Monthly Archives: July 2012

Happy Go Lucky

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Daisy is obsessed with George Formby. She ADORES his music. Something about the banjo/eukelele combo really fires her imagination. At least once a day, we are forced to listen (not unwillingly, I may add) to the squeaky and innuendo filled prose of the Wigan-born entertainer extraordinare. Here is her favourite track, ‘Happy Go Lucky’…

I can laugh
When things ain’t funny
Ha ha, happy-go-lucky me

Yeah, I can smile
When I ain’t got no money
Ha, ha, happy-go-lucky me

It may sound silly but I don’t care
I got the moonlight, I got the sun
I got the stars above

Me and my filly, we both share
Slappy-go-happy
Happy-go-lucky love

Well, life is sweet
Sweet as honey
Ha ha, happy-go-lucky me

When I look back to this summer, 2012, I will see my daughter, my baby girl, putting her own little determined stamp on the world; a toddler buzzing round our house, twirling, dancing, snacking, role-playing, singing and talking, talking, talking to the soundtrack of Happy Go Lucky. YouTube it, it really is a spectacular song.

Happy Go Lucky me!

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Double Games

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I have bought a Vibration Plate Exercise Machine from Amazon.

(Pause for sharp intakes of breath)

Suffice to say, my expectations for this machine cannot possibly be met. I expect rock hard abs in a distinctly unreasonable time frame…not that I have ever EVER had rock hard abs, you understand. I hate exercise. Even as quite a fit 16 year old (up to an hour a day walking places), I was a wheezing pastiche of a robust Lake District teenager, almost everyone fitter than me, seemingly gifted with innate knowledge of team game-rules and an ability to not throw up on cross-country runs.

As soon as I could, I would opt to play table tennis on the games rotation, which involved sitting in window seats eating verboten pick n’ mix which my partner in crime kept cave to our mutual benefit.

Paul told me that in a similar move, he told the two games masters at his school that he was in the other’s group and spent the resulting free periods smoking behind the cricket pavilion.

Inspired. Only Paul would get away with this because he is utterly trustworthy and good- but his deception, though out of character, I’m guessing was quite a conscious act of defiance.

Not the exertion itself, I don’t think, but of the wanker culture of it all- competitiveness, mud, shin guards, team spirit and pats on the back. He, like me, just doesn’t get sport…that is, of course, the act of participation- not the watching of it on telly, obviously.

As the nation is spoon-fed habit-forming daily doses of potential Olympic glory by the BBC, we too are swept along, albeit eating Bournville and criticising the participating nations team leotards. Daisy even bellowed ‘Pathetic!’ at the TV today, she’d obviously heard me berating the Japanese male gymnastics team’s performance on the pummel horse.

My reason for purchasing the aforementioned exercise equipment was because, most improbably, it promises toned up muscles and weight-loss in 10 minutes a day, and crucially these can be spent standing inert on a wobbly plate. Bonus.

Olympic spirit lives in our end terrace, July 2012. Happy and Glorious, I say. Pass the snacks, would you, P?

Twentysomething

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My sister shows me some old photographs
Of my Birthdays- 20, 21…
And now I know something
That you can’t know
Unless you’ve lived it

You don’t know you are beautiful
When you are young
You can’t understand that
The very molecules made of you
Are shining like interstellar traffic
And burn through the camera’s lens

I spent those years thinking I was
Fat, plain, even ugly…
Good teeth, perhaps, but not pretty,
I buffeted myself with snide comments and anecdotes,
Hoping that they wouldn’t see how ordinary I was

But then I remember discovering I was clever,
Thought differently, perhaps
Could do essays, drunk and still get an A
That others didn’t know what the lecturers were on about
And thought, that can be me- I’ll be that girl

So I did Women’s Studies,
And found a place for my anger
At boys I thought should have loved me
But only loved themselves
In my red mist I stepped out
In to the unknown & fell across
The man who would become my half, the kindest and best of men

Who made me drown in loving him,
Who wrote I love you across my rented living room,
Who drove me
Who picked me up
Who was on time
Who rang me just to talk
Who wanted all of the girl who thought she was plain
But wasn’t.

And so, verses about me
And beauty, and youth
Have become verses about him
And why not? I feel I did not live in MY skin before him
And ten years on our girl now
Burns the lens with beauty
And the sheer force of life.

Homecoming

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5 years from now, plus 5 moons,
A tree glitters with sparkling lights
In the front garden of our place
Hard won after years of trekking through the rough terrain
That the lost, but hopeful walk;
These hard clay blocks, laid before D-Day
Are ours, hers, in 25 years.

From my front step I can smell the sharp sea salt
Like all the women of this house before me,
They’re still in this kitchen, mocking my pastry in absentia,
Fretting over gas-burners
And turkey cooking times.

My daughter’s mittens rest on the radiator, steaming,
Her scuffed black school shoes are abandoned in the hall,
Bookbag sent flying,
And she’s staying up past 8 tonight, a treat
I’m in my kitchen, cooking, stirring in the love.

We’ve made it this far, though we thought we never would;
My house is warm, it’s spiced air ringing with the voices of my family;
Each member newly cherished
I should have a Nativity with their figures in,
It’s them I put my faith in…
After all.

The front of our house glitters with the over-done lights I scoffed at as a teen;
I swore I would never condone such vulgarity
But now I see why…
We want to light up the outside of our bricks and mortar,
Like we are lit up inside.

Guilt Free Saturday Supper

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As I am ‘Reducing’, a guilt-free salad is just the ticket.

I am saving all my ‘Syns’ (which although places food in a paradigm of good/bad behaviour, which urks me- eat the cake, know it is fattening or don’t eat the cake is how I usually put it; its a useful tool for me right now, as I am carrying baby gut luggage) for a meal out with the splendid Rosa. We both have a rare evening window and although we are going so early we could be mistaken for OAPs we will be as excited as a virgin at Glastonbury, hammering on the only-just-opening restaurant doors shouting ‘Let us in, you bunch of bastards! We’re mothers!’. Well I’ll be doing the shouting, Rosa is far to lovely to be so coarse.

I digress. Here is the requisite salad:

Guilt Free Green Lentil Salad

1 tin green lentils
1 tin chick peas
A length of cucumber (oo, pardon)
Three medallions of bacon, no fat, crisped in the microwave

Dressing
Half a big pot fat free yog
Splash of white wine vinegar
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Combine all of the above. Scoff whilst your husband and daughter eat pizza.