The weathermen promised us a cold night last night. They were right. There was frost on the grass on the cricket pitch up the road, which was still in the shade when I ran past at 8.30 this morning. But the sky was blue and the sun was shining. It turned out to be a very fine day.
Towards midday I went down to the crossroads to meet the second grandchild, making her independent way on the bus from her house to ours. Her older sister had been very reluctant at the same age to travel independently (she has no problem with it now) and I wondered about how these things come about. The oldest grandchild had never been obliged to be independent and had been used to being driven all over the place. Her younger sister was forced by circumstances to learn to make her own way to and from school on public transport almost from the start of secondary school.
I can remember when their mother started secondary school, coinciding with my getting a job on the other side of Manchester, and she had to become a latch key kid. Some people I knew expressed surprise and concern at my letting my eleven going on twelve year old make her own way back and forth. Even more so as she had the key to the house and was able to let herself in to wait for me getting back.
It's funny how opinions swing to and fro on this question. My sister and I used to catch the bus into the town centre and mooch around town while we were still at primary school. Granted we grew up in a fairly small town but even so we achieved a level of autonomy some kids don't have nowadays. I know people who travelled across Greater Manchester on their own from an early age. On the other hand, a friend of mine taught girls who at fifteen and sixteen had never been on public transport, let alone travelled independently. It's hard to find the right balance in all this.
Anyway, grandchild number two and I had a pleasant afternoon, baking, going for a walk, making tea for the rest of the family when they eventually turned up.
Tonight, I have to decide whether I am going to stay up late enough to see the blood moon which is promised for the small hours. Since the weather is actually clear enough for us to be able to see it, unusual for our bit of the world, it would be a shame to miss it, especially as some people are predicting that it is a warning of the end of the world.
If the world is going to end, I would like to experience the remaining time to the full!