Friday, 24 April 2015

The One With Paddington Bear

The boy is obsessed with Paddington. We went to the cinema to see the film and then on holiday recently he spent his pocket money on a toy Paddington bear. He’s even developed a taste for marmalade sandwiches.

As a kid I adored Paddington too. I loved the books and the cartoon series on TV. When I bought my first car, a clapped out old Mini, I called it Paddy because it was the same blue as Paddington’s duffle coat.

So as an Easter present we got the boy the Paddington movie on DVD. We had all enjoyed the film, and we figured that with the boy’s hyperactivity issues it would be a less dangerous gift than loads of chocolate Easter eggs.

Little did we know…

Last Sunday afternoon I was in the tip that doubles as my office, when the boy kept running in with mischief written all over his face and declaring,

“I’m not doing something.’

This. without fail, always means he is doing something and that ‘something’ is always something he shouldn’t be doing.

I went to look in the lounge but I couldn’t see any thing untoward going on. The boy kept laughing, looking sheepish and running in at regular intervals to reassure me that he wasn’t doing anything.

I went to have another look but he stopped me,

“Go back to the computer,’ he giggled

I was getting nervous now.

It’s at this point in the story I think I should tell you that hubby was up a ladder clearing out the guttering at the side of the house, so when I heard running water I assumed that it was coming from him.

But it wasn’t.

The sound was too close.

The boy was still holding me back and laughing.

I pushed past him, through the kitchen, to the downstairs loo. There I found a small, red, crab finger puppet, wrapped in a baby wipe and jammed into the plug hole to stop the water from both taps, which were on full, from escaping.

I had reached it just in time to stop the water from overflowing the small cloakroom sink, which was currently full to the brim.

Needless to say we had words and the seriousness of what nearly happened was explained him. I think it went in, but you can never be sure with the boy.

Then I asked him why he’d done it?

He looked up at me, with his big, brown, soulful eyes and said in all innocence,

‘I wanted to be like Paddington and flood the house.’

If you’ve not seen the film you’d better watch the trailer and then you’ll see what he means.

Next Easter I’m buying him chocolate. It might cause mood swings, but at least it’s cheaper than replacing everything in the house.

I could swing for that bloody bear.

Friday, 17 April 2015

The One With Middle Age and Michael Ball

Apparently 60 is the new 40 and because we are living longer, healthier lives we all have to redefine our ideas on what middle age is.

If you take that piece of wisdom from this weeks newspapers as gospel, then we'll all be living until we're 120. I don't know about you, but I don't want to still be here when I'm 120. I'd have had enough long before that. 

Last Friday I turned 45. I consider this proper middle age. I have no idea why. I haven't had anyone tell me I'm going to live until I'm 90. I just have 45 in my head as a pivotal number.

It could be that my 40th birthday passed by in a whirl of nappies and night feeds, as the boy was only 6 weeks old when I reached that particular milestone. So somehow 45 felt special and defining all in one.

The night before my 45th birthday I did the most middle aged thing I've ever done.

I went with my Mum to a Michael Ball concert - and I enjoyed it!

There's no reason I shouldn't I suppose. I like a bit of 'The Ball' and musical theatre. I wasn't just there to keep Mum (who is a massive Michael Ball fan and has seen him in concert on several occasions) company. I asked to go. I asked my Dad if he'd buy my ticket as a birthday present.

I feel like I'm at an AA meeting.

My name is Random Woman, I'm 45 and I like Michael Ball. 

There I've said it.

We had a cracking time me and me Mum. We sung and clapped along, swooned a bit and even had a cheeky glass of wine at half time. 

It did occur to me, while I was bopping along to 'One Step Out Of Time' (Michael's 1992, 2nd place Eurovision Entry), that in my younger days this was the venue where I'd seen 'The Damned', 'Everything But the Girl' and 'Suede'.  Mind you it's also where I'd seen 'Bucks Fizz' (twice), 'Five Star' and 'The Mavericks' so I wasn't all 'that' cool. Quite an eclectic mix you might say. 

No one can fault Michael's voice. His vocal strength and tone is beyond question, whatever your musical taste. That boy can sing. He is also, by all accounts, a lovely bloke with a wicked sense of humour.  Never the less, half way through the 'gig' I had this uncontrollable urge to laugh. Not at Michael, giving his all on the stage, but at the crowd. We were pretty much all 'ladies of a certain age', some older than others, with the odd man here and there, probably to keep their wives company. One chap was asleep. 

Anyway the combination of static from the nylon and menopausal hormones rising in the air was enough to start either a fire, a riot, or an orgy. In the end it started nothing more than my giggles. 

Mum asked what I was laughing about,

'Are you taking the mickey?' she enquired.

'No' I exclaimed, but I'm sure she didn't believe me.

So, as much as I enjoyed myself and would go again, I was relived to know that age hasn't dulled my irreverent piss taking nature. 

Age is however dragging me into the slow descent of comfy shoes, support tights and elasticated waists. The inevitable slide into wanting to come home early from a night out for a cup of tea, indeed not wanting to go out at all, carrying a cardi in case it turns chilly and asking for gardening gloves as a Christmas present.

When it was all over I phoned hubby to pick us up.

'Are you done already?' he asked 'That's early. It's only ten to ten.' 

'Yep, all finished.' I replied 'I don't think this audience want to stay out too late. They probably have to get them back to the home before curfew.' I giggled.

Mum threw me one of her looks, like a Paddington hard stare.

Secretly I was glad it wasn't a late night. I'd worn heels for the first time in ages so my feet were killing me and I was gaging for a cup of tea..... 

I'm right rock and roll me.....

Michael Ball rocking Eurovision 1992