Thursday 26 April 2007

Giving up blogging?

God he looks grumpy! Don't know why with a pint in his hand.....the Beer God in action.....
January 2007

I have decided I spend FAR too much time on this site and it has to stop. I blog every flipping day which is excessive and when I look at how many posts I’ve done on every wretched forum under the sun I blush, I truly do. I know absolutely nothing about half the stuff I weigh in on, and seem to have some kind of verbal diarrhoea (of the written sort) that leads me to splurge endlessly. Maybe it’s something to do with living in this isolated spot, clinging to our impossible hill.

My mother-in-law phoned this evening and said, ‘The sooner you get to town, the better in my view. My son is going feral.’
This referred to Adrian pitching up too late for the funeral and getting out the car at the hotel where the wake was being held in crumpled suit (vaguely black thick wool job) with a grey ‘school’ jumper (you know the kind – that sort of indeterminate knit and uniform sludge colour), no tie and a Parson Jack Russell tucked under one arm.
‘He looked like some kind of yokel,’ continued D. ‘He’ll be doing up his trousers with a piece of string next.’
I refused to be drawn. Adrian’s dress sense is a long-running argument and – although I couldn’t help but agree with her – I knew she would be fighting a losing battle. Life is simply too short.

I can hear you all now, fellow bloggers, taking a deep in-breath and breathing out a chorus of ‘Poor Adrian.’ Trust me, he doesn’t need your sympathy (though, if I told him about it, he would undoubtedly wallow wholeheartedly in it). ‘Poor’ Adrian spent today at the Exeter Beer Festival. Drinking beer. Chatting with his mates. Poor soul indeed. I, meanwhile, dissected the ins and outs of early civilisation, deflected questions on whether insects have hearts and lungs, dutifully painted large blobby pictures, cleaned filthy football boots, did several batches of washing and banished ASBO who had managed to claw two pheasant carcases out of the dustbins and demolished them very messily on the front porch. And that was all before 10am.

So when my friend Rachel called and invited us to lunch I jumped on it. Well, OK, let’s be totally honest here. I called her to say that football had, once again, been cancelled due to rain, and sort of invited us over (under the excuse – totally true – that all we had to eat in the house was a large packet of crisps and a huge slab of birthday cake. Otherwise we would have invited them over here of course).

Their house was the usual cheerful pandemonium that is caused by two adults, three children, a cat and the most enormous dog you’ve ever seen. Homer is a Bouvier de Flandres – if you don’t know the breed imagine a shaggy black dog the size of a Shetland pony. Oh, and also a praying mantis (Charlie – the husband - is into bugs big time). Charlie told us that insects do indeed have hearts but not lungs (apparently they breathe through holes in their ‘skin’ – an interesting fact). This was over lunch and Ruth, the 9 year old, then piped up with ‘Do they have, you know, willies?’

It transpires that insects do indeed have willies, but very small ones which they keep, discreetly, inside their bodies. At which point Rachel, who had been concentrating on the baby and presumably had misheard this part of the conversation said brightly, ‘Oh, you got one of those, didn’t you Charlie, about two months ago?’ Charlie didn’t miss a beat. ‘Yes, and it’s the best one I’ve had so far – I’m very pleased with it. Does the job very nicely.’ Needless to say, we all nearly choked on our pea and ham soup.

Charlie then insisted on bringing down his praying mantis and showing it to everyone. Well, at least it was the praying mantis! And very nice it is too – but frankly I wasn’t too happy to hear it has a fondness for jumping on people. It’s an incredible thing – it moves its head in a really human way, as if it is sizing you up.
I’ve never quite forgotten the day Charlie announced with complete glee that they had a nest of adders. ‘It’s fantastic!’
Rachel didn’t look so impressed. ‘Where is it, Charlie?’
‘Oh, it’s right by the kids’ trampoline. Just fantastic, you have to see it.’ And Rachel did indeed race out of the kitchen at double-quick time, doubtless to snatch her babes from the reach of a nest of vipers!

We had a very jolly time and James and I rolled home singing along to King Creosote in the car – James particularly likes the track that has the chorus, ‘Jumping on the cats with nothing on…’ Don’t have a clue what it’s all about.

We picked Adrian up from the bus-stop the other side of the village. As we were waiting the rain just fell down – very nearly a cloud-burst. We sat in the darkness, remembering the same time last year when we picked him it. Then it was a freezing cold night, crisp and frosty. The sky was crystal-clear and we opened up the roof, watched our breath puff out like dragons and gazed, awe-struck, at the stars.
I’m at it again, aren’t I? Gobby and just chuntering on and on and on. Shall go now and eat curry and watch another episode of Boston Legal (my current obsession). Night night bloggers.

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