I was recently set a challenge by a colleague to write a story in 300 words – no more, no less - to include Scott's boots, Grandma's oven and a romantic kiss out on the balcony.

Here is the result, originally published in the TIWF Ned's Newsflash. My thanks, as usual to Purupuss for her proofreading and Gerry Anderson and his team for the original characters.

oooOOOooo

"Are you sure you can cope with young Scotty all day?" asked Lucille. "He can be quite a handful sometimes."

The elder Mrs Tracy looked down at the toddler who was clutching her hand and smiled. "We'll be fine. We're going onto town for the day. I saw a pair of blue boots in Jackson's store that I'm sure he'll love. I've left a casserole in the oven that will be ready when we get back."

"You didn't have to go to all that trouble, Mother," said Jeff.

"It's no bother; I want to help. You two haven't had much quality time together since you came home from your moon mission, and I'm sure Lucille could do with a break from chasing after Scott."

The young couple watched from the balcony as the older woman strapped her grandson into a child seat in the car, then drove off..

Jeff turned to his wife and smiled. "Mother isn't the most subtle person in the world. You know why she's left us alone like this, don't you?" He pulled her into an embrace and kissed her on the lips. "She probably wants to hear that she's going to have another grandchild to dote on soon."

"Well, that shouldn't be too difficult," Lucille replied with a sly smile. "Your mother isn't the only one who left something in the oven before they went away."

Jeff gave a puzzled frown. He had got used to most of his wife's British expressions, but just occasionally one would throw him.

Lucille took his hand and pressed it against her stomach. "Remember the last night before you went into quarantine, in that beach hut on the Cape?"

Realisation dawned and Jeff's face broke into a huge grin.