Little Miss Sunshine

My new friend, Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine is simply gorgeous with a sparkly, effervescent personality to match.

She was reserved when I first met her although we instantly clicked. Even then, she had sparkling, inquisitive big blue eyes that had me swimming in her beautiful world in an instant.

She didn’t speak the language that well then but I understood her very basic, infantile sign language.

Still, once I got to know her mannerisms I loved spending time with her. It was heartbreaking to leave her beautiful smile and sturdy stare when my weekend ended.

Luckily I always visited my favourite Marks & Spencer on the way back from the country weekend. I love having a look round the store before going over and filling my basket with foodie goodies for the very long journey home. It doesn’t take long however, before I remember Little Miss Sunshine and a little tear is detectable.

After I first met Little Miss Sunshine, I woke up for no less than four mornings thinking I was going to be dazzled by her gleaming facial expression. Then I remembered I wasn’t there but back in my own world.

I adore my world but it is so much better with a health dose of Little Miss Sunshine.

I had taken an incredible amount of photos of Little Miss Sunshine to show my friends. She had pride of place amongst my photo frames, all of which leave a guaranteed smile on my face.

In addition, my new friend had the prestigious place of being my laptop desktop picture. I had, during the course of the weekend captured the exact look she gave me as I was leaving. She didn’t say a word but I think she had enjoyed our childish games all weekend.

Of course I knew she’d be getting on with her life a mere 83 seconds after I had left but I’m still thinking of her 83 hours later.

So she was on the laptop screen to greet me every time I started up. Just like Manchester United FC were there to greet me when I started up my PC in the office.

It’s the photo of the team when they won the recent double. They are entirely covered in gold ribbon. It’s sea of red and gold. A bit like an Indian restaurant c1982 or 2008 depending on which one you frequent.

Like I said, it’s a picture of the whole team at their happiest, cockiest and glorious best. Not a single one of them are looking at the camera.

With one exception.

Did I mention the best player?

Just the very fabulously talented, magnificently devoted, stay-out-of-the-tabloids, Giggsy.

A credit to his Gaffer, his team, the club the fans and no doubt his very proud family.

And his country. Shame he’s Welsh not English.

He did once play for England but that’s literally another tale. To be told once I’ve finished the book I have started reading, given to me by my beloved niece in 2005.

Give me a chance!

So Little Miss Sunshine is right up there with the best of them.

It’s imperative to know how extraordinary she is.

I woke up very exited on the Friday morning when I was going to see my sunny new friend again. I had a few hours of work to do but boy did I get through that swiftly.

I was packed and on my way to my country retreat in no time.

It was a beautiful Summers Day.

I just wanted to say that line as it’s not often I can say that living in England and I may not get another chance this year.

My optimistic plan was to leave between 12 and 2.

I left at 12.18.

In the trunk, safely stored away from the hot sun was the present I had spend 20 minutes choosing 22 hour earlier.

Just driving to the shop.

Just walking up and down the aisles.

Just asking the store staff for help in finding the perfect gift.

Just being in the store.

Just paying for it.

Just skipping back to the car with the gift in the bag swinging from my arm.

Just driving home with it.

It just put a beaming smile on my face.

And now I was on my way to give it to Little Miss Sunshine.

The only issue being I didn’t know if she already had it so I decided not to gift wrap  and check instead with my friends upon arrival.

It would have been insufferable for Little Miss Sunshine to open a delightfully wrapped present only for her smile to fade away if she already had it.

Not on my watch.

Better to be safe.

I included the receipt in the package just in case of any repeat issue. Then, I thought, Little Miss Sunshine can have the fun and excitement of choosing something else she loved.

It’s 1pm.

I’ve just arrived on a big motorway – is there any other kind? – which is to be my home for the next 152 miles.

I remembered I should have bought some sweets when I filled up at the petrol station 40 minutes ago.

I must be excited.

I haven’t thought about food for 45 minutes.

I called ahead to let me country friends know I was more than half way. I wanted to stop and take a break, more because it was the right thing to do as I would have been happier to teleport to Little Miss Sunshine.

However, at this exact point I realised there were no opportunities to have a break for miles.

Finally, I was only around 45 minutes away when I reached a petrol station.

By now I was ravenous. Not mentally but physically.

I grabbed a petrol station coffee and hesitated over purchasing the most expensive Tuna & Sweetcorn sandwich in the world. Not my favourite choice of snack at the best of times.

I got back in the car and checked my messages.

There were two. One each from the parties involved in a deal I was brokering.

I must have been excited. I forgot about business.

Who says business doesn’t happen on a Friday afternoon so you may as well take the time off?

Oh. That will be me.

Driving to find a spot away from the petrol station seemed to take forever. I was giggling like a teenager before, just looking forward to seeing Little Miss Sunshine. Now I was as giddy as a pre-pubescent thinking I’ve potentially done a deal. I’ve not completed a deal like this for some months over a year.

I found a road I could safely turn into and parked in the summer heat.

I had passed a road just like this a few moments earlier but hadn’t slowed down sufficiently to notice. By which time I had listened to the details of the deal on the voicemail several times.

I called the first person

I called the second person

I called the first person again. I was to call back in 30 minutes.

30 minutes!

I’ll be at my country retreat before then.

I sent a text to let my country friends know I was close.

I was on my way to Little Miss Sunshine.

The last lap.

I finally started on my belated lunch. I needed the energy for the fun and games to come.

Being a coffee aficionado, I expected it to be vile.

It wasn’t.

It lasted until I pulled up outside my country retreat with 10 minutes to go before I could make the call and close the deal.

I’d arrived but I couldn’t go inside.

That would prove to be a clanger.

If I go inside and set eyes on Little Miss Sunshine, the deal would not get done.

I waited outside whilst the builders who have been extending my friends’ home for the past 10 months, and it seems longer, were packing up for the weekend leaving the now familiar scaffolding behind. I whiled away the last few minutes with my petrol station snack, checking my emails and going over the details of the deal.

Any other time, the smell of a deal would have heart pacing , my palms sweating and my mind thinking . Imagining. Dreaming.

With Little Miss Sunshine’s giggling face just a few feet away, my mind was elsewhere.

With my friend, the enchanting Little Miss Sunshine.

She is small and fragile and was quite quiet the first time I met her. I imagine her communication skills will be in no doubt now.

She makes me, and I’m quite sure anyone privileged to meet her, want to wrap her up in big hug of cotton wool and keep her in a beautiful, happy and caring world.

I want to make my little friend giggle with sheer delight.

8 minutes.

Long enough.

I made the call. The deal was done.

4pm on a warm, sunny, English countryside afternoon.

I grab my phone and head inside.

The door had been left open as one my friends is chatting outside with the builder.

I went inside.

I turned one corner.

I turned the second corner.

And there straight ahead was the ever smiling Little Miss Sunshine.

She was the vision I remembered and so much more.

A magnificent picture.

Her face as soft as cotton.

Her sparkling, big, inquisitive eyes.

Her apple shine cheeks.

Her small, cute mouth.

She dazzled my like the Chrysler Building amongst the dark New York skyline

My Little Miss Sunshine was enjoying her meal sitting elegantly in her chair in the dining room. She saw me come in and simply beamed like a beacon towards me.

I have no illusion that she would have kindly smiled in the same way for any stranger. But she was smiling at me. That’s precious.

I sat and chat to her as she ate.

Little Miss Sunshine was in an excitable mood.

Yes she was more expansive.

She was more self-assured.

She was talking much more although I still didn’t understand what she was saying but I loved chatting to her.

I waited until she had eaten and come into the lounge before unloading my car of my overnight bag and Little Miss Sunshine’s gift. Whilst on my way back in I checked with one of my friend’s of the duplication issue. We had the all-clear.

By the time I came back in, Little Miss Sunshine was buzzing around the lounge like a happy little bee.

She looked so cute in her lilac feminine trousers and short sleeved summer top.

Her smile filled the comparatively large room where she was free to roam and play safely. She had just learned where everything was and indeed what her own capabilities were.

Little Miss Sunshine loved her present and played with it all weekend.

After all, what happy little 7 month old girl isn’t going to enjoy sparkly, colourful and noisy building blocks?

July 2008

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