Sunday, 28 February 2016

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense

I could sit and watch Tommy play all day long.
If I didn't have to work, hoover the rug, hang the washing, change the beds, etc.
No it's not realistic to watch him all day and play with him all day, more's the pity. But I do try, as often as I can.
I love watching him lost in his own world. I love joining in, encouraging him and fueling his imagination.
Eyes full of wonder, voice high with excitement. I couldn't be happier, when he's happy in playtime.

The rescue squad.


Tommy's turn to cook dinner.


Building foundations.


Colouring and puzzles.


Hide and seek. He's not really got the hang of this one.


Tommy visited 100 acre wood. He was playing so nicely, until he ran them all over with his tractor.


Toy town.


Pretend shopping.


The tree house.


At his friend Jake's house.


Dinosaurs with big cous.







Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Susan and the supermarket

So there I was, hair unbrushed and messy (loosely held together with a clip) and not a scrap of makeup to be seen. I was dressed in whatever was nearest, with glasses plonked on my head, when I turned around and saw her.
Susan.
You know, Susan.
The one in the photograph from my last post. The girl who used to be my best friend during infant and junior school. The girl I haven't seen in twenty eight years.
I wished I had bothered before I stepped outside the house, as I eyed her immaculate clothes, hair and makeup.
Why, oh why, do I never bump into people I haven't seen for twenty eight years when I'm looking drop dead gorgeous?!
I hid behind Mark and Tommy.
"What are you doing?" quizzed Mark.
I gave him one of my looks, the one where I'm amazed he can't read my mind and perfectly understand the situation and behave in the appropriate manner.
I then hurried in the supermarket, head down, to avoid any embarrassing conversations.
What would I have said to her anyway? Maybe, "Hey I don't usually look this rubbish. And I'm fully aware there's a lot more of me than there used to be. Well, what have you been doing for the past twenty eight years?"
To which she might have responded, "Oh nothing much."
And that would have been the end of that conversation.
I guess I could have reminisced about the time I fell in her rose bush and was in agony for hours, whilst her mum plucked the thorns out my thighs. Or asked her if she really believed there was a pixie living in our shed (it was a knitted man I placed in a very high box and pretended he was a pixie).
Or she might have asked how I was and what I'd been up to, to which I would have limply replied, "Erm, I left school and got a job in publishing. Still work in publishing. And erm, I got married and had a kid."
Then, imagine if you will, she had smiled at these bombshells (with her perfectly painted lipstick), tossed her immaculate hair from her slim face and said, "Publishing, how interesting, I've actually had three best sellers published and with the proceeds have been able to buy a house in Los Angeles and a villa in Madrid, I split myself between the two countries. In between writing I raise money, for the charity I set up in my name, by climbing mountains and cycling through the desert. What's the charity for? Oh we raise money to save children with life threatening illnesses, whilst also providing medical research to find a cure for Cancer. What am I doing back here? Oh I'm visiting my parents, can't believe they still live here. Don't tell me you still live here?!"
"Of course not! We live at least twenty minutes drive away. We're only here for the cheap supermarket."
Yes, I thought, as I stuffed chicken kievs, bargain wine, and cleaning products on discount, into my trolley, I'm glad I pretended I hadn't seen Susan.
Although next time I visit the supermarket, I might make more of an effort with my appearance. You know, just in case I should bump into anyone else I haven't seen for twenty eight years.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Fat chips and pink buns

"I must have bunked off that day," said I.
I was joking.
One look at Mrs Goldsmith, her with the gold hair who was rather an expert piano player, confirmed I would have been approximately eight years old.
At eight years of age there would have been no reason whatsoever to bunk school. It was a time where I sang loudly and unselfconsciously in assembly. I didn't have spots or a bad perm and boys were just people who wore trousers to school.
I even enjoyed lessons. Especially our book reviews and making things. School dinners were very exciting when we had fat chips and pink iced buns, which was quite a lot of the time to be honest.
I gazed fondly at all the familiar faces in the photograph and was pleased with myself for repeating all their names. For seven years we were all classmates, seven different teachers and seven different classrooms but the same bunch of kids.
There was Susan, my best friend throughout infants and juniors. I wondered why I'd chosen her to be my best friend, and felt quite lucky that we'd grown up together and had a lot of fun together.
I've absolutely no idea what she's doing now. We lost touch when we were separated at senior school.
There was Claire, who I used to swap shoes with, and who became my best friend at senior school, until she decided she wanted to be Yvette's best friend and I wasn't best pleased about that.
I heard through the grapevine that Claire later married a local MP, who alas was sent to prison for setting fire to hotel curtains.
There was Nina, with the really long hair, who lived in a big house with chandeliers and a grand piano. I was ever so impressed when she invited me for dinner at her house and I discovered these facts.
Oh so many names and faces and happy memories of birthday parties and playtime. Life was simple then.
With regret, there is usually always a kid who didn't make it. Sadly on this occasion it was Joanne. She was standing at the back of the photograph, being one of the tallest, with her pretty face and short dark hair. She was killed in a car crash just after we left senior school. We went to the same senior school and she wrote 'see you there' in my junior schools last day of term book. Funny the things you never forget.
Life got more complicated after we left junior school, so I can't say I'm as fond of focusing on my next school. This brought algebra and netball. Competitiveness, awkwardness and homework. Then exams.
No, senior school was not nearly as pleasant. I was aware of bullying and not wanting to be unpopular, with girls and boys. It was hard work sometimes.
For not the first time I stared at the photograph and wished I'd been at school that day, so I could now laugh at my fringe or how small I looked.
It was Bradley Glen who had posted the photograph on Facebook and tagged a mutual friend. He's now an actor and calls himself Brad. Yes I looked at his Facebook wall and was interested to see what he'd made of his life.
I noticed he was Facebook friends with Nina, she still had really long hair and carried the look of someone who'd grown up in a glamorous house. There were various other old faces and I silently thanked Facebook for allowing me to peek at their lives.
One lad from the photograph had commented that it would be funny to arrange a reunion. The class of 1983, or whatever the year must have been. I knew it must have been September, the start of a new term, the day everyone posed for the class picture. I expect I was on a family holiday. Yes I decided I must have been. My mum hates the heat so we always holidayed in the cooler month of September, during a period when it was perfectly acceptable to vacate during term time.
I would have been enjoying myself with my mum and dad and my dear brother. A good old fashioned family holiday. With all four members of the team.
I suddenly realised I was glad I wasn't in the photograph.
I smiled as I imagined the lovely day I must have been experiencing somewhere else.

Friday, 5 February 2016

In memory of Great Uncle Ivor

Oh January, you never fail to disappoint me.
I'm sorry if I sound unkind, and I've always sympathised that it's a tough job following the month of Christmas, but still, couldn't you give us a break? Just for one year?
You've brought severe flooding, bitter coldness, illness, and death.
Their families and the world have mourned David Bowie, Terry Wogan, and on a more personal note, Great Uncle Ivor.
Dear Great Uncle Ivor, with his sunny nature and smiling face. January 2016 was his time to leave us. We all wanted him to stay for longer. My mum will certainly miss his weekly phone calls and friendly voice.
January, I've tried not to take all this personally, but hearing my mum in tears and seeing my little boy ill are not something easily forgiven.
It's been a month full of germs and sleepless nights. Sweaty bodies and worried faces. Calpol and nutrition drinks. Tommy was doing so well at nursery, alas due to a long absence, I feel I will have to settle him in all over again.
And don't even get me started on the weight I've gained and the pounds I've spent! Of course you could blame December for this. The month of Christmas is divine. Yet does it have to be so expensive and fattening?!
All this has resulted in a blue January, I'm afraid to say. Until hubby and I decided we needed something to focus on, something to look forward to. We booked our summer holiday!
That's right, we're off to Cornwall again in the glorious month of July. With father-in-law, brother and sister-in-law and nephew. It's a delightful holiday home near the seaside.
Which nudged my memory - because I couldn't find my camera cable for simply ages, I have not posted last year's scenes yet.
So here they are.


Hello again Cornwall.


We spent a lot of time on the beach.













Tommy drove an ice-cream van.


And a spaceship.


And we went to the zoo. "Stay there, Mr Dragon."


Waiting for the monkeys.


We also sat on nanny's bench. See you next year, or should I say July. Yippee.