Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Big, heavy and old

They grow up so quickly don't they? Although, I'll be honest, I wasn't quite expecting us to be at the point yet where it was Jamie who was helping ME get dressed. He's only two and a half. Surely I should still be helping him? And, more to the point, dressing myself.

Not this morning. As I walked over to put on my clothes he stopped me.

"Here you go Mummy. I help."

"No, it's okay, Mummy will do it." Seriously child, it's bloody freezing. Let me get some clothes on.

"No Mummy. You not do it. I help. Here, pants." And he held out my pants and opened the leg holes for me to step in, before swiftly pulling them up. "There you go. Pants pants pants. Mummy got pants. Now trousers."

"Well, trousers are quite complicated. Shall I do them?" Please, for the love of god, let me get dressed by myself.

"NO Mummy. I help. Here, trousers." And, as I reluctantly stepped into them and allowed him to pull them up past my knees: "Ooh, ow, these trousers big and heavy." Yes, thank you. I'm a size 12 I'll have you know, that's quite enough of referring to my clothes as 'big and heavy'.

He started on the belt but I stopped him. Jamie plus sharp metal buckles equals carnage - something I could do without that close to my clitoral area.

Post getting dressed we went to get into the car. In an attempt to distract Jamie from his usual desire to pack every single possession he owns into a small rucksack to take to nursery I asked him his name, which he responded to with his usual enthusiasm, before asking him how old he was.

"TWO."

"Yes, you are two. Well done. Now let's get in the car."

We drove to nursery, picking up Jamie's nursery workers along the way, and I could hear him muttering to himself along the way. Suddenly he let out a yell.

"I TWO!"

"Yes you are. Well done."

"Ummmmmmm ... and Daddy ... Daddy ... Daddy SIX."

"Not quite. Daddy is a little bit older than six. Daddy is thirty-seven." (I'm sure Neil will be delighted I was sharing his age with the nursery staff, and now with all my blog readers.)

"Firty SEVEN."

"Yes, well done." And then I had a little panic. Did his nursery workers now think I was thirty-seven? God forbid.

"And you must always remember that Mummy is a harlet who married an older man, because she is only twenty-eight. Did you hear that Jamie? Mummy ... is ... twenty ... eight."

He clearly didn't believe me.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Freaky Tits

So, Neil and I had a lovely romantic evening together last night.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

We looked at porn.

Before you immediately click this page shut, on the perfectly reasonable grounds that you have no desire to add to the excessive amount of information I already give you about my sex life (hello parents), let me reassure you that this was in no way done for sexually arousing reasons. (Well, not on my part, at least. And anyway, how anyone finds porn sexually arousing is beyond me entirely. But then I am not a 14 year old boy.)

We looked at comedy porn. By essentially typing in the most random search terms we could think of, and looking at the results through our fingers. A few of the highlights:

Dildo icecream. (This is a void in the porn market. There are no images relating to dildo icecream. Very disappointing, I'm sure you will agree. I see a business opportunity.)

Sundae c*m poo. (Look at me, starring out the words for my more sensitive readers. I am so caring. I don't recommend this, unless you want to happen across the Urban Dictionary link for a very dubious practice.) (Yes, I see all of you who looked up 'blue waffle images' - MANIACS - heading off to do that right now. Well get to the end of this post, at least.)

(There was a bit of a dairy theme going on, linked to the fact that I was working my way through a tub of raspberry ripple icecream. Nothing like a few dodgy photos to whet the appetite.)

Look what I can fit in my cnut. (Quite a startling amount, as it turns out. Again: I have no idea why this is meant to be arousing.)

And my favourite ... FREAKY TITS. And my god, were they freaky ...

He he he he he. Porn is funny. Although dreaming of big freaky tits chasing you through a forest as a result of said porn is a bit more disturbing. (Again, unless you're a 14 year old boy.)

I love my life.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Breakfast time

"Jamie, what would you like for breakfast? Porridge, or toast."

"Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Postman Pat, what you like? Postman Pat like porridge."

"Okay. And what would you like?"

"Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Man, what you like? Man like toast."

"Right, so Postman Pat would like porridge, and the man would like some toast. And what would you like? Porridge or toast?"

"Jamie have biscuit."

Nice try ... but no cigar. We compromised on a hot cross bun instead, which he carried reverentially into nursery as though he was bearing gifts for the Christ child. Well, I suppose it is Easter.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Feeling hot, hot, hot

My 250th post. Well done me. (Albeit, I'm a miserable failure in some aspects and am clearly not going to achieve the planned 365 posts in a year. But I'll pick my battles wisely ...)

So, last night was the Anniversary Dinner. Cooking - when done by me - is always something of an unknown quantity. In theory, I'm a pretty good cook, and yet I don't do it regularly enough to be actually confident as to the outcome ...

Anyway. On the menu last night was the following - none of which I'd ever cooked before. What can I say? I like to live on the edge. (And Neil simply has no choice.)

Starter: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fish-recipes/potato-cakes-with-smoked-salmon

Very nice - but I'd recommend adding some extra seasoning to the potato cakes, to avoid them being slightly too meeeeeeeeehhhhhh. LOVELY smoked salmon though. (Which, of course, I didn't actually cook. Yes, thank you for pointing that out.)

Main Part 1: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/96608/sweet-potato-spinach-and-lentil-dahl

Thoroughly recommend this - although when it comes to the cooking, less is probably more. Jamie is going to be somewhat startled today when he gets given a puree for the first time in his life ...

Main Part 2: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4402/prawn-curry-in-a-hurry

My recipe of the week. So quick! So easy! So YUM. Make it.

Main Part 3: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5787/mushroom-and-brown-basmati-pilaf

I left out the yoghurt. We didn't miss it.

Dessert: http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/pastry/apple-and-blackberry-pie.html

Impossible to go wrong with Delia, although I wish I knew how the bitch gets her pies to rise. Mmmmmmm, pie ...

Overall then, a resounding success, even if it did take three dishwasher loads to wash up the chaos. (I am not a tidy chef.)

There was one, ever so minor, tiny hiccup. The dahl required the chopping of one red chilli. Now, I am wise to the ways of chillis. Having previously got part of one stuck up my nose (see blog entries from last year), and also rubbed some into my eye, I take great care not to insert them into any part of my anatomy. I washed my hands, took my knife, and finely chopped my chilli. I scraped it up and put it into the pan. I washed my hands. I thought no more about it ...

... for about five minutes, when ...

YEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW. Fire, pain, red, burning, fire. Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch. My hands were a red sea of pain. Why? WHY, for the love of god, WHY? I washed my hands. I don't have any open wounds. Why have the evil chillis infiltrated my skin? Running around the kitchen, hands flapping in a relatively convincing impression of a chicken, I realised ... dry, chafed, cracked winter hands, are the perfect environment for some serious chilli burn.

Which is why I spent my anniversary dinner with my hands smothered in Germolene (turns out that local anaesthetic sensation only lasts for 30 seconds or so ... I used a tube in a night), running up and down to the kitchen to pour milk over my hands (I had a theory it neutralised the chilli burn ... turns out to be total bollocks), and crying every time I picked up a hot dish, which only served to enhance my chilli agony.

Oh, and then we went to bed. And let's just say it's Neil, rather than me, who will probably end up remembering our anniversary dinner for all the wrong - BURNING - reasons ...

It can only be a matter of time until I get the call from Masterchef ...

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Fucking HTML

So, as you'll probably have noticed, unless you're as unobservant as me: I've gone for a change of blog look. Turns out this is a mistake when as far as you're concerned HTML stands for Hideously Troublesome Mysterious Language. While I'm liking the prettiness, I am now left with a lot of bits I just don't understand, including the endless repetitions of UNDEFINED, UNDEFINED down the left hand side (yes, I KNOW it's undefined, you don't have to keep going on about it) and mystically missing parts, such as my sub header and my handy tick boxes.

HELP. Please. It's going to rattle irritatingly around the back cavern of my brain unless I can get these annoyances sorted. Anyone who can put an end to my trauma can have a prize of their choosing. Probably. Unless I deem it's inappropriate. This IS the internet, after all, and I can't account for the number of perverts lurking out there.

Ta.

Happy Anniversary to Me

So, 4 years of marriage, and Neil's sanity is still just about intact. That's not bad going.

Lying in the bath this morning (seriously, for the love of god, why does my leg hair grow so quickly? I am like the Beast of Bodmin.), my mind wandered back to this time three years ago, when I was pregnant with Jamie. Our first wedding anniversary coincided with the day of my 12 week scan. It also coincided with Neil helpfully picking up the most virulant vomiting bug known to man. My day started with me calling out 'Happy Anniversary' to the sounds of my husband trapped in the ensuite, hurling his guts out. I'm not sure 'happy' was the most appropriate adjective I could have picked to describe his feelings at that precise point in time.

Having failed to attend the majority of my early scans, Neil had been determined to make this one, which conveniently fell on an inset day for him. And so at 10am we climbed into the car: me clutching my pregnancy notes; Neil clutching a bucket. After ten minutes of listening to him retching on the back seat I told him to go back in the house. Scans are stressful at the best of times: being scanned while your husband chunders is hardly conducive to a relaxing environment.

I returned from the (successful) scan to find Neil curled up foetal style on the floor of our ensuite, clutching his bucket. I helpfully leapt around in excitement and demanded that we phone family members to tell them the great news. (That I was pregnant, not that Neil was vomiting.) Neil made his calls in between heaves.

And then I broached the topic of what exactly we were planning to do about that weekend ...

Given it was our first wedding anniversary, and at that point the crippling debts of childcare costs were still a blissful dot on the horizon, I'd booked us in to spend two nights in the beautiful www.thehambrough.com on the Isle of Wight. (Go: it's lovely.) Which had seemed like a wonderful plan ... until I heard the first groans from my husband in the early hours of the morning. Now we were faced with either having to transport Neil and his bucket across the less than calm Solent ... or ...

Which is how I ended up spending my first wedding anniversary ... by myself. Ensconsed in a queen size bed with sea views, spending the evening on the phone to various friends and family (Neil was collapsed asleep in bed) to make myself feel like slightly less of a sad loser. The receptionist had greeted me with but the mildest expression of surprise in his voice. "Ah, madam. And you're here for ... your wedding anniversary ...", as he looked around to see where my errant husband was. The poor bloke was clearly thinking 'I can't believe he's dumped her ... on their first anniversary!'

During my solitary breakfast the next morning I received a phone call from my weak-as-a-kitten husband, who was bravely boarding a train at Havant which would bring him to Portsmouth Harbour in order to cross over to the Isle of Wight. I got in the car and travelled to meet him. We had a tentative reunion ("Don't squeeze my stomach ... please.") and went and sat in a greasy spoon where Neil attempted a spoonful of baked beans. We attempted to sightsee but admitted defeat and spent the rest of the day curled up in bed - in a strictly non-sexual sense - while we dozed and moaned about feeling so unwell. Later that night we went down to the hotel restaurant for dinner. My stomach started to ache. We returned to the room. And I neatly dovetailed our time in Ventnor by spending the second night of our so called 'celebration' hurling my guts out into the five star bathroom.

If nothing else, it's kept expectations low for the remaining anniversaries.

Anyway. Happy Anniversary Neil. I adore you. And quite how you cope with me on a daily basis is an utter, utter mystery.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Flaccid penises are terrifying

So, we've spent the last 24 hours waving Helen off as she prepares for her year long trip round the world, with Matt to hold her bags. At least, I think that's why she's taking him along. Quite aside from the fact that I cannot possibly fathom why anyone would want to have a year away from their sofas, tumble dryer and canape filled fridge freezer (and, let's face it, it's a good job I'm not going - with my geographical ineptness I'd end up walking into the middle of the Pacific and dying a horrible death as I was dragged down by my rucksack full of spangly impractical shoes), I'm pleased she's going - I seem to have done remarkably well out of the deal by picking up all the random arsed toiletries, items of clothing and sundry junk she doesn't want any more. I'll have the last laugh when she realises I've also secretly stolen her backpack. (And seriously Helen: TRIAL PACK! Do it! Stop procrastinating! I know how important it is! I read the backpacking book!)

Neil saw Helen off in style by proceeding to get off his tits on caipirinhas last night while he regaled us with the rambling outpourings of a drunken man. I'm not entirely sure what Helen thought of this: for me, as the token sober person, it was mortifyingly dull. And annoying, as he flamboyantly crossed the room with his jug of caipirinhas (note to Neil: when you're drinking your booze out of a jug, you're probably not going to escape a hangover), attempted to pour some into Helen's glass and instead baptised my bamboo flooring in spectacular style. Even more annoying: trying to get him to wipe it up was like persuading Jamie he needs a clean nappy when he's done a poo. "No, I not need nappy. No poo. No poo Mummy." As he runs off round the house laughing like a drain. (Just to clarify, the latter two sentences relate to Jamie, not Neil.) We got there eventually, but not before I'd sent him into the kitchen three times to search for a damp J cloth and he'd spent five minutes giggling about the fact he couldn't remember what a tea towel was called.

It really is just as well he hardly ever drinks.

Anyway, by 10pm I'd had all I could take of drunken ramblings and cold Chinese and felt it best to pack everyone off to bed. As the men are still mid way through finishing the house off, we're currently without a middle bathroom. This isn't all that annoying, until you bring guests into the equation. Neil rampaged drunkenly up the stairs to our bedroom and Helen and I followed up behind him in order for her to use our ensuite before bed. Helpfully, Neil had gone straight into the bathroom and shut the door behind him, so Helen and I stood awkwardly in the bedroom and I encouraged her to check out the madness of the memory foam.

Mid conversation ("Memory foam is mental." "Yep."), the door of the ensuite was flung open, and Neil appeared in the doorway, backlit by the 100 watt bulb in the middle of the bathroom ceiling.

NAKED. Very, very naked.

"I'm naked, I'm naked, ahhhhh, naked, naked." Helen, understandably, fled to the safety of the darkened staircase.

"It's okay, I didn't see, I didn't see." I'm not sure if this was the truth or whether she'd simply been forced to destroy the images from her mind.

"I'm naked, I'm naked, I'm naked." Yes, alright Neil, we get the point.

"But WHY are you naked?"

"Because I went in the bathroom."

"But you don't have to be naked to go in the bathroom."

"I do. I didn't have anywhere else to leave my clothes. And what's Helen doing up here anyway?"

Sigh. "Go to bed Neil. Helen, go in the ensuite and keep your eyes shut." And thus managed, the drunk was put to bed (waking up a highly overexcitable Mr Jamie in the process), Helen locked herself safely in the bathroom, and I lodged myself back into the relative calm of the memory foam.

Helen still claims she didn't see 'anything' this morning. Neil still claims he doesn't understand why Helen was in our bedroom. And I'm delighted to say that I've sent my sister off around the world with the image of Neil's flaccid penis imprinted on her retinas ...

PS I've just re-read this. I love the fact I've felt the need to clarify the 'flaccid' element ...

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Ego trip

I read a number of blogs out there - the best of which you can find listed on the right of this page - and I've noticed that a few of these have asked themselves the question: Why do I blog?

So I thought I'd have a think about why I blog. And then I got bored, and had to go and spend some quality time carpet dancing and yak racing.

Once I was all carpet danced/yak raced out, I had another think. What was the deep, meaningful and profound reason behind why I blog? What great hidden messages am I trying to pass on to the world? Why do I spend so much time writing down my ramblings for all and sundry to read?

And as I searched deep within my soul, pondering the meaning of my blog, I hit upon the answer, in a blinding-flash, 'Eureka' style moment.

I AM SELF OBSESSED.

But of course. There was never going to be a deep, profound reason why I blogged. There was never going to be some spiritual meaningful message I was aiming to share. And there was never going to be anything more to my ramblings then me shouting ME ME ME in large flashing letters. I could have made up something deep and profound. I could have convinced you that I was really A Good Person. But I'd never live with the guilt.

I love me. And I love talking about, writing about, and thinking about me. A fact which became all too evident the other day, when I realised the blog I spent the most time reading ... was mine. (And it's really not that good.) It's like reading a magical story all about me, in which I get to play all the main characters and do heroic yet entertaining deeds whilst battling the nemesis which is Mr Jamie. (I don't mean it: he's too slobbery to be convincingly nemesis-esque.) Me me me me me.

Sigh. I love being me. And with that revelation, I'm stunned that anyone who isn't me would both to read what is clearly just one big ego trip, from someone who is over-loud, rather annoying and clearly entirely self obsessed. And no; I'm not writing that in order to get positive reaffirments. I don't need them. I'm already far too in love with the concept of me.

So there we go. I blog because of my desire to spend my life surrounded by me; putting the words down on a web page simply provides a lasting reminder of this. And don't get me started on the joy of v-logs. Me, on video, talking about ME. Utopia.

Seriously ... why does anyone read this stuff? Anyone who isn't me, that is.

I would ask you why you blog ... but that'll detract from the 'me' time ...

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The good, the bad ... the Mr Jamie

I've been away for a couple of days. That's why you haven't had any blog posts. Well, that's a lie - it just makes me sound slightly more exotic. I've actually spent two days travelling up and down the railway line between Havant and London, and confirming in my own mind once and for all why I am simply not cut out to be a proper commuter.

Anyway. What's been happening? Not a lot, is the dull and unsavoury truth. I have however spent an unnecessarily large amount of time dealing with the antics of one Mr Jamie, who seems to have hit new levels of badness.

He made his nursery worker cry.

Yes, really. Sara. He made Sara cry. The worst thing of all is that he doesn't even appear to be genuinely sorry about this. How did I, class swot, manage to produce such a rebel? It is a mystery.

Anyway, the back story of the 'making Sara cry' incident was that yesterday morning in his French class (yes, I know, what? I agree with you. Why they are teaching children who can't speak proper English yet the rudiments of French is a mystery to me. On the plus side, Jamie probably now speaks more words of French than Neil does. Neil can ask for oral sex - as he did in his French oral GCSE - but not an awful lot else. Jamie at least has mastered 'hello' and 'good bye'.) Jamie was rather against sitting down. So he protested. Violently. By making his body go rigid and refusing to be forced into his seat. When Sara tried to encourage the sitting down process, Jamie stood up, opened his mouth to its widest point and screamed at an unnecessarily high volume on repeat in her face until he was physically restrained by the nursery manager and put in the corner of the room.

I am mortified. I am not used to dealing with bad children. I was so GOOD. I blame Neil's genes. Please don't let my child notch up his first explusion at the age of two and a half ...

On the plus side, this aggressive behaviour is clearly a direct result of his inner genius. (Straws ... clutching ... anyone?) Last night Mr Jamie walked over to where Neil and I were sitting on the sofa brandishing his drawing board. "I did that. That Jamie." And he pointed at what he'd drawn on the board.

A J! He'd drawn a J! Not just one J, five or six Js! Amazing! He is a child genius! Or he's an average child coincidentally drawing shapes which might vaguely when seen through the eyes of a devoted parent look something like a J when drawn by a lunatic upside down hanging off a motorcycle in the dark.

But still! A genius! And a very badly behaved one at that.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

It's all too much

Now, as we all know, I am in no way a maternal person. I did not cry when my child was born (other than in respect to the FUCKING AGONY his head had caused my front bottom); I was not emotional when I dropped him off for his first day at nursery; I didn't weep into my hanky (I don't believe I even own one) when he spoke his first words. (In fact, I believe my response was "Pardon?") I love and adore him, but I do not feel the need to sob with joy at every minor developmental milestone he apparently reaches.

But then we have this morning. Jamie has been up since 6am (now THAT is enough to make me bawl) and we are currently in situ in the lounge whilst I hide behind my laptop and small toys are hurled around the bamboo flooring. Mid Facebook rant (FUCKING butter) Jamie comes over to me.

"Mummy. A YAK!" And brandishes his small, stuffed yak at me before sitting it gently in the centre of his bowl of porridge.

A yak! He knew it was a yak! Even though he's only seen that toy about twice before, and usually ignores me when I try to extol the virtues of yaks to him. But he remembered. "A YAK!" And he found it by himself! And put it in his porridge ...

Wail, sob, weep, etc. My boy! He is so clever! I am so proud! A YAK!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Sleeping Mr Jamie

Sleeping star shaped in the middle of our bed. So very cute. And so very peaceful. Clearly, it would be madness to wake him up.

But it's half past three. If he doesn't wake up now then he won't go to sleep until about midnight.

But it's soooooo peaceful. And I'm getting soooooo much done. I've had a wee. By myself! I've eaten my lunch. By myself! I've fucked around on the internet. By myself! (Well, no change there, but it's nice not to have my posts inadvertently deleted every time I type something by small grasping hands clutching the laptop.)

But he's been asleep since 2pm. Letting him sleep on now is madness. MADNESS I tell you.

But I'm just enjoying having a life ...

Gaaaaaaaaaah. Up. Awake. "Mummy, that your computer? I help. That mine. I touch that ..."

eirau;fjcd;aj;xfuar ;kfh;kd ;awer;axddddwekuoouoasdfddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

ALWAYS let sleeping babies lie ... or keep them out of reach of the computer.

In the meantime, I appear to be trapped in some memory foam ...

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Memory foam

So, I'm not even going to go down the route of yet ANOTHER post on being poorly, and how bloody fed up I am, and rant rant rant rave rave rave etc etc etc. Instead, I'm going to update you on my night last night in the mystical world of memory foam.

We recently purchased a memory foam mattress for Jamie's bed. That's his single, which is up in the loft next to our kingsize. (Yes, he is still in the same room as us, and if I hear another person sounding surprised and disapproviing about this fact I am going to cover your face with silly string. Fact.) The old mattress was looking - well - pretty bloody skanky, to be honest, and so we decided to splash out on some memory foam wonder.

The mattress I ended up purchasing came from Amazon, and was particularly magical in so far as it FITTED INTO A TINY BOX. Yes, really. It came in a box about a metre long and 20cm wide. Neil (he gets to do all the fun stuff) opened the box, pulled out the vacuum packed mattress and it magically inflated to full size. Amazing.

Anyway, mattress inflation aside, once it had returned to its full size and glory we put it onto Mr Jamie's bed and lay down on it. Ooooh. And errrrrrr. And ooooh again.

When choosing said mattress, I'd spent a lot of time weighing up the merits of different thicknesses of memory foam. The one I'd gone for in the end had prided itself on something like 12 miles of the stuff: "Faaaaaaaaaaaaaar superior to any of those crappy memory foam covers that are about a millimetre thick." Well, the slogan was something like that.

Until last night though, I hadn't actually slept properly on the thing - what with it being Jamie's bed and all. (Neil had been sleeping on it instead, while Mr Jamie slept in a happy star shape in the middle of our bed and I hovered shivering on the edge.) Post poorliness though, I decided the sensible thing to do would be to ensconse Mr Jamie next to Neil, while I attempted to get a 'restful' night's sleep in Mr Jamie's bed.

I had reckoned without the memory foam.

Imagine going to bed when you're really really really drunk, all your limbs feel like suet and you collapse in a big, motionless heap in the middle of the mattress. Now imagine that mattress is made of quicksand. And treacle. And this will give you some idea of the ordeal I went through last night.

It started off well. You really do sink into the memory foam; it's a bit like being in a big dog basket. (At least, this is how I imagined it. Others may beg to differ.) I slept pretty soundly for the first half of the night ... until I tried to roll over.

Now, memory foam may be all well and good if you're small and light and lithe (ala Mr Jamie) and make but the shallowest of shallow imprints on its squishy surface. When you're me, with an arse the size of twelve baboons fighting in a truck - well, you have effectively created a bottomless (excuse the pun) pit for your body to become trapped in.

I twisted. I writhed. I flipped. I shimmied. I tried everything under the sun to get myself out of my arse-pit and onto a flat surface. Nothing doing. So fast as I wriggled out, the arse-pit sucked me back in. Eventually, sweating, shaking and exhausted I hauled myself out and onto the wooden bed surround between the single and the kingsize, on which I slept a fitful sleep whilst dreaming of quicksand. Restful? My arse. (Literally.)

The moral to this story? Only thin people can sleep on memory foam. The rest of us should get down on that concrete floor and thank our lucky stars we're not being suffocated by the imprints of our own bottoms.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Feather dusters

So, Sunday night found me quite literally rolling on the floor, clutching my knees, sobbing, gasping and unable to breathe. Thankfully this was all with mirth, as opposed to mass trauma or the sudden onset of a heart attack.

I want to share my entertainment with you, but in my heart of hearts I know already that this will be one of those things where 'you had to be there'. Still. Never let it be said I didn't try.

Neil and I have a feather duster. It's a feather duster which came from John Lewis as one of our wedding presents and is really rather nice, with a carved wooden handle and long, brown, fluffy feathers. The cats have had a field day with it over the years when they've managed to get their paws on it.

Anyway. On Sunday night, the feather duster was sitting in the middle of the sofa. No, I don't know why. Jamie has something of a penchant for it, so I suspect his work. I turned away from the sofa, turned back, and collapsed in hysteria.

The reason for this?

About 50cm away from the feather duster, nestling underneath the edge of the sofa, was a smaller, second, IDENTICAL feather duster. When you're Kathryn, and something like this occurs, you can conclude only one thing.

"NEIL! The feather duster has BRED!" Waaaaaaaaaaah, collapse, mass entertainment, etc etc etc.

Neil watched on in stony silence. Which makes me think maybe you didn't need to be there after all. Maybe you just need to be me ...

The postscript to this story, which I just realised I'd inadvertently forgotten to type, is that unbeknown to me, Neil had purchased a second, smaller feather duster, which had obviously also been procured by Mr Jamie and wedged under the sofa, ready to roll out at an opportune comedy moment. It's like he knows I need entertaining ...

Monday, 15 March 2010

"Don't bump"

So yesterday, against my better judgement, I found myself taking Mr Jamie on train journeys totalling almost 4 hours in order to 'celebrate' Mothers' Day. Well quite.

What really is remarkable is the fact that he was actually stunningly well behaved, to the point where I started to wonder whether I'd inadvertently overdosed him on medication or whether the biting through of his lip had also severed his 'wild and out of control' tendencies. (No, is the answer.) Well behaved to the point where a total stranger leant across the aisle of the train and told me how well behaved he was being. "DON'T TEMPT FATE YOU MAD OLD BAT", I thought, silently, inside my head, as I outwardly politely smiled and nodded and prayed that Jamie hadn't heard.

But no, he was as good as a very good thing for around 98.7% of the day. We got on the train, his face erupted in enraptured bliss as he spent the first thirty minutes of the journey intoning "Oh. Mummy. Train. That our train. We on train." on hushed repeat. He ate all of the food I'd provided for the entire day in about a minute and a half (I am going to ciphon off his metabolism), and then spent the remainder of the journey playing in a relatively controlled manner with his 'men' on the tray table in front of his seat. "No Postman Pat, ssshhh, you not make noise. That train."

We got off at Waterloo and incredibly made it to Covent Garden - and that's WALKING (in almost flat but not really very flat at all shoes) - without losing ourselves, our belongings, or our sanity. We met my mum and sister, had a remarkably civilised lunch in Loch Fyne (marked mostly by Jamie's incessant eating of lemon wedges - peel and all - and going to sit under the table to poo before emerging out of the side and announcing to the table next to us "I need clean nappy". That's Jamie, not all of us.), and then were escorted back to Waterloo by lovely Tim and lovely Aaron with their lovely pushchair pushing/bag carrying/Kathryn-in-heels-holding-up ways. We love you boys.

And then we got back on another train - just (as I careered madly down the platform, buggy and bags akimbo, screeching like a banshee and weaving like a conga eel in stilettos around startled pedestrians and through the train door with seconds to spare) - sat back down and had an almost totally peaceful journey home. Smelly, but peaceful. ("I need clean nappy" two minutes after a packed train sets off from the station is not particularly conducive to fresh air. Sorry, fellow passengers.) Bar one brief disagreement over an abandoned cup of coffee ("Jamie, put it down, it is old and dirty and not yours." "No Mummy, I drink it." "No you DO NOT. Now put it down." "No. Waaaaaah. Wet." "Yes, well that's precisely why I told you not to play with it. Now come and get cleaned up.") it was like we were almost normal people. Remarkable.

Finally, the train approached Havant and we walked down the carriage to go and find the pushchair (wedged in the handily placed bike rack). With the shadow of over-tiredness upon him, Mr Jamie refused to sit down in his pushchair and before long toppled head first into said bike rack as a result of a particularly erratic bit of train driving. "I sit in seat now." Yes, I bet you do. I strapped him in.

"Mum, you go look out of window."

"Um, why?"

"You go look at horses."

"Oh. Okay."

"But be careful. Don't bump."

I love him.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Is that a flute in your pocket ...?

So, last night I went to see a gig. Oh yes. Me. A gig. See. I am trendy.

Well. That last part possibly isn't entirely true. (Quite apart from the fact that anyone who needs to use the word trendy, patently isn't.) When I say I went to see a gig - well, that might be stretching the truth a tad.

I went to see a band.

I went to see Jethro.

As in Tull. (Just in case you know any other Jethros.)

Yes, last night, me, Neil, Harry, Grace, my dad et al trekked our way to the Southampton Guildhall to watch Jethro Tull perform in all their bearded glory. (Although I should note at this point there was a disappointing lack of beards. (By this I mean those of a facially-haired nature, as opposed to women covering up the gayness of men. Just to clarify.) On the band, at least. Thankfully, the devoted fans more than made up for their facial baldness. I swear one guy's beard was larger than his wife.)

Why, you might ask. And it's a very valid question. Why did I, allegedly trendy 20-something, go with MY DAD to watch the bearded weirdies of Jethro Tull shaking their thang about 50 years past when they should have retired?

I did it because Neil had bought us the tickets. Neil had recommended we go and see them. And, for once, I made the decision to listen to his Always Rightness.

Oh god, he was right. They were bloody brilliant. Probably the best live act I have ever seen. (Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way a live music expert ... but I can count Stevie Wonder and Peter Gabriel up there as well ... (I am clearly desperately non 'with-it')) Leaping around like lunatics, doing crazy arsed one legged dances, gurning, singing and playing about 5000 instruments SIMULTANEOUSLY ... and they all get free bus passes.

Amazing. Properly properly amazing. And I would go and see them again, almost immediately, were it not for one very salient fact:

It is very, very disturbing to find yourself sitting, between your husband and your dad, contemplating how much you'd like to receive oral sex from someone's grandad.

(And, tempting though it is to leave this post there, just to clarify, that's because of the breath control Ian Anderson displayed during his flute playing/singing/gurning/leg dancing extravaganza. And not due to any other strange fetishes at all. Absolutely not.)

Jethro Tull. We love you. And that is all I have to say about that.

Friday, 12 March 2010

*£"$%"&^"£$*"£$$(%^"£$*

Ill. Me. Again.

Don't even THINK about mentioning the words 'tempting fate'.

I'm off to my bed ... or I would be, if I didn't have a Mr Jamie sitting on my face rubbing garlic and mushroom pizza into my hair.

I think I need a holiday.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Babiee Giirl

Okay, so I get that I'm something of a pedant - well, completely anal, if we're being honest - when it comes to spelling and grammar. (I see you now, scouring through this post to find spelling and grammar errors. Don't worry - there'll be plenty of them. But it doesn't mean I won't still apply my anality to everything else I read. This, my friends, is the true meaning of hypocrisy.) But surely even those who don't share my anal qualities - hell, even those for whom English isn't a first language - will recognise just what is wrong with the title of my post.

Unbelievably, this is the slogan I saw branded on the back of the Ford Ka I happened to be following up the road to work today. My instinctive reaction was to swerve and almost crash into the back of it as I tried to work out exactly what it meant to say. Barbie Girl? Baby Grrr? Big Grammatical Incompetent? Ah, no. But of course. Baby Girl. Spelt with quite the most unique spelling I've ever had the misfortune to come across.

I have a number of issues with this:

1) Why would you want a slogan - any slogan - written on the back of your car? Surely this then relies on you going on to sell your car to another self branded Baby Girl. Which kind of rules out 43 year old Nigel down the road.

2) Should you choose to have a slogan, why in the world would you decide, out of all the monikers you could use to sum yourself up, that Baby Girl is the one? Seriously. Is that honestly selling yourself to your full potential? You're a small child who still likes to wear nappies? Nope, can't see that attracting the boys ... at least, not those who don't indulge in some very specialist fetishes.

3) If Baby Girl really is your chosen catchphrase of choice then ... um ... WHY IN GOD'S NAME HAVE YOU SPELT IT WITH SO MANY SURPLUS VOWELS? For the love of god, why? Why, why, why? Do we not have enough accidents on Britain's roads as it is? Do you honestly want poor innocents such as myself ramming into the back of car as the spelling calamity which is your car slogan assaults our eyes? I don't understand. Have you got a thing for dyslexics? Or are you just trying to get your car windows smashed in?

The Ka turned off before I could get a full look at its driver (although enough to see that it wasn't a 43 year old called Nigel. Disappointing.), which is probably just as well. I think I'd have struggled not to get out of my vehicle and punch them in the nose for crimes to the English language ...

In other news - the invalid is on the mend. He still looks like he's done several rounds with Mike Tyson (albeit with his ears still intact) but he can now talk slightly more like a normal person (or a normal Mr Jamie, at least) and will hopefully no longer terrify his small friends at nursery after his return this morning. Now, just 24 hours out of medical establishments Mr Jamie ... please ...

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Just another day in paradise ...

... or A&E. I knew I was tempting fate with my blog post about spending my entire life in medical establishments. It is now actually coming true.

So, last night, driving home from work, mobile rings, I of course do not even dream about answering it illegally whilst driving but maybe do a little bit anyway. (Hands free, if that makes it any better.)

"Hello, this is Jamie's nursery."

"Hello, is everything okay."

"No, not really."

"Oh god, what's happened."

"He's had a very bad accident."

"WHAT?" (Seriously, there have got to be better ways of breaking this sort of news to parents.)

"He's fallen over and bitten right through his bottom lip. You need to get him to hospital quickly."

Good. Excellent. Cue me driving like a maniac (imagine my normal driving, but to the power of ten), collecting Neil and then arriving at high speed in the nursery car park. Running into the building I found a very woeful looking Mr Jamie sitting on his nursery worker's lap, clutching a flannel to his lip which was by now the size of a rolled up pair of socks (no, I have no idea why I've chosen that as an analogy) and bleeding like a big bleeding thing.

And so off we went to A&E. Again. It hit me just how much we were going to the doctors' these days when we arrived in the car park, Jamie looked out the window and went (through a mouthful of blood and flannel) "Oh. Mum. Doctors. We go play with toys!" Well, missing the point slightly, but I'm glad at least one of us still had some enthusiasm left.

Time spent in A&E is never the most exciting way you can spend your day, so I'll skim through it here - suffice to say we sat in what was essentially a large room of toys for the best part of an hour, I conversed with two teenage drug addicts next to us (much to Neil's disturbance ... but I say you just never know when you might need those kind of contacts ...), attempted (unsuccessfully) to stop Mr Jamie from falling on his mouth and mopped up an awful lot of blood. Eventually we went through to see the doctor, who proclaimed that he had bitten right the way through and showed us the inch long gash on the underside of his lip. It's just as well I'm not squeamish. Neil had a little sit down.

And then we finished our time there by forcibly removing Mr Jamie from the toys ("noooooooo, Mummy, I play with toys, I not see doctor") and, with the combined strenght of Neil, myself, a doctor and a nurse, pinning a freakishly strong Mr Jamie to the hospital bed in order for the doctor to drop superglue into his cut. (I know this is a proper medical procedure but I still find it entertaining and a little bit made up. Sticking someone back together with superglue? Surely a last ditch resort.)

So I now have a small, sad, swollen two year old who spent the night waking up sobbing, clutching at his superglued lip and kicking me in the head (some things I guess will never change). I have a nursery who is refusing to take him back in for 24 hours due to 'policy'. (Which is fair enough - but I can't help feeling aggrieved given that the accident happened on their time.) I have a banging headache and swollen eyes due to excessive lack of sleep. And I have a pressing need for gin. Cometh the hour ... cometh the alcohol.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Wet wet wet

So, I spent about an hour yesterday evening standing in my middle bathroom with three men. Don't tell me I don't know how to live it up.

Well, three men is something of an exaggeration. One of the so called men was Jamie, who used his time in said bathroom particularly well, by throwing toilet rolls around the room (hitting the rest of us in the legs) and peering suspiciously under the toilet seat.

The other men were Neil (of husband fame) and Jim (the builder, previously AWOL, now returned to the premises), who, I'm thankful to say, did not throw toilet rolls or lift up the toilet seat. Jim did stand on the side of the bath and peer out of the window - but then he's a builder, he's a bit crazy like that. Not as crazy as Mr Jamie, mind, whose excitement at seeing Jim again was akin to that experienced by sharks mid feeding frenzy. I would imagine. He ran around the house shouting "James, James" (in his head, Jaaaams and Jim have become inexplicably confused), he headbutted the door, he posted his slice of pizza through the letterbox, he humped his (somewhat deflated) helium balloon and he got far too overexcited and had to be carted off to bed. Just another normal evening in the life of Mr Jamie then.

Spending so much quality time in that bathroom reminded me of the time Mark and I managed to get locked in there one afternoon, in the early days of life at our current abode, when Mark lived with Neil. It was one of those excellent moments of logic where Mark had been locked in, I'd freed him ... and then decided to come and stand inside with him, with the door shut, in order to 'mend the lock'. Which is where Neil found us when he returned home two hours later ... (Thinking about it, I've also been locked into my porch for an hour on one very hot sunny day - that time it was Mark who rescued me. Mark and I should clearly not be allowed to go anywhere with fully closing doors. We are a liability.)

Anyway, the good news is that as of Monday Jim will be returning to finish the remainder of the house, and I will be paying him vast amounts of cash in order to get a bathroom which no longer has a kink in the wall. (Seriously - the previous owners were DIY INSANE. Live electrical points inside ceiling roses ... boilers plumbed in upside down ... that kind of thing.) In the meantime, if you see me pissing in the front flowerbed, you know the reason why. (What do you mean, I have another bathroom I can use in the meantime? Yes. And?)

Monday, 8 March 2010

Tip for today

Don't start your Monday morning with a small child's cyst on their eye exploding in your face. Blood stained pus is grim at the best of times. Grimmer still when it's clinging to your face while small child sobs in the background.

Oh, and if you do start your Monday morning like that, at least make sure the bloody thing explodes properly. Having only half of it explode, whilst the other half remains huge, swollen and ugly looking (that's the cyst, not the child), is no use to man nor beast.

Just once, to have a day in my life which was a bit like that of normal people would be nice.

Although, on the plus side - no fire alarm action last night. Rock on. How did I manage it? I shut the Velux on it. Ironic, isn't it, that the much maligned Velux now comes into its own in the war against late night beeping. It's the battle of slanty windows v annoying bleepers in our house. I know. Cutting edge.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Groundhog Day

You can imagine how I felt ...

3.30am. Our bedroom. Asleep. And then very quickly awake. "Beep ... beep ... beep."

No, surely not. Not AGAIN.

Yes. Again.

I thought for a moment.

Could I sleep through it? No.

Was Neil going to get up and sort it out? No.

Ditto Mr Jamie.

So I got up. In the freezing cold bedroom. And the shock of the cold breeze on my nipples caused me to make an irrational decision.

I was going to assume that Neil was right.

I know. Sanity of mind, as ever, is not my strong point.

So. If I were Neil, what would I think?

CONDENSATION.

I walked to the window. I shut it. I walked down the stairs to the loft door. I opened it.

(Temperature moderation, you see.)

I got back into bed. I lay down. I cynically mocked Neil for his non-scientific theories. Condensation? Yeah right.

"Beep ... beep ......."

What?

"......."

Surely not? But yes.

SILENCE.

I'd done it. I'd silenced the fire alarm. Which meant ...

NEIL WAS RIGHT.

Again.

Sigh.

It took me another hour to get back to sleep. I couldn't believe he'd been Always Right again. Which meant that I was ... hmmm. Let's not talk about that.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Days like these

The title, in case anyone's title spotting, is an oblique reference to I'll Be There For You by The Rembrandts. Well, probably not that oblique, providing you know more than the title line of the song. Which, if you're anything like me, can't be guaranteed, so hence my clarification. Good. Glad we sorted that out.

All this rambling can be justified by the events of last night, as a result of which I can barely stand up straight and no longer know whether I'm coming, going, losing the plot or merely slightly backwards. Before I get to that though, I must share with you the sight that greeted me as I collected Mr Jamie from nursery yesterday. Neil and I walked through the door to find Mr Jamie, standing playing with Sara ... adorned head to toe in a nurse's outfit. And that's a female nurse's outfit. As in, a blue dress. With a stethoscope (he's clearly more advanced medically than your average nurse) and a little hat. Apparently this is Jamie's favourite dressing up outfit, and he'd refused to take it off all day.

I KNEW he was gay. Or into kinky fetishes. One or t'other.

Anyway, once we'd finally prised the nurse's outfit off him through various means of bribery and corruption, we went home, had dinner, watched England be mildly incompetent on a football pitch (yes, I know they won 3-1, but when you go to bed at half time you can spend a surprising amount of time debating just how dreadful they are, and how we'll never win the World Cup, ya-da-ya-da-ya-da. Only to be somewhat startled the next morning.), and went to bed.

Which is where you find me, at 3.35am this morning, standing naked in the middle of our bed, brandishing a hair dryer and aiming it at the ceiling.

I should end this post there really, shouldn't I. But I feel honour bound to offer you slightly more information.

We'd been fast asleep when I awoke just before half past three to the sound of a very loud, very high, incredibly piercing 'beep'. This was followed by about a minute's silence, before it was repeated. Again. And again. And again. Being proactive, I decided to go downstairs to see if the house was burning down. It wasn't. Good times. So I went back upstairs, to gaze suspiciously at the source of the beeping: our mains connected fire alarm. Which, conveniently, is sited just about our heads on the ceiling in the loft.

Neil rolled over, to inform me that it had done that before. "Yes, and how did you stop it?" "I didn't." "Well, how long did it go on for?" "A long time." Excellent.

With unparalleled Neil logic, he then suggested that the beeping might be due to condensation, as a result of it being so cold outside. At 3.30am I wasn't even going to try to examine this theory for physiological errors. So I walked over to the corner of the room, grabbed my hair dryer, stood on the bed, turned on the hair dryer, and aimed it at the fire alarm.

It kept beeping. Despite 10 minutes of continuous blow drying activity, there was no avail. It was about now I started to feel as though my life had morphed into that of Phoebe from Friends. (Hence the title. Get it now? Because of the fire alarm episode ... good. Excellent.)

So, with Neil offering absolutely no helpful advice whatsoever, and the beeping fire alarm from hell above our heads, we decided to decamp, Mr Jamie, alarm clocks and all, to the spare room on the first floor. We traipsed downstairs. Mr Jamie laughed like a drain. I'm glad one of us was finding it funny. We got into bed. We lay down. Everything was silent.

THE BLOODY THING HAD STOPPED.

Seething with inner (and outer) rage, I attempted to get comfortable, no easy feat in a cold bed which is about two thirds of the size of the one we normally all fit into. Needless to say, sleep was non existent, what with the small cold bed, and Mr Jamie roaming around my ankles, giggling to himself and muttering "That Daddy's bed" on repeat. I think I probably drifted off about ten minutes before the alarm went off ...

Days like these indeed.

PS To whoever it was who searched for this blog using the words "sexy Kathryn iknowineedtostoptalking" - thank you. God alone knows how the adjective 'sexy' could be applied to any element of my ramblings, but hey, whatever floats your boat ...

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Waitrose

A shopping trip to Waitrose, with me:

La la la, lovely supermarket, ooh, trolleys, lots of lovely food, buy buy buy, spend spend spend, count calories, count fat, ignore, throw into trolley regardless. Amble around for three hours smiling at random elderly gentlemen, pile my trolley full with assorted lovely foods, pay, exit at a leisurely pace and drive home to unpack my (reusable) shopping bags.

A shopping trip to Waitrose, accompanied by Mr Jamie:

"Jamie, sit in the trolley please. No, not IN the trolley. In the seat. No, you won't fall out. Don't shout please. Fine, sit in the trolley. No, don't stand up. Because it's dangerous and we'll get into trouble. Yes, you can press the button on the lift, but NOT that one. Because it's the alarm. Now sit down please.

"Right, here you go. Hold the tomatoes. No, they're not for eating. Because we haven't paid for them and you'll make a mess. Just put them down in the trolley, next to the lettuce. I said, sit down. No, don't stand on the lettuce. Because it will get squashed, and we'll have the shape of your shoe on the lettuce. Jamie. You will fall on your head. Sit down.

"Dancing in the trolley is not really sitting down, is it? Do you want to get out and walk? Fine. Now hold my hand. No, we don't need a large jar of Mexican sauce. Put it back please. No, not with the cat food, put it back with the other jars of Mexican sauce. Gently Jamie. Come on, let's go and find Daddy. Hold my hand please. Jamie, running down the aisles growling is not holding my hand. Stop scaring that old man.

"Right, let's go and pay. No Jamie, we are not buying chocolate. Because we've got plenty of chocolate at home, and because I don't want to buy any chocolate. Jamie. Put it down please. Put it down. No, not on that lady's back. Because she's just kneeling down to put the stock out. Put it on the shelf please. Jamie. Do NOT drop it. Right. Come on. Let's sit in the car. No, don't hit me in the face. Jamie. I said, no hitting in the face. Yes, the back of my head does count as my face. Why are those people looking at us? Because you are screaming like a banshee and thrashing about like your legs are on fire. Can we go back to the shop? No we CANNOT go back to the shop. Now come on. Let's go home. Mummy needs some gin."

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Lumpy lumps

So, some people spend a lot of time each year planning their annual holidays. Where they might go, how they might get there, what they might eat, who they might sleep with, how many times they might flash their genitals in some drink induced stupor. That kind of thing.

I'm not a fan of holidays. Which is turning out to be just as well, given that so far this year every last millisecond of my annual leave booked has been spent in some kind of medical institute. Rather less plane journeys and delicious food involved, although you can't rule out the genital flashing.

Mr Jamie currently looks demented. Even more so than would befit the offspring of Neil and I. He has a large, very swollen, very infected lump underneath his eye, which happens to be approximately the same size as his eye, albeit red, and lacking in visionary skills. Apparently this is some kind of infected cyst, infected stye, or infected other eye-related-lump.

He looks like he has been in a fight. Or, worse still that, Neil or I have punched him. (We haven't. Just to clarify.) He doesn't help dispel this theory by pulling away from us and groaning "No, Mummy, Daddy, I not like you" whenever a medical professional walks into sight. At this point I tend to laugh heartily and dementedly whilst said professional regards me with suspicion and looks out for any knuckledusters on my fingers. Probably.

As something of a drama queen (no, Kathryn. You, a drama queen? Surely not? You must be mistaken.), I have been very impressed by his zen like behaviour throughout all of this. Other than when anyone tries to look at his eye - at which point he immediately closes it, puts his head on his chest, and laughs like a drain - he seems remarkably undisturbed by the fact he is now sporting what equates to an extra eye on his face. In fact, when catching sight of his face in a mirror on Sunday he laughed so hard I thought he was going to vomit. He really is outside of the boundaries of sanity.

In the meantime, I get to spend my next two weeks waiting for the bloody thing to burst; or, alternatively, booking my next holiday slot, to spend in hospital while Mr Jamie goes under general anaesthetic to have it removed. I wonder if they'd mind if I turned up wearing a bikini and sipping cocktails?

Monday, 1 March 2010

Frankie say ... no more

Good to see Mr Jamie is carrying on in the Wallace family tradition of total sanity. Or otherwise, as the case might be.

When I was a small child, other than never sleeping through the night, perpetually throwing screaming tantrums, and insisting on wearing pink patent shoes with a red dress (god, I remember those shoes ... the consequences of revealing my pants in their reflection didn't even occur to me, such was their beauty. Not much has changed ...), I was also - well - odd. Very odd. This is testified by my father on a regular basis, whose speech at my wedding only managed to come in under the hour mark by omitting the majority of them. (Whilst still causing me vast amounts of shame and anguish, natch.)

My personal favourite relates to Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and their album Welcome to the Pleasuredome. The final track of this album is a little known track called Bang. Worth listening to - it sounds a bit like the theme tune to Ski Sunday. If you use your imagination, squint and move your head from side to side. When I was about 2, my dad spent many a happy hour playing this track to me. The reason he devoted such time to such an activity was because of my, quite frankly, startling reaction to hearing Bang. Legend has it that, as the opening chords fired up, I would begin rocking backwards and forwards, half laughing, half crying, clutching my manky toy horse and wailing "horsey likes to dance to this, horsey likes to dance to this" on repeat.

Riiiiiiiiiiight. (Of course, seeing their 2 year old thus traumatised, no well meaning father would invite their friends round to watch the playing of Bang to said small child. Would they?)

Anyway, thus far, I've not got round to playing Bang to Mr Jamie. Which is a shame, because I imagine him responding like that would be bloody hilarious. I did however, en route to Guildford on Friday, put on Born to Run, from the same album (no, not the Bruce Springsteen version - this is far superior), which happens to be one of my all time favourite songs (and the track my dad is having played at his funeral, which should ensure we're all dancing in the aisles if nothing else. Seriously: it's brilliant!). As is my wont, I cranked up the volume and started singing and air guitaring along (much to the distress of my fellow passengers and other road users).

Tears. Full blown, cheek splashing, heart broken tears, from my sobbing child in the back seat who responded almost instantaneously. "No Mummy. Nooooo. I not like this music. I not like it." Only the turning off of the track, cuddles from Zoe and a reassurance that I wouldn't play the 'bad music' again restored some kind of calm.

So what is the mystical link between Frankie Goes To Hollywood and my family. Hmmmmm. Mystical. Probably. Now I just need to start the therapy process with Mr Jamie before my dad pops his clogs, otherwise I envisage something of a scene at the funeral. "Noooooo Mummy. I not like this music. Bad music. Horsey like to dance to this ..."


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