Would you just hit the ball in the hole Nana
PUBLISHED: 07:53 28 September 2018
I think we're actually pretty normal, until we play crazy golf with the grandmothers, writes Jo Malone.
Nana is here for the weekend. We only see Rob’s mum a few times a year, but visits are always memorable.
This one starts with a message on the stairs when we get home from school and work – Nana arrived earlier. She’s hiding, but ‘not very high, or very low’, says her note. She’s had hip and knee replacements and isn’t keen on getting on the floor, or climbing down our steep stairs. The girls discover her on a chair under a blanket. They’re all in hysterical giggles at her rubbish hiding and fun with ‘Nutty Nana’ has begun.
A couple of days later and Grandma has joined us to play crazy golf at Easton, near Norwich.
It should be simple; 18 holes in a jungle-theme setting on artificial turf around gentle corners, up and down slopes and passing safari animals, crashed vehicles and aircraft, rocks, lumps and bumps.
But while we’re all pretty competitive, we’re all pretty rubbish too and with two grandmothers in the mix it’s clear after the first few hits it’s going to be a long, and funny, afternoon.
Keola’s style is to crouch as low as she can, hold her club like a hockey stick (she hasn’t played hockey yet but she’s definitely got the stance), hands about two inches from the ground to try and scoop the ball along.
Thalia hits hers as quickly as she can so she can go back to running over the bridges, playing on rafts or teetering on the banks of the stream running through the course.
Grandma’s the only one who looks like a golfer as she hits her ball and if we didn’t keep making her laugh could probably have finished in half the time it took the rest of us.
Nana lines her ball up differently from anyone else.
“The hole’s near the flag Nana,” says Keola.
“You need to get it in the hole,” adds Thalia, fishing stones out of the stream with a long metal pole.
We’re wondering if Nana’s hip or knee op has made her eyes lopsided so she can’t see in a straight line. Nana ignores us and luckily we have the greens to ourselves as we spend a lot of time chasing after rogue balls which fly off our hole set and on to other greens.
Thalia nearly falls in the water, a lot, and gets briefly locked in the toilet, Grandma and Nana both almost step back into the water, and Keola actually does fall, completely, into the stream - I knew I had a random collection of spare clothes in the car for a reason.
It was cold, it was windy, none of us were any good and we didn’t stop laughing. We managed ten holes and luckily Nana coped with us teasing her non-stop - she was particularly struggling getting her ball to stay on the right green, let alone get in the hole.
Later, one’s wearing tap shoes – the only spare footwear in the car, one’s sulking but doesn’t know why although it could be about not wearing dance shoes, one’s pretending she’s not trying to watch the football on a rather fuzzy screen in the golf café and one’s checking our scores - although we don’t have a lot of confidence as she had been very confused earlier by Thalia’s two times table’s maths homework involving zebras.
I’m reassured that Sunny is, away from home, very grown up. Then she sends me a photo of her climbing in a tumble dryer, apparently to see if it has a water tank….