I wake up mid-morning, as the gentle sun bounces through my window. I can hear the birds’ tweet as I drag myself out of bed.
I walk down the hallway to the kitchen, where my family is seated around the table. Poached eggs with salt on top sit on slices of brown bread on their plates. They greet me and go about their usual morning chatter. Once my dad has made my eggs just the way I like them, I sit to eat them with a book in my hand.
After breakfast I sing along to The Beatles in the shower. I look out the window to see my siblings kicking around our old football as I make my bed. I get dressed into my new dungarees and lay on my bed to read.
My mam walks up to my room and tells me we are going to visit Nanny, so get ready.
We rush and race around the house before finally settling into the car at around half past one. I pop my headphones into my ears on the drive and smile as we approach the house and Nanny is fiddling with plants in the garden.
We drive in and pass around hugs before we enter the house and I recognise that familiar smell of soap. Grandad is sitting on the couch with newspaper in hand, peeling an orange.
The three generations talk as we make our way to the kitchen for lunch. I can smell freshly made vegetable soup. My mother cuts up the bread my Nanny made that morning, and we blab about all sorts as we eat.
We relax for a couple of hours, just enjoying each other’s company.
As we are nearing the end of our visit, I pull my Nanny the side and whisper in her ear “Could I stay for the night?”
She laughs and accepts. I fetch my book from the car and wave my family goodbye as they leave, delighted to be staying.
As the sun begins to set, we decide to walk across the road to the graveyard. Nanny visits her family’s grave and I climb up an ash tree to take a picture of the cows in the field.
We walk back home, and Nanny fixes me something to eat. A rasher sandwich: she knows they’re my favourite. I chomp on it and read some more.
As we hear my auntie in the driveway, I pull the old trick of hiding in her bedroom to scare her. She is pleasantly surprised and hugs me tight.
I get changed into one of my Nanny’s old nightdresses and cuddle up with my auntie and a big bowl of popcorn. We laugh to our favourite movie for the hundredth time.
Afterwards they tuck me into my aunties old bed, leaving kisses on my forehead. I drift to sleep, not a worry in my mind.
A charming account of a simple but love-filled day ending with a perfect sleepover. The author uses carefully-chosen sensory details – the ash tree, the peeled orange, the freshly-made vegetable soup – to evoke the pleasures of familiar family routines. From the sound of the Beatles coming from the shower, to the “chomp” of the favourite rasher sandwich, to the feel of “Nanny’s old nightdress” – I was fully immersed in the author’s memory of the day!