Sunday, 15 July 2012

We’re All Going on a Summer Holiday...


As any Brit will tell you, our summer has been a total wash-out.  Oh we’ve had a few nice days here and there, don’t get me wrong, but they’ve never fallen in the time frame that is desirable.  Earlier this year, when my son was swotting like mad for his end of year final exams, it irked him to be cooped up with his laptop and masses of notes while outside the sun blazed away, its heat pressing up against the grime encrusted windows of his dowdy digs. Likewise my daughter was unimpressed to be shut up in a boiling classroom trying to get her head around some early GCSE exams when all she and her mates wanted to do was roll down socks, hitch up hemlines and toast pale limbs to the colour of honey.

Now that exams are out the way and the long summer vacation stretches ahead, it is just the Law of Sod that the sun has packed its bags and naffed off to warmer climes.  Trying to do anything – mow the lawn, wash the car, walk the dog, go for a run – is fraught with dodging cloud bursts and thundery rumbles.  Roads can become mini lakes in a matter of moments.

So in search of some sunshine, the suitcases are out and flights have been booked to Cyprus.  I’ve heard temperatures are currently nudging 40 degrees.  Good.  Because earlier this week I actually put the heating on for a few hours.  I’m looking forward to doing squat diddly other than reading, swimming, sunbathing and going for relaxing walks along a beautiful beach.  It will also be a pleasure to wear pretty summer dresses that have, in the main, remained unworn this year. 

So before I go off to do some packing, will leave you with this:  What did the pig say whilst sitting on a boiling hot beach? 

I’m bacon...

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Happy Birthday to you. Again. And Again.


Her Majesty the Queen was actually born on 21 April 1926, but it has long been customary to celebrate the sovereign’s birthday publicly on a day during the summer, when better weather is more likely.  Her Majesty’s official birthday is marked by Trooping the Colour.

As this summer has been pretty much a total wash-out, it would seem my daughter has taken a leaf from the Queen’s birthday book.  When my daughter turned fifteen on 6th July, the weather was incredibly wet.  Nonetheless we celebrated, taking our brollies with us as we headed out to a local restaurant.

Eleanor extended her celebrations with friends the following day.  Unfortunately the weather was still atrocious.  Celebrations are now into their third day with a scheduled girlie shopping trip taking place, as I write, at Bluewater Shopping Park.  And as Eleanor’s bestie is not available to celebrate until next week, a fourth and final birthday celebration remains outstanding.

This extended bout of celebration has cost me dear.  And as my Bank Manager will testify, I do not have the Queen’s purse.  And conveying ten girls from their restaurant outing last night back to our house afterwards was tricky to say the least.  ‘The trouble is,’ I said to Eleanor, ‘I don’t have the Queen’s carriage.  I have a Nissan Note.  How are ten girls going to fit in my car?’  Eleanor looked thoughtful.  ‘Can’t we at least try?’ she finally asked.  Yes, she was being serious.

We resolved the conveyance problem by dragging Mr V away from his viewing of tennis/football/golf/motor racing.  He was given orders to transport half the girls in his car.  That said, it was still a squash.  Despite him having the bigger car, it was the girls with the smallest bottoms who made a beeline for his motor.  I found myself transporting the girls with legs longer than lamp posts in my small run-around.  One girl, 6’5” in her heels and towering afro, had to fold herself up like a deckchair to even get into the car.  She ended up lying in the foetal position across everybody’s laps in the back.  There was a moment of anxiety when her hair got shut in the door.  The door re-opened and the hair was scooped inside.  Driving along, I checked my rear view mirror and was alarmed to find one of the passengers sporting a beard.  Closer inspection revealed a face framed by her friend’s afro hair.

Meanwhile, my daughter is now counting the days to her sixteenth.  When you get to my age you tend to forget about your birthday – it is no longer a big deal.  As one person said:

Forget about the past, you can't change it.
Forget about the future, you can't predict it.
And forget about the present, because I didn't get you one!