‘Mum, mum. Please calm…’

‘You don’t understand. I just want to be able to see the grandchildren. I just want to hug them, to hold them, to cuddle them’.

‘Yes, Mum. I realise that but this won’t…’

‘Is it too much to ask to sit out on the patio, drawing and colouring with them ? Is it too much to want to spoil them with toys and treats ? Like any proud Grandma ?’

‘Yes, Mum. I know it’s a difficult time but…’

‘That’s all we’re asking. It’s tearing us up inside. We’re cooped up here and they are down there - poor little things. They need to see their Nana and Grandad. They need to know they are loved’.

‘Yes, Mum but with the lockdown slowly being lifted…’

‘Why can I invite a cleaner into my house (not that I have a cleaner, no-one cleans as well as me) or meet Rita in the park (not that I’d want to mind, she hasn’t called me once since this all started) and yet I can’t see the two people in the world who mean the most to me. It just isn’t fair’.

‘Yes, Mum but in the next few weeks…’

‘I had bought some them lovely Easter eggs, I’d bought presents for little Alice’s birthday and baked a cake. We left them untouched in the vain hope but Dad finally gave in and ate the mini-eggs one afternoon. This pain is unbearable’.

‘Yes, Mum but please remember, as soon as this is over…’

‘And then there’s your Dad, he’s a broken man. This is really dragging him down. He never talks. He just sits around all day staring into space like a zombie. All he wants to do is take little Harry fishing. He wants to be a grandfather again. Just for one day. Your Dad did National Service and this is the thanks he gets from this Government. He just wants to take him fishing. He’s got maggots in the fridge ready. They were next to the mini-eggs. He loves his fishing…’

‘Yes, Mum but there are other grandparents in…’

‘Don’t talk to me about other grandparents. I saw a car pull up at Rita’s house last Wednesday at 11:17 and two little kiddies happily ran up to her door. Who were they then - her landscape gardeners, her cleaners ?’

‘Yes, Mum but remember…’

‘Stop telling me ‘Yes, Mum’ and just get in your car and drive up here here right now with my lovely grandchildren !’

‘But, Mum. Please remember that David hasn’t even got a girlfriend and Emma is quite happy with her partner and her job at the moment.’

‘What ? What did you say ?’

‘Mum, you haven’t got any grandchildren’.