The Magical Mystery Tour

Roll up for the Mystery Tour
They’ve got everything you need
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Satisfaction guaranteed

Eldest granddaughter had asked whether we could do a longer version of the mini mystery tour we did some months ago. We’d gone to a garden centre and she hadn’t wanted to go straight home so I’d let her choose where we went. Each time we reached a junction she chose whether we went left, right or straight on. We’d spent an hour or so meandering around the Worcestershire countryside and she’d thoroughly enjoyed herself.

The allotted day dawned and it was HOT. Slightly overcast but hot. We headed out into the countryside and she began to talk. And talk. And talk. And talk…….covering every subject close to the heart of a 14 year old teenage girl. Oh, the insecurities about her appearance (she is gorgeous but doesn’t see it, always comparing herself unfavourably with others) the angst (friends, boys, the pressure of conforming, school work, future career) and the intensity (everything)!  My ears ached, but how lovely that she felt comfortable enough to be so open. I told her that I’d never have had such a conversation with my mother, never mind my grandmother.

Weaving in and out of Worcestershire and Warwickshire, we drove, if not in circles, then on a very circuitous route eventually arriving at a picnic site close to the river in Bidford on Avon where we ate an early lunch and rested awhile whilst watching the boats.  I sat back, closed my eyes for a while and enjoyed  the sun on my face  until …….. “You do your make-up quite nice for a nanny,” the darling girl told me apropos of nothing.

Back in the car she started chattering again, this time of her interest in interior design,  (she has a design programme on her iPad and a passion for searching the ‘Rightmove’ website for super-expensive houses in London).  Assuring her that I did know what ‘Stately homes’ are, she said she’d like to see one some day. As we weren’t far from Coughton Court I asked if she’d like to see one now. She would, so we did.

imageStill lived in by the Throckmorton family which has been in residence for 600 years, it is now owned by the National Trust so we paid the entry fee and took a look around the house which Granddaughter pronounced ‘a bit old fashioned’!

Famed for its part in the 1605 Gunpowder plot, it was here that the Catholic plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots, took place.

I especially liked the stained glass windows and ornately carved furniture, whilst Granddaughter was taken with the galleried landing which looked down over the main hall.


Perhaps because the house was so warm and stuffy, we both enjoyed the gardens more. Now much sunnier than the start of the day, there was also a bit of welcome breeze.

Our day ended with an ice cream sundae which we ate in the pub garden close to home. Had she had a good day, I asked. She said that she’d really liked it and asked if we could do another mystery tour one day; then asked if I’d enjoyed it too. I said it had been lovely to spend a whole day with her – magical in fact.


  1. How wonderful that your granddaughter considers you as someone with whom she can talk and share her thoughts. It must be nice to know that you do your make up well for a nanny! Too funny! 😀


    • The following day she was back to her usual grumpy self! I think it is best to take her away from home and enjoy somewhere quiet – then she talks.


  2. What an absolutely wonderful day for both of you. I’m sure you have helped so much, just by being an uncritical and loving ear.
    Alex used to come with me on car rides – I drove, he directed. Even as a very little chap he knew the streets of Chemsford like the back of his hand, as he had an obsession with maps and used to ‘drive’ around Google Maps a lot. The only problem was one ways – he didn’t understand about them and his autistic meltdown when I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) go the wrong way dowm a one way street was quite something to behold!


    • Oh Joy, not going the wrong way down a one way street…… spoilsport! I like that expression – an uncritical and loving ear. I think that sums up exactly how I strive to be.


  3. What a lovely day out and didn’t you finish up at a wonderful place.
    It’s must be reassuring to know your granddaughter is willing to talk to you so openly. Young people are under so many pressures these days, it’s good she feels you are able to lend an ear. X


  4. Definitely magical, how lucky you are that she felt able to discuss all her feelings with you.


    • I am very touched that she feels secure enough to do so, Pam. I try to be a ‘critical friend’ but it can be hard to get a message across without sounding too critical. She talked so much though, that I didn’t get much chance to say anything! Sometimes I think she just wants a listening ear.


  5. I look after a 3 year old once a week (sadly come to an end now as he starts ‘proper’ nursery in September 5 mornings a week so we’ll only have a couple of hours before picking up his older brothers). We went for ‘bumbles’ – walks where we don’t really know where we are going, my lord and master in the buggy would point and say ‘that way’ and I obeyed. After first 3 or 4 I realised ‘that way’ always involved going by the ice cream shop ……


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