"Small Talk" drabbles by Neville Hunt

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Vocab development

Small Talk 2 #4

Baba is such a windbag and showoff. He loves the sound of his own voice, (I love milk myself). I think he thinks that using big words to me will give me a good vocabulary (whatever that is).

I’m trying to get used to my name, Lily. It sounds good and Mummy and Daddy chose it well because it’s short, easy and sweet... like me!

But silly old Baba... he’s got to be different. He’s got to make it complicated (whatever that means). He’s started calling me Micro Gorgeous. Apparently I’m the third generation of Gorgeouses. A tradition he says.

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Chest Quest

Small Talk 2 #3

Looking up at him today, he seemed so helpless.

Get a grip Baba” I wanted to say.... but he was beyond help and words were beyond me for now.

He lifted me out of the lovely warm, soft sleeping device, silly man. OK, so I sounded a bit grumpy... and was! He held me to his chest... and I have to tell you, ”I was NOT impressed!”

”Call that a chest, do you?” I needed to say. ”Surely you’ve got something bigger than that? I mean, I’m hungry man!”

(I really think Baba needs postnatal classes... and a chest transplant.)

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Sickth Sense

Small Talk 2 #2

Today was the first time Baba dared to hold me for any length of time. While Mummy went to get herself showered and dressed (”not good to spend all day in your jimmies Mum!”). Baba was holding me as he ‘held the fort’... and boy, I fought!

He’s such a scaredy cat, not knowing what to do, which way to hold me, how tight to hold me. Sensing his fear, I yelled.

”I’m not a blinking cut glass vase, Baba!” If only I could talk.

Talking to him will come later. Sicking on him will have to do for now.

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Thinking too much

Small Talk 2 #1

I gazed at Lily in her cot. Her pretty face so peaceful. We were going to formalise her entry into the world by registering her birth. I knew that if she woke, all hell would break loose.

“Lovely Lily, look at you... you must feel so secure, with your Mum, your Dad, your brother (the little one who spontaneously kisses you) and all us grandfolks going gooey over you. I wonder what you’re thinking?”

”Baba, wake me up and I’ll be thinking ‘Where’s my milk, why do my guts hurt and how long’s she gonna leave me sitting in poo?”

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Small Talk #107

Great fun at preschool. Pirates, and we played games and dressed up. On Friday, Mummy put me in a striped jumper so I already half looked like a pirate. We made the preschool leader Shahnaz walk the plank. She said her timbers were shivered, but I couldn’t see her shivering. Then we went outside to play on the big pirate boat.

I had a black eye patch, but I moved it between my eyes. Well.. when it was over one eye, I couldn’t see very well! Granny laughed at the photo... but pirates aren’t funny!

But she thinks they Aaaaarrrh!

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Small Talk #106

I’ve heard them say I’m being rather difficult lately. They say it must be the disruption of staying at Granny and Baba’s house while Daddy and Grandad are knocking our house about and installing a new kitchen/diner by themselves (Daddy’s a bit tight-fisted! Why doesn’t he call in the professionals?)

I don’t see Daddy too much now so I can admit to being grumpy, because I can be difficult, not wanting to get dressed, eat food, go out, to bed etc.

They’ve all noticed my new concessionary word. I use it emphatically when their blackmail attempts are succeeding.


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Small Talk #105

Yesterday was Uncle Dan’s big day. He got married!

A big day for me too; I was VISP... Very Important Small Person... one of the wedding party. However, as an almost grown up now I’m two, I talk, question and have a mind of my own.

I was a page boy. They dressed me up in long trousers and brogues (can you believe it?). I tolerated these, but the fancy shirt and waistcoat were far too poncy for me. And the pink tie! No way!

Eventually I relented though. After all, my duties were to ‘look cute’. Apparently I did!

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Something in the air

Small Talk #104

Daddy was still moaning about his stolen iPhone, getting angry with himself, the Knebworth thief, the airline staff, the lost property office, the taxi company. He would have driven to Knebworth to locate the phone, but the iPhone finder had stopped working. It lost track of the other phone mysteriously at Knebworth.

Then he got a call from the airport. Good news and bad news.

The good news was they'd located his phone. The bad news was that it was on its way to Lisbon.

It had a phone holiday...And it didn't even have a passport!

Phone home... Welcome back!

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Hide and seek and seek and seek

Small Talk #103

Granny waited a long time for Baba to come back to collect her. When he eventually arrived, she asked him why. He said he'd been driven home, went straight in the house, and was planning to grab the car keys and drive straight back. Except for this problem...

Before going on holiday, Granny was worried about her new car. She thought maybe they would be burgled whilst away. She told Baba to hide every car key. He hid them really well, so well that he couldn't find them. He'd searched high and low for an hour... or so he said...

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Bad things go in threes

Small Talk #102

With Daddy still moaning about his stolen phone, the taxi arrived at our house.

Daddy said he would give Granny and Baba a lift home in our car as it's only five minutes drive to their house. The problem was... the car battery was empty of electricity. It wouldn't start.

Daddy then said some things I shouldn't hear, but Baba just said.

"No worries, I'll ask our old next door neighbour for a lift home", which he did, but their car was so small there was no room for Granny! Baba would drive straight back to collect Granny.

Much later!

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Making tracks

Small Talk #101

Daddy's a modern dad. He had two iPhones, his own phone,which he left on the plane, and his work iPhone. He's good with gadgets and in the taxi he used the 'find my iPhone' app to see where the other phone was.

"Yes! It's still at the airport terminal! Let's hope they find it."

He was happy until he checked again 10 minutes later.

"You won't believe it... some git's pinched my phone and it's now heading for Stevenage!"

Then it stopped at Knebworth.

"Bl**dy criminal!" he said.

"People living in Knebworth don't steal phones!" insisted Granny."They're far too posh!"

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A taxiing problem

Small Talk #100

When we discovered there was no minibus waiting, the big problem was that silly Daddy couldn’t remember the name of the taxi company - all the details were on his lost iPhone. Eventually he remembered and we phoned for another taxi.

Baba had said “Why don’t we just take one of the airport taxis instead?" But Daddy had negotiated a special cheap deal and didn’t want to be ‘ripped off’.
Baba said quietly to me “It was such a cheap deal that it wasn’t worth them turning up!” Fortunately Daddy didn’t hear.

Half-hour later our taxi arrived, along with hypothermia!

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iFun or not!

Small Talk #99

Daddy wasn’t allowed back on the plane. “He was beside himself”, said Baba, but I could only see one Daddy. He wasn’t too worried about the phone, but the pictures on it he’d taken of me (ah... that’s a nice Daddy).

As the rest of us waited for our luggage to arrive, Daddy went off to ask the lost property people what to do about his lost phone. He took ages and when he arrived back, looking worried, we had all the bags. Off to the big taxi meeting us.

But it wasn’t there!

No phone, no taxi, no joke!

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Crossing the border

Small Talk #98

Landing in England, Daddy went with Baba and me, while Granny pushed Mummy’s wheelchair a different way. At passport control, Daddy realised he’d left his phone on the plane. He ran back saying he’d meet me and Baba at baggage reclaim.

The trouble was... the passport controller wouldn’t let me through with Baba. He said I was officially travelling with Daddy and that Baba might be my grandfather, or he might not - different surnames - he might be abducting me, or be a white slave trader or just a pervert.

We had to sit “like bloody illegals” to wait for Daddy.

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On the phone

Small Talk #97

Daddy was stressed on our return from Paxos. At Corfu airport he had to push Mummy to the plane, but he couldn’t push me too. I was going separately with Granny and Baba in my pushchair.

Off went Daddy, pushing Mummy to the special assistance gate. But when Baba went to our gate he didn’t have my boarding card; it was on Daddy’s phone. He called Daddy to come back, but it was too late. The security door back was locked.

Eventually it was sorted, but I learnt some new words from Daddy. I saw Granny give him ‘a look!’

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Slurrrrprise tactics

Small Talk #96

I'm starting to practice. I'm practising kissing. Every time Granny and Baba come round they each get a kiss from me. It's not a sloppy wet one, but a proper one... because I've been practising.

Sometimes, not every time, I like a bit of variety, especially for Baba. I keep the element of surprise until the last moment, when 'prrrrrrf!' I do a raspberry on him.

But yesterday we went to see my cousins. Before I could say "Allo", Florriebundle planted the wettest, splattiest raspberry on my cheek and laughed. Prrrrrrf-slurrrrp! Prrrrrrfectly slurrrrprising!... and it made me laugh too!

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Too trendy for me

Small Talk #95

We were going to Petersham Nurseries. Yippee!... school. There were lots of people there, but not toddlers like me... grown ups. It wasn't nursery school. Baba told me it was posh and that they were all trendy southwest London puppies. But they didn't look like dogs to me.

It was a bit rubbish though, even for puppies. Everyone was having soup and drinking elderflower cordial. I wasn't interested. Instead, I went toddling off and Aunty Janina had to leave everything at the table and run after me.

I'm sure I saw Baba pinch the last of her trendy elderflower cordial!

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Strange behaviour

Small Talk #94

Mummy can't walk or see too well. That means she can't do lots of things. Granny and Baba say she does very well and how understanding I am.

When Daddy had a quadbike for the day Mummy decided she would go with him for a burn up on the back of the bike. She looked really happy and smiley sitting there clinging on tight to Daddy. Lucky Daddy.

When they'd left on the bike, Granny and Baba said it was great that she wasn't letting anything stop her. Great?... so why did Baba wipe his eyes?

Aren't grown ups strange...

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Talking cock

Small Talk #93

I've learnt lots of new words on holiday in Paxos. My favourite is 'cockerel'. I say it very well. I like saying it because Uncle S and Aunty W have a cockerel in the air which shows the way the wind is blowing. It's a magic cockerel. Every day it says 'cock-a-doodle-do' all the morning, but it seems a long way away. Baba says it's throwing its voice across the valley.

What Baba also said was "Doesn't that bloody cockerel ever stop?"

But Granny said he's been saying lots of words he shouldn't in front of me.

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Scared of the dark

Small Talk #92

Paxos is dangerous. It seems safe during the day, but when I've gone to bed, Baba says it gets dangerous.

'Come on Baba, you're just trying to get me to go to bed!'

But he told me that after dark rats appear, and the wildcats, which are scaredy cats, daren't try to catch them. And he said that when the lights are out, some of the stars in the sky start shooting... and he's seen them! Scary!

"But worst of all lad are the bloody mosquitos - they bite you!"

But Granny told Baba off for swearing. She's pretty scary too!