I've had the good fortune to share my life with Miss 12, and her mum, for so many years ... more time than most grannies get to spend with their granddaughter usually.
So I'm grateful.
I had the fun of reading some of the same books I'd read to her mum when she was small. We've devoured The Magic Faraway Tree but even better, we read the entire collection of Harry Potter together. So many months of lying there, on my big old bed, reading our way through book after book over years, neither of us imagining a life where we wouldn't be hanging out together.
But life moves on and the end of my marriage really meant that I had to leave Belgium. I reached England, and fell a little in love with it. It was so easy, and the people were so kind.
My daughter followed, bringing her daughter, Miss 12. And Miss 12 moved into my annexe with me, and we got to spend another 2 months together while my beautiful clever daughter worked in London, hunting for a job in the UK.
There was Miss 12 and I, having the occasional blast in the secondhand shops over in Cobham, and spending time with Cathy & Alex, and that delicious circle of Wednesday-evening-wine-drinking women. And Marcelle and Leah, at their cafe in the little village of Oxshott. And Kim. And Lynne. And Steve on the Chatterbus too.
It was a little extra time together that I hadn't expected.
Then she left again but it was good because my daughter has a really good job, up north ... and Miss 12, she's loving her new life. The people are friendly, she loves her school uniform, and the school lunches are great. The community has welcomed them in and they're really enjoying it.
Miss 12 has transitioned to English more easily than she had imagined possible. She has lovely friends already, and they arrived in time for friendships to grow so she had friends for her 12th birthday party.
So it's all good. I miss both of them but I'm really happy that they're so happy. It was time. It was more than time.
And here she is. I got the photographs the other day. Miss 12, in her school uniform, first day back in the new northern hemisphere school year.
We have this thing that we do, when we say goodbye after chatting ... it's about who loves who the most. The last one to say it, wins. Needless to say, our goodbyes are all about that particular competition.
But I think I can win here. I love you the most, little Miss 12. And I can block your reply ... cue evil laughterxx