Monday, 18 April 2011

Rude Talk

I think our neighbours might be a little unsettled by some of our loud Garden Talk recently. I yelled across the garden to Middle Son just yesterday, as he was helping Husband to tie up some raspberry canes,
'I think that they are finally DOING IT!!'
And Middle Son yelled back, 'Who? Who?'
And I yelled back, 'Hang on, can't quite see... aha, it's ROSIE!'
And Middle Son yelled back, 'Hooray, dear old Rosie!'
And all was silence again, except for the recently arrived swallows, chattering and arguing about who should build the nest. Or something.
And a few minutes later, Middle Son yelled back to me, where I was weeding a particularly obstinate bit of rose garden,
'He's at it again! Only this time it's Tilly!'
'Hooray,' I yelled back, 'Did he last any longer this time?'
'Um. ' (yelled, quite hard to do really) 'About 5 seconds.'
'Oh. (also yelled, also quite hard). Good for him.'
And again, another five minutes later, 'He's at it with Honey now!'
'Hooray! Such a good cock!'
You see, we haven't had neighbours for ages. By neighbours I mean the house down the lane, about 500 yards away. Only their garden stretches up to the corner of the lane, on the other side of the road from us. And their children have a trampoline, as I can hear the boing, boing noises of children hurling themselves up and down when I put out the washing. Slightly disconcerting to hear neighbours when you never did before. And significantly disconcerting to know that THEY can hear EVERYTHING as I can hear Every Breath of theirs. Every single WORD is as clear as a bell, as they jump up and down on that trampoline of theirs.
Oh, dear. They will think we are Hardcore Deviants.
YOU think we are Hardcore Deviants?
No, no! I am talking about our new cockerel. Timmy. Red plumage, thick as shit, but goes like a train.

Which is just what we want as CHICKS are longed for. And we all know that No Shag means No Chick.
And so we will continue to call out to each other our observations of Timmy the Cock, because each Act is a possible Chick, and that is MOST Satisfactory.
Although, clearly, not to the neighbours.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Messing About In Balloons

Great excitment with balloons the other day.
No, not the Banging sort of balloons. I mean the huge ones that soar over the land during the early evening. Attached to large basket. With people in it.
Carried along on the gentle breeze. Soundless, except for the hugely breathy sound of the balloon filling with hot air.
Saw one recently. We were staying in Essex with my parents. On the farm. We had killed yet more time between lunch and tea by doing things like jumping up and down on a huge pile of sand. Tea time was approaching when...
Saw a Balloon! On the horizon. Very low. Our conversation going rather like...
Ooooh, there it is!
Oh, no, it's not!
Ooooh, yes, it is!
Oh, it's disappeared behind the hedge!
Ooooh, it's come back up from behind the hedge!
Sort of thing.
Well, imagine our excitement when the balloon drifted slowly downwards behind the trees... within what seemed like yards.
Quick! we all yelled at each other. Run!
Children leaped on their bikes and tore off down the track. Parents heaved themselves into Landrover and moved off at less hectic speed.
And me? I ran. After the children, down the track.
Reached the field where we thought the balloon might be. Panting somewhat.
Wasn't. Near.
Was far away across several fields. But definitely on our land.
We all watched.
Balloon was definitely Going Down. Would dip down, lurch up, dip again.
And then, all of a sudden, down it Really Went. The big roundness of the balloon deflated slowly and slid onto its side, looking like a curious sort of whale, floundering around on the field.
Huge excitement. We all shouted at Pa, my father, to drive us NOW to see the landing... what was left of it.
Pa drove us, very slowly, across the fields.
Can't go too fast, he explained. Might get a puncture.
Faster! Faster! we yelled. Desperate to get there and See The Balloon.
After an agonisingly slow journey with an awful lot of, PLEASE GO FASTER, PA! finally arrived at the Scene.
Curious, balloons are. Huge and elegant in the sky, where they belong.
Beached whales on the land. Where they don't.
We sat on the gate of the field and watched all the palaver of undoing ropes and unhitching other bits. Not to mention the several square miles of silk.
When all of a sudden arrived a filthy dirty landrover which hurtled its way along the road. I could have sworn the vehicle itself was furious. The driver was. Goodness me. Out he shot. Yelled obsenities at the man in the balloon.
Things like,
@What the f**??ng hell do you f*??!ing think you're f**??*ng doing with my f*!!?ing animals with that f***ing thing floating in the f*??!ng sky. Kind of words.
And with one more look of loathing he threw himself back in his landrover and drove off.
Stunned, we were. Hoped that Youngest hadn't heard. Judging by stunned look on his face, he had. Would look forward to him repeating that word to me at some later, highly inappropriate moment.
Man in balloon then called over to us,
'Are any of you the farmer of this field?'
Pa, my dad, strolled over to upsidedown balloon and Balloon Man.
Explained that he was actually the father of the farmer, and tut tutted about the state of the field. After the landing.
Balloon Man offered Pa a bottle of whisky.
Pa said, in nice clear tones, that actually he was owed £50 by any balloon that landed on the farm.
Poor old Balloon Man. He didn't stand a chance what with Furious Men in Landrovers (We found out later that he had had his animals severely frightened by Balloon overhead) and Pa, who was insisting, with great courtesy that he paid what he owed.
Balloon Man was a Brick. As they say in Enid Blyton books. Baffingly.
Said he would pay up. Apologised for state of field. Took details of my brother, whose farm it is, and let the children clamber all over the basket of balloon. They had loved the whole drama, getting closer and closer to balloon and basket, trying to listen in on the excitement.
Balloon Man answered all sorts of questions about Balloons.
What happens if you crash?
How do you jump out?
Where do you go to the loo?
Is there food?
Sort of thing.
The basket was Most Strange up close and personal. Sort of hessian looking with neat compartments for everyone to stand up in, so that no one falls on top of anyone else. The children looked rather like knives and forks in an upright knife and fork basket, neatly arranged and in the right place. Rather thought it would be nice to have basket at home in the house to neatly arrange children when desperate for peace and quiet.
As sun sank below the horizon we settled ourselves back into the Landrover and drove home, back across the fields, for tea, chatting madly about rude men in landrovers and balloon baskets. Killed the time nicely before tea.
And so, next time the children see a Balloon, hovering above the sky line, they will be able to say knowingly to each other,
Been in a balloon.
Which won't half impress their friends.
Will save a penny or two as well. They often comment about how much they'd like to go in a balloon. Well, they have now.
Ticked that box.

Monday, 4 April 2011

My Mother

My Mother
Well, the best mother in the world, of course.
Well, because she listens.
And when listening to someone's tale she will say,
'Stop! Wait! Start at the beginning! You parked the car...'
And will then Really Listen. Right to the very end. And beyond.
And you know she's listening because she likes to know all the details. And asks for them.
Which is pure gold.
She cares.
When I am sick, she rings.
'Darling, how ARE you?' she will ask.
And keep asking, until she knows I am OK again.
She goes to see darling
Persil, aged 92, who used to baby sit for me when I was little, every single day to check she is fine. Rain or shine.
Takes her out for elevenses, or a little trip to the village shop, recently re-opened, to enormous excitement to our family. We all arrived the morning it opened, swelling the crowds (one other person) and bewildering the shop assistant with exclamations of joy, 'They've got TEA BAGS!' and 'HOORAY! I can see BAKED BEANS!'
Thrilling, though, when the nearest shop is miles away and is Tesco. Yeeurch.
My Mother loves.
And tells us so whenever we need to be told. And when we don't.
She laughs.
Fruity, deep laughs or 'I'm going to be sick, I am laughing so hard' or 'Oh, God, I'll wet my pants' laugh. She has a way of telling a story that gets you giggling way before the punchline. By the time it's reached, you are in agony and are begging her to stop.
She weeps.
Copiously. She gets cross with herself for the tears that get in the way of what she wants to say. And wipes them away. Before weeping again.
She understands.
Always. Knows what's going on in that head of mine. And helps me tease out the muddle. So that I can see straight again.

My Mother.
How I love her.