Thursday, January 19, 2006

he he he

Am downloading some Glenn Miller for Molster, who is learning to play In The Mood in keyboard lessons.

I get a little jolt every time I see Glenn Miller's face on an album cover, and it's not James Stewart.

Friday, January 06, 2006

you have 357 days to comply

Zig claims to have forgotten his new year’s resolutions. Year 2 stormed the stairs (for stormed where Zig is concerned, please read rode the Robocop-worthy, cooler than Stannah any day matey stair chair) to the computer suite, to tap their resolutions into a hard drive.

Sarah’s mum says Sarah said (repeat quickly fifty times and score ten points) she resolved to keep her bed tidy. Not the bedroom, for she’s a practical six-year-old with a feel for what’s reasonable.

While hoiking him into his chair, I asked Zig what he’d resolved. He screwed up his eyes, puffed out his cheeks, and turned up the corners of his mouth. Hold for ten. Release.

I can’t remember

Apparently he didn’t resolve to do all the washing-up for the year. I checked. Whatever they were, quick as made, his resolutions blew away to make friends with the ether. And probably do all its dishes for the year.

1) He remembers his resolutions perfectly well, but is concerned that I might hold him to feedingthecatswashinghishandspickingup litternotpickinghisbogeysresolvingworldconflicts every day for a year
2) He remembers perfectly well but is afraid of the cloud of failure should becoming the Archbishop of Ramsbottom not be feasible before December
3) He remembers perfectly well but thinks it none of my bloody business
4) He’s forgotten

Any are possible; I empathise with all. I’ve deliberately side-stepped resolutions this year. I’ve also, until now, side-stepped the side-step, with a breezy whistle. Letting a resolution slide is just too cloudy, and if I don’t let them slide, I might, you know, succeed.

The very idea.

Thing is, in the computer suite on the second floor of a school not too far away, there’s a hard drive. In this hard drive there are Zig’s resolutions, which for reasons 1-4 or 5) Other, he has chosen to keep quiet.

My innards being sneaky, I reckon I’ve got a hard drive too. I’d take the stairs but I forgot to plug in the Robocop-worthy, cooler than Stannah any day matey stair chair to charge.

I'd best just stay here on my arse. Pass the chocs.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

up up up up up up up

Molster was given three juggling rings. I’ve nicked them, and practice in the kitchen. Am spending a bit of time unhooking juggling rings from wine racks, swiping them down from the top of the fridge freezer, and hoopla-ing shallots.

It takes a whole different hand position than juggling with balls. A sideways flick is trickier than an open palm toss. As every good girl knows.

I was taught to juggle by a new friend, before he became a good friend. Which he was before I learned to keep three bright balls up in the air.

He’d turned up on my doorstep, with a soft, cheery knock and a backpack full of passata and gnocchi. Knock, gnocchi, passata and company were all welcome. I’d just returned to an empty dump of a student house in a rough part of Manchester, to discover I’d been robbed.

Not being heartless, they’d left me my kettle and a muddy footprint in the center of my bed sheet. With kettle, knock, gnocchi, new friend, footprint and passata, I could conquer the world.

Instead, we went to the park, where I learned how to keep all my balls up in the air.

Haven’t the foggiest where my new friend, good friend is now. Or his backpack.

I’ll keep on tossing the rings.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

stonkingly large, stonkingly expensive, cat-hunting robotic dinosaur sez no

I’m the bad cop parent. The one who puts her foot down with a firm hand. The one who says no.

Every so often, however, I’ll take a breather, and – if I don’t exactly say yes to something – allow the impression of a yes to slide past.

When a boy has saved his money until he has enough for a stonkingly large, stonkingly expensive, cat-hunting robotic dinosaur, who am I to say no? Specially when, on the quiet, I really want to have a go.

The impression of a yes (so cunning an impression I’m the one who places the order online) slides past, and a couple of days later there’s a stonkingly large, stonkingly expensive, cat-hunting robotic dinosaur on the living-room floor.

In its box.

Because, no matter that I let the impression of a yes slip past, I’m not the only one able to say no, it would seem.

Being only able to find five of the necessary six high-powered rechargeable batteries needed to power the thing, although there are eight of them in the house, that’s a no. So I make an impression of a yes and charge up the six make-do lower-powered batteries.

To then spend a good half an hour untwisting twisty plastic-covered wire tags to release the beast, to discover that I can’t unscrew the buggering thing's feet from its base. I just can’t get the damn things loose. If I struggle any longer, I’ll wreck the threads, and that will be that.

The stonkingly large, stonkingly expensive, cat-hunting robotic dinosaur has had its foot put down with a firmer hand than mine.

You’ve got ‘til Friday, cats.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

run, bellamy

Watership Down is a very, very sad film, Zig decided, lots of squirrels get killed.

This wasn’t the only moment I wondered whether the kids had been watching the same film as us parents, squished up together on the sofa though we were*.

Much is said about the increasing violence and aggression that children absorb through screens today. Yet what is the film that made Molster stark awake until 1am, when she came and snuggled in our bed with Freddy dog, and was sat on and purred to sleep by Major Tommy? What is the film that made the bad dream that brought Zig through before dawn, to squeeze the last half inch out of the kingsize and throw his mother off the edge?

A U-rated film about bunnies, made in 1978.

Art Garfunkle is that scary.

*Until near the end, that is. After a few childhood late 70s, early 80s years of owning the bookofthefilm, before seeing the film, and seeing more spoofs than my childhood cats had rabbit paws on string to pat and gnaw**, I know enough to hop [geddit] from the sofa and out of the room before Hazel felt that he wouldn’t be needing his body any more, so he left it lying at the edge of a field, and stopped for a while to watch his rabbits because even now, all grown up, even typing - and probably misquoting dreadfully – the line, makes my nose and eyes strangely runny. Shut up.

**I’ve never owned or read the actual, you know, book, even though there has to be a copy in every charity shop before a charity shop can be called a charity shop. That and Jaws. It’s the law.

Monday, January 02, 2006

use or ornament

We park the Dyson between the merchant chest and the hinges of the living-room door. It’s not exactly hidden, not exactly on display. When I twirl round in this computer chair, I stare at its strata: sandy stuff, dirty stuff, paper stuff, fluffy stuff, hairy stuff.

I know you’re supposed the categorise the Dyson as use, not ornament, however, I must spend more time looking vacantly at those layers than at any other bit of useless tut on the units or walls of this room.

Today was the day we took down and repacked each and every shiny thing we unpacked and put up a couple of weeks ago, plus a few that snuck in, seasonally quiet-like. Then we hoovered, because Dysoned is not yet a verb and vacuumed sounds too … empty.

Twirling just now, I noticed the strata are: glitter stuff, dirty stuff, wrapping paper stuff, tinsel stuff, hairy stuff, sweet papers.

My quandary is, although it’s use, not ornament, does my looking at those layers, however vacantly, more often than at any other bit of tut in this room automatically classify the … what do you call the see-through plastic middle bit of a Dyson?.. does it automatically classify that bit as ornament?

Do I have to empty the Dyson before Twelfth Night, or do I keep it as is and enjoy dirty Christmas right into February?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

feathers fly

My first sliver of 2006 daylight sliced a single wince-opened eye. I groaned for water, then grumbled for tea.

I then lay in bed until gone midday, and read a tatty paperback about a man who, finding the minds of his people muffled by torpor, the lands of his people fallow through skills forgotten, the hearts of his people numb and limp, sets off on a quest across land, across sea, past the world known into the world uncharted or unchartered, to find, challenge and vanquish whatever big tog, superking duvet was doing the smothering.

Is doing the smothering.