‘I couldn’t stay away’



I confess.

It has been two days since my last blog in the April Showers section of my life and I couldn’t stay away any longer.

Here we are in the merry old month of May when lovers sing, hey ring a ding a ding,and Gap Boy (dressed as an American football player) went off to a party last night so we had peas and carrots all night long :-).

On the downside – the artex dust has made me wheezy  – so I have inhalers – and caused a rash – so I’m on itchy cream and antihistamine, I’m on antibiotics again and – oh well, that’s it really – except to say that my GP is an extremely nice man and a very good doctor.

So – mustn’t grumble  – because the sun is up and shining very beautifully over the rooftops, Hub is catching up on much-needed sleep, Scoob hasn’t realised I’m awake yet and the kitchen I have longed for and dreamed about for years is slowly taking shape,

No sign of a text from GB asking to be picked up from the party/police station/friend’s house, so I assuming – perhaps foolishly – that all is well there.

Uni Boy will undoubtedly perform his duty call this weekend; he knows that I worry far too much and that the only way to shut me up is to make a call once a week to catch up on life here in the slow lane.  He is very busy at Uni on his final year exams, but is also aware of the fact that his bedroom is full of the Chilly Twins and a number of large cardboard boxes.

We all love the Chilly Twins.  They sit there very quietly in their Manhattan Silver glory, still pristine despite the layers of brick and plaster dust that cover everything else in the house.

GB very kindly filled up the water dispenser for me – forgetting to check that it was totally empty first  – so we have a very soggy instruction manual for the water filter.

“What a stupid place to leave the instructions!”

I sniggered quietly at my roaring boy.

The facility to get chilled water instantly pleases me extremely and I look forward to the day when the Chilly Twins are in their permanent home and I can pour myself a quick glass of icy water whilst doing the domestic goddess bit in the new kitchen.  I particularly like the fact that a little blue light comes on when you press your glass against the thing that makes the water come out. I’m easily pleased.

It is good to delight in simple things.

Continuing with the kitchen theme  – and if you are bored by my obsession kindly take the easy way out and stop reading now.

The inspector came and pronounced the RSJs very satisfactory (rolled steel joists – wit woo), the acro props (oh how au fait am I with builder-speak! Not really – Bezzie Mate told me what they were called – he knows such stuff) have been removed and are lying outside on the grass.

All the rubble and kitchen detritus has also been removed.  A very sweet elderly man in  a flatbed came and took it.  I was a bit concerned that he was doing all the heavy lifting whilst the two young chaps on the flatbed were pointing out what he should pick up and pass to them next.  Younger generation eh! Mock Tsk.

The electrickery is almost finished now – which is just as well because yesterday saw the arrival of the Plasterer!

He brought with him the sweet boy who has no front teeth but a beautiful face (until he smiles – at which point my maternal heart goes out to him and wants to whip him up the road to the friendly dentist who has done such a great job of keeping the teeth of this family on the straight and narrow).

They are very self-sufficient.  Not only do they have their own ghetto blaster, they also bring their own kettle and tea-making facilities – I was allowed to make the first one but after that the boy took over domestic duties.

I have a new box of biscuits for them today.

I thought the plastering would be quieter than the demolition and the channelling but the banging of the lump hammer has been replaced by the frequent sound of the metal stepladder being dragged across the floor.

These are small things in comparison with the revelation that the Plasterer and his boy sing like angels – well angels singing along to Radio One and covered in plaster dust. If I thought that the builders were tuneful, then they are knocked well and truly into a cocked hat  by the glorious abandoned trilling with which my plastering is accompanied.

I am delighting in their happy noise and anyway – I’ve found the button that switches on the subtitles for the TV now.

When the chaps leave for the day Hub and I have been wandering about in the echoey vastness that has replaced the Krappy Kitchen.  We both have daft looks on our faces as we remember parties in the past and look forward to finding out just how many lovely friends we can get in here for the kitchen-warming.

Enough of all this.

I must find the itchy cream, get dressed, sort out the Scoobs, enjoy the sunshine and the flowers in the garden whilst he wees, open up the kitchen, boil the kettle, make my breakfast, wake Hub (much later) and smile like a loon as the singing starts.

I also need to acknowledge that without the careful planning and shrewd investments of our much-missed Ronnie, none of this would be possible.  So Lovely Mum and Ronnie, if you are up there watching the chaos, listening to the singing and laughing at my cack-handed attempts at making tea  (bleurgh), thank you for making sure that we are all so well looked after.

I wish you – and all the other beloveds up there in the clouds – could be here in person to join in the kitchen party but it is never very hard to conjure up your smiling faces – we will raise more than a glass or two to you in gratitude and know that you will always be with us.

In the words of a friend – Happy Days xxx




‘Mouldy Thursday and other misconceptions’

runcorn bridge


Personally, I think Mouldy Thursday sounds better anyway.  If you observe Lent and have been depriving yourself for weeks you’ll be feeling pretty mouldy by now.  I gave up eating brussel sprouts, cauliflower and drinking tea for Lent.

I have been remarkably successful.

As a child, for me Mouldy Thursday conjured up visions of elderly people looking disconsolately at small, smelly leather bags of gone-off chocolate coins bestowed by the Queen – or rather by one of her accompanying ladies in waiting – she wouldn’t want to get her immaculate gloves dirty after all.

When I found out the real name and the meaning of Maundy Thursday, I felt better knowing that the Queen was actually rewarding a bunch of nice elderly persons who had been doing good for the community, and that it was real money and the bags weren’t mouldy at all.


I don’t think I was particularly deaf as a child so I can’t blame my hearing for my misconceptions, but I was certainly very short-sighted.  This may well explain my misreading of the word ‘Metropolis‘ in Batman comics.  I fantasised about the city of Metropols and was sorely disappointed to find that it wasn’t a special place after all but merely a name for any large city or urban area.

My Father swore blind that ‘Pepys Avenue‘ was pronounced  Peepiss – much to amusement/embarrassment of the rest of the family.  Was he serious?  I’ll never know.

My Hub tells me that he was very disappointed about the pronunciation of ‘Antipodes‘  or Auntypoads in his mind.

Uni Boy  followed on in the family tradition when he was much younger (he asked me to emphasise the MUCH).  He was fascinated by cars and at the age of six, Parker’s Car Guide was his constant companion.  He couldn’t get his tongue are ‘Cinquecento‘; it became Twinkletwinklechento in his terminology.

It’s still in mine even if they don’t make them any more.

UB was also very keen on cooking things in the Michaelwave.

Gap Boy was less inventive.  When asked what he was doing, his usual reply was ‘stuff’‘, which covered a multitude of his inevitable sins.  He was responsible though for the christening of the Nuncle Bridge  (Runcorn) whenever we drove off into North Wales.

I loved it when my Lovely Mum and her sister R sang about

Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wooden shoe?

and the explanation;

If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey,
Sing “Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy.”

There was something very special about it that makes me smile even now – or perhaps it is the memory of them singing the song and laughing.

The natural progression from my family’s misconceptions is the mondegreen or misheard lyric.  The most famous being Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Kiss the sky‘ being heard as ‘Kiss this guy‘  – the name of one of the most popular misheard lyrics sites:  http://www.kissthisguy.com/ Some of the mondegreens are a bit contrived but others made us giggle.

The favourite for Hub and me – and the one that we were singing our hearts out to in the car as we drove South – is Sue Lawley by the Police (So Lonely).  We are also rather partial to Red Olive (Radar Love) and Mice Aroma (My Sharona).

Strangely enough, there are no misheard lyrics connected to Rubber Bullets by 10cc – which is absolutely the best ever to sing along to VERY VERY LOUD in the car – but only when there are no children present because they will only tut and look disapproving..

Happy Mouldy Thursday anyway and may all your eggs be chocolate.