Recently I found myself in the very fortunate position of qualifying for some granddad time with our almost 3-year-old cherub.
The term "whistle stop" probably best describes the visit, sandwiched as it was between her
parent's return to their base in Taranaki and the need for me to start work, or as I like to put it these days, chain myself to the oars of the ever changing world of newspapers.
Now this meant probably only an hour or so of available time at an early hour. But what are you going to do? You're going to grab the opportunity aren't you. Any opportunity.
And so, there I was the other morning, out on the deck waiting in anticipation and no doubt confusing the birds in the trees who are more used to me uttering expletives about their early morning warbling.
You may have worked out by now that I am a first time, hopelessly smitten, gushing, softie of a granddad. I make no excuses. Difficult geographical locations mean it isn't that easy to get to see Amelie that often but we chat on the computer thing all the time.
She calls me "Gandad" and I generally marvel at the improvement of her vocabulary each time and ask if she's been a good girl, whether she's fond of chocolate like me, that sort of thing.
Since discovering only the day before that I was to see my granddaughter I had had a permanent grin on my chops.
Even when Mrs P said I'd have to vacuum the whole house, mow the lawns, fill and empty the dishwasher, put the washing out, bring it back in and generally make the place presentable my new facial feature remained fixed.
I could have said the place was already spotless and tidy which it was, and always is, but I wasn't going to let a row spoil my upcoming golden hour.
That evening I went to the supermarket and got in some goodies. Other first time granddads will know what I'm on about here.
Into the trolley went chocolates, biscuits, fizzy drinks and potato chips. All those things I looked forward to when I visited my grandparents.
Then I took them all out and put them back on the shelves.
It's a new era, I thought. maybe those things aren't appropriate any more. So into the trolley went a selection of fruit, some wholegrain crackers and a bottle of water.
Then I thought sod it. I'm getting one hour with my granddaughter. I'm going to spoil her.
So I took it all out again and put the other stuff back in.
Then I thought maybe I'd get a mixture so I put all the other stuff in again, paid for it and went home hoping Mrs P would help solve my conundrum.
She did and so there I was on the deck waiting with a specially made up goodie bag from grandad containing a selection of fruits, water, a little bit of chocolate and a little bag of chips.
I didn't have long to wait. In fact I should have had the meeting filmed and included in this story for your viewing pleasure.
The car had no sooner pulled up than I heard a yell: "Gandad!!!!!!!!!!".
And then she was out of it and running towards me full tilt, arms outstretched, giggling uncontrollably, an avalanche of golden locks and innocence.
She literally leapt into my arms and squeezed hard. I felt like I'd won the World Cup.
For the next hour we talked, ran, jumped, giggled, tickled and went on slides and swings and I showed her the tree her dad had fallen out of and broken two arms when he was little.
Then, all to soon, it was time to go. "Bye Gandad!!!!!!" she yelled as the car drove away.
I was exhausted. But a good exhausted if you get my drift.
I still had 10 minutes to go before starting work so I sat on the deck with a coffee and tried to get my breath back and recharge the batteries.
Some of the chocolate I'd hidden from Mrs P helped too.
• Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to email@example.com .