Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Naked Pedalo Incident

Ok so about 100 years ago I promised I would be back tomorrow with The Naked Pedalo Incident but then, basically, a lot of things happened and it turned out I lied.

My grandad died, my mum upped her Batshit Crazy Level from 'moderate' to 'legendary' and I had to write the world's most boring piece of academic work ever.  What with raising young minds, working, keeping the laundry mountain below fatal landslip level and falling over in pools of cider whilst trying to perfect slut-drops,  I just kind of never got round to it.

So anyway going back to the pedalo.  Way back when I decided to flex my credit card and take the kids to Ibiza.  As you do when you have 2 children - one whom needs a calm, structured routine every day and 1 whom generates more volume than your average Death Metal band (we know this as we ran an experiment in the car).  

Whilst on this holiday, eldest child became absolutely obsessed with taking the pedalos out.  It allowed for complete control of a vehicle in a potentially very hazardous environment.  I sunbathed on the back while he beat his younger brother for taking us too close to a shipping lane and muttered about currents and sandbanks and million pound yachts.

The good thing about the pedalo is that it takes you far away from other people and you can a) stop worrying some body is going to call the Spanish equivalent of social services and b) get naked.

Let me explain.  The paradox of life is that when you are a teenager with a banging body and no stretch marks you will probably hate everything about it, spend hours of existential angst pinching your thighs, living on a diet of Diamond White and crisps and write to This Morning asking them to do a make over on you so you can reach your full body potential (I actually did this, handwritten from the same pad of paper I wrote poetry about my dead pet chickens.  I think it was Rosemary Connelly I asked to change me life.  She never replied.  Probably for the best).   THEN - when  you are a 30 something mother of children with loads of stretch marks and thighs about twice their teenage width you won't give a flying fig and will take the attitude 'if i make it to 80 I will regret not sunbathing naked'.   Plus don't forget - I lived through Beaver Creek.  After that you're not going to worry about people seeing your tits.


So anyway on the back of the pedalo I started off sunbathing topless (eldest son only agreed to this on the grounds we went nowhere near any other living human beings EVER) and then decided that whilst he lectured his brother on the nuances of wave formation and how he was basically an idiot and continually proved his idiotness, that I would go for a naked swim.

Ah the freedom.  The lack of inhibitions.  The sea surrounding you.  The feeling of peace and joy and happiness and salt water.  The pedalo heading rapidly towards some rocks……

Oh oh dear.

And thus distracted by his 'idiot brother' the pedalo got washed up on a rocky outcrop at the base of some cliffs.  

Now you can pedal as hard as you like but if your rotors aren't in the water you aren't going to go anywhere (you could probably make that into one of those inspirational quotes and get it on your wall in swirly script - I will take full credit).  I swam over and tried to haul it back into the sea but i physically couldn't.   Eldest son was by this point hysterical with rage at the incompetence of both his 'idiot' co-pilot and also at me as apparently I'd said it was safe to go near the rocks and he knew it wasn't (he has a point here - I had told him to just get over it and stop worrying and now look where we were…… all washed up with nowhere to go.  And some of us with no clothes on).  

So I was only left with one choice.  To haul my naked form out of the sea and up on to the rocks and push the pedalo back in.   I couldn't touch the bottom and the rocks were steep and I had to  do this completely replying on my upper body strength.  Which, it appears, is frankly shit.

After some considerable amount of time grunt, straining, swearing and thrashing I finally came ashore.

You know the bit in the Bond Movie Dr No where Ursuala Andress rises from the sea in her white bikini and comes gracefully ashore?

Well it wasn't like that.

It was like the point in Blue Planet where the gigantic male walrus hauls himself onto the ice flow and making a guttural rutting/fighting noise flops towards to his mate.

And it was at this point - OF COURSE IT WAS AT THIS POINT - that several Spanish fishermen appeared at the top of the rocky outcrop clutching snorkelling gear and long stick things (probably spears who knows).

If eldest son was ashamed of his idiot brother/out of control naked mother before, well now he was spiritually broken.

The surge of adrenalin the fishermen (and their potential spears) gave me allowed me to refloat the pedalo in one hefty move and leap back into the sea (I couldn't get back on to the pedalo as my upper body strength wouldn't allow for this - I had to ask the children to pass down my swimwear and swim the whole way back to the pedalo man).  

I took comfort from the fact that I didn't live there, nobody knew me and nobody was holding a camera phone (nobody needs their naked pedalo exploits go viral - least of all me) and left the incident to die away as folklore (the tale of the gigantic swearing mermaid with bad strap marks).  

That was until the kids went back to school and eldest's communication book came back home with the words 'glad to hear you had a good holiday, I've heard all about the naked pedalo incident and the fisherman! Sounds fun!'.

Shoot.  Me.  Now.

Monday, 15 September 2014

It's been a long time coming…..

….but a blog post is gonna' come….

I thought I hadn't blogged for over a year but, lo, it turns out it's more like 11 months so I feel positively virtuous now.

How are things with me?  Well much like they were 11 months ago - only kind of on steroids.  Or psychotropic drugs.  Or both.

The giant dog is even bigger and ate my mother's Chesterfield sofa.  We threw a blanket over the gaping wound and kind of pretend it never happened.

The cats now number 3 but this number is subject to rapid change at any one point pending road accidents, kidney disorders or children finding kittens they simply MUST adopt.

The guinea pigs now number zero (sad times) following a massive accidental population explosion followed by a mass escape (they would regularly pop up on local news feeds on my Facebook page under titles like 'FOUND in the taxi rank' or 'this guinea pig was in our recycling bin this morning - anyone know it?' and I'd have to go and reclaim them but often people adopted them so that was kind of a novel way to rehome them) followed by my penning in all the remaining critters only for a stoat to get in one night….. The rest as they say is history.  As are the guinea pigs.   First time I've been without any in living memory and every time I take the leaves off a cauliflower and have nowhere useful to put them I get a little pang.

Eldest child knows even more about trains than he did last time I blogged and had a lovely holiday sat by the pool in his socks reading 'Railways Illustrated' before befriending a large cat which sadly resided in a bar called 'Striptease Discotech!' which ever more sadly was next to 'Beverly Hills Swingers Club!'.  This led to some interesting conversations about appropriate places to hang out with cats.  Or not.

Younger child is still so loud he breaks windows (well actually he broke a window at a Stately Home with a stone rather than his voice but we won't dwell on that mainly due to my highly mature response of 'holy fuck, RUN!!!  EVERYBODY RUN TO THE WOODS…..').   He's draped his socks over my tele in the hope of luring out Santa early and has taken to role playing a 'bee on fire that is crashing to earth and dying'.   Restful it is not.

My mum is an ongoing crisis - I'll will demonstrate this in a moment when I tell you the tale of the Stella and Mr Woody.

I'm single - by choice.  I could tell you many an entertaining story involving plants of love, golliwog gifts (I kid yeee not) and anal love beads (unopened but non-returnable) but that would be cruel so lets just leave it that I don't have time to be involved with anyone in a manner that involves any kind of energy.

My life is one going blur of 12.5 hour shifts, commuting, children, pets, logistical childcare nightmares and laughing so I don't cry.

And with that let me get back to my mother.

So on my birthday we went on a coach trip to the Sea Life Centre through a local charity.  It wasn't my actual birthday dream to return to the scene of Beaver Creek (see previous blog post) or in fact stare once again at various fish (although I do rather like the Garden Eels) but it was on, it filled a hole in the summer holidays and it happened to be on my birthday.

Things didn't get off to the best of starts.  Mother turned up late and we almost missed the coach.  She was shaking hard and appeared in the grip of terror.  God knows why - if anyone should have been shaking it was me as my  youngest child was in a hyperactive frenzy, had put a straw bag over his head and for reasons known only to him was shouting about Afghanistan.  Eldest child had a face like thunder and was repeatedly informing me that he hated sea creatures, it was windy (which he hates), there would be queues (intolerable), there would be no trains or in fact heavy industry of any type and the coach wasn't even going on the motorway so this was basically THE WORST DAY OF HIS LIFE.

Happy Bloody Birthday.

About half way there I asked mother if she had actually bought me a birthday present?  Oh she said appearing startled 'Happy Birthday darling!' and with that she whipped out a can of Strongbow from the bottom of her picnic hamper.

A can of Strongbow.
On coach trip for children with special needs.
At 10.30am.
As a birthday present.

Much as I was tempted to down it there and then I decided the day was probably going to get worse before it got better and I'd save it as long as I could.  Like a kind of watered down cyanide pill.

By lunchtime eldest child was kind of banging his head repeatedly against hard objects in abject distress over the endless parade of aquatic lifeforms so I decided we should all sit down in the Toddler Splashpool area and have lunch.

With this Mother, to my complete dismay, cracked open a can of Stella and without warning or explanation bellowed across the frisking semi-naked toddlers 'why HELLO MY WOODY!'.

The children, startled, looked to me for reassurance that I just could not give.

I'm sure my dad spun in his grave.

'Mother!' I demanded 'what ARE you doing!'.

'Talking to that Wood Pigeon darling! Look he's just over there with his fine lady wife!'.

And with that she shouted 'MY TOE HURTS BETTY!'.

People who had been nervously glancing after the Woody explosion were openly staring now.  Really staring.  Eldest child was just about self combusting with shame.

'MOTHER!!!' I demanded 'WHAT IS THIS!?'.

'It's the cry of the Wood Pigeon darling! MY TOE HURTS BETTY MY TOE HURTS BETTY MY TOE HURTS BETTY!'. (I've since googled this and it's recognised bird thing but still, that doesn't make it any better, or appropriate).

'Grandma!' exclaimed my eldest 'never in my life have I heard a bird say that!'.

'MY TOE HURTS BETTY!' Mother continued to yell 'waving her can of Stella aloft in rare moment of seemingly unbridled joy.

And with that I decided it was time to crack open my birthday can.

If you can't beat them then at least meet them half way.

Argh it's good to be back and debrief this shit.

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about the Naked Pedalo Incident.