"

Last night a cat stalked a rat, but slunk away, scared.

"Wimp!" called Baba. "Call yourself hungry? Why don't you eat those damn rats then?"

Granny says the rats probably give the cats a good thrashing!

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Ferry exciting

Small Talk #62

We reached the ferry quicker than expected, so we caught the earlier, slower, much cheaper one.

Inside, all the old people there said I was cute. I acted cute (yuk!) until wanted to go on-deck. Daddy took me. It was such fun. I jumped up and down, got sprayed with sea and squeaked loudly. Seeing me, Granny was terrified I would fall in. (Granny's like that!)

So much fun that me, Mummy and Daddy went fast asleep. I was pissed off with Baba who woke me (Daddy says I'm always stroppy when I've just woken up. He can talk!)

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Overloaded, who cares!

Small Talk #61

Landing in Corfu, we got a taxi to the ferry. It wasn't big.

The friendly taxi driver piled all our luggage in the boot. My pushchair, Mummy's wheelchair, two big cases, three smaller cases, one rucksack and my bag. It didn't fit. So he left the boot open!

"No rear vision!" whispered Daddy.

The taxi driver went a backroute, saving time. Mummy and Baba chatted to him (that's what they do). Baba and Mummy kept saying "Spotto" every time they saw a yellow car. There were lots! Granny was embarrassed.

Record Spottos! Record time! Baba gave him a record tip!

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Granny's torture

Small Talk #60

The airport was exciting. Daddy said we were VIPs whatever that is, so we were escorted to the aeroplane. Granny and Baba were just ordinary people... they had a long walk to get there, so we beat them!


I wasn't scared at take-off. Granny was. Her eyes were shut tight, maybe sleeping or praying.

They played Teletubbies on Mummy's iPad for me. Good, but you can have too much of a good thing. I wanted to roam the aisle getting in the way of the cabin crew. So I did!

Granny looked really terrified when we landed! Cissy!

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Small Talk #59

First thing at the airport was going through security. We had lots of luggage, and Baba was looking a bit flustered. Granny said he always does. Daddy joked afterwards that it's not a good look at an airport. Baba didn't laugh!

Me, Granny. Mummy and Daddy went straight through. Baba didn't. They stopped him. He looked even more flustered. "Suspicious", Granny said. The Xray machine beeped. Shoes off, belt off, money out. Into the amazing scanner box. A scary man frisked him. Baba looked really cross as they finally let him through. We all thought it was funny... except Baba!

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Small Talk #58

Mummy and Daddy are cruel to me. When I was having a lovely sleep, they woke me up... in the middle of the night! Meanies!.

They said it was a holiday... didn't seem like one!

We bundled out, no breakfast, into a taxi. The biggest taxi I've ever seen - more like a lorry. No car seat for me, so Mummy held me and Daddy gave the driver a bollocking. We collected the Ancients who were lurking outside their village pub. (I wonder if Baba was waiting for opening time?)

"Don't worry Baba, you can get a drink at the airport!"

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Talk talk

Small Talk #57

Baba had a talk with me.

"If you want to keep up with cousin Jas's talking, Mister..." (wonder why he calls me Mister... it's not my real name.) "...you need to start practising!"

He's so pushy..... but I decided to humour him.

"Say Granny!" I said nothing "Say Mummy then!" Nothing. "Say Daddy!" Nix.

"What can you say then?"


"Bravo! What else can you say?"



After that, I stonewalled him. He kept trying to get me to say things but I wouldn't. Then, when he was giving up, I said "Baba!"

Silly man... he went absolutely barmy!

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Small Talk #56

Cousin Jas is younger than me but can say more words. His favourite is "Hello". He's very good at it. Very friendly.

But Granny says he can be a real little monkey. She went to see him last week. Only 20 months old, but when he did something naughty, he knew he shouldn't have... and Granny told him so too!

But, in order to get himself out of a fix, all of a sudden it was "Hello", as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. Butter wouldn't melt, but hearts did. Instantly, he was in the clear. Clever little devil!

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Shang-hai on lavender.

Small Talk #55

Me, Baba, Granny and Mummy went to our local lavender farm. Local? We all felt out of place. It was England, but Baba said it was more like Shanghai, however high that is. It must be high on Weibo and Renren recommendation list for older Chinese travellers.

The lavender smelt strong. Granny and Mummy picked it (well, Mummy didn't do much picking; she can't do that sort of thing). So it was down to poor Granny.

Me and Baba went to the playground. Minimum age three!

"20 months?.. that's close enough!" said Baba.

Of course, we didn't dare tell Granny!

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My rules

Small Talk #54

Me and the Ancients went to my house while Mummy and Daddy went to the big pool to swim.

Me and Baba played my new game in my paddling pool. My game, my pool, my rules. My rules were that I threw my football into the pool and splashed Baba who was on the other side and then he splashed me. My rules said that we wouldn't stop until we were both soaking wet.... so we didn't.

But my rules said that when I was really soaked, Granny would dry me off with a 'rubadubdub'. Unfortunately, Baba wasn't so lucky!

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Small Talk #53

I think Baba must be a showoff!

Me, Granny and Baba went to the big pool for a swim today. I'm really good at swimming, or I will be when I learn how. But today, Baba was there first, waiting. While he'd been waiting, he told us he had swum 60 lengths! Yea, right, Baba! Who are you kidding?... and don't say a kid, because I'm almost 20 months and I'm a toddler now (while Baba is clearly ancient!)

Stands to reason that I must be fitter than old showoff Baba. I think he might be senile, or just hallucinating!

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Animal farm

Small Talk #52

We had great fun at the animal farm. There was Spartacus, the daddy of all the llamas. The notice said "We can bite" so of course we didn't dare feed them. Silly llamas.

We saw lambs, pink flamingoes (only one leg each!), giant tortoises, peacocks with fantastic feathers, goats and their kids. (I'm a kid but I don't look like them!)

Then it was a tractor ride and round and round the roundabout with Mummy. Fun!

Best was stroking Bernard the bearded dragon and a pet rat. I think the rat was very scared of Baba.

Baba doesn't like rats!