Friday, 18 June 2010

Meet The Parents

For a short period, Grandma in Cyprus is once more Grandma in Cyprus Not in Cyprus - a name she acquired during the months it took from her declaration that she was moving to the Mediterranean island to actually achieving it - selling a house, even three and a half years ago was not the easiest of tasks.

Anyway, she's over in Engerland, enjoying the cold summer we're having. In Cyprus, when the temperature drops below 25, she dons woollen mittens and a thick in Blighty, she should add several more layers of clothing. She understands the suffering of the Eskimos.

The fact that she's here at all is testament to her remarkable stamina and will-power - it's just a couple of weeks since she had a major operation that's been known to floor women half her age.

Anyway, we invited her over for dinner. Which I feel is better than when she first met The Boys mother. That was a few days after we got married. Yes I know, but it's provided conversation for years since.

There was nervousness aplenty. As a menu, I suggested that we heat something in a packet from Marks and Spencer, but that didn't seem to go down too well. So The Boy and The Cat stuffed peppers, whilst The Cat's Mum did something nice with chicken. I did strategy and supervision. And bit my nails. And was made to tidy my stuff away. Again. This is really quite tough for me.

GinCnotinC was accompanied, of course, by Stepgrandad in Cyprus not in Cyprus. I guess it all went pretty well as everyone is talking to each other today. I'm not sure what we talked about over dinner in the conservatory, but the evening rattled past quite nicely. Of course the bottle of red wine helped us, whilst SGinCnotinC quaffed his favourite white may know it - it has a colourful religious order on it.

I do remember that I was just about to talk about the fox and her cubs that live at the bottom of the garden, when a scrawny example walked past the window. He didn't seem that interested in us too much, he didn't look too well either...just a passing traveller I think. Passing travellers....

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The Gallery - Motherhood

Initially, I thought that this week's photo gallery was not for's on the topic of motherhood...a subject that I'm not strong on (sorry Mum)...but then I realised I'm never one to miss a challenge and had two things I would like to share with you:

This is The Cat and The Cat's Mum...and if ever a picture summed up two people, this is it. The Cat's Mum is messing around (as usual) and The Cat is there to pick her up (as usual). They are both having fun (as usual). Their mutual love and respect shines out loud and clear (as usual).

And then, I think the second picture is self-explanatory - it's why boys need their mum...

Monday, 14 June 2010

Make me smile

On the one hand I would seriously recommend against going to see Ben Stiller's new film...Greenberg. Two hours of unadulterated drivel. I should have learned my lesson that if you don't like the actor in the lead role, then you're not going to like the film. In the same way, I spend my life avoiding Tom Hanks films. I was recently persuaded that this was absurd, so I should try Saving Private Ryan. Having sat through the film, I wished they left him to the Germans. So I'm back into, if I don't like the main character, I'm going to avoid the film. Please support me.

As you can gather, I didn't sleep so well last night, and it is Monday morning.

On the other hand, when I was a lad, I did enjoy the likes of Slade, Sweet, T-Rex, Mud and so on. I wasn't so keen on Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, but they did have a few good hits. And I'm one for a good pop tune. Friends asked us if we'd like to go and see Steve Harley last week, so I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Why not?". The night before we spent the evening on You Tube trying to remember all those Steve Harley songs which have long been forgotten and found such gems as Judy Teen, Mr Raffles, Here comes the Sun (yes, yes, I know it wasn't his originally, but he does sing it pretty damned well) and of course Come Up and make Me Smile. Along we trotted to Shepherds Bush to listen for a couple of hours. And what a cracking couple of hours it was. New, songs, old songs sung with energy, enthusiasm and gusto...he clearly loves to be on the stage. And it was nice that for once I was the youngest in the audience rather than the oldest.

Only one mystery. By the end of the '70's he was definitely as bald as Elton John. And now he has a full head of hair. How can that be?

Another evening's pleasure has been to see the extraordinary Money by Shunt. It's pretty hard to interactive performance about why people are motivated by speculation...of the money kind. That totally undersells it, and if you have an evening free, chance an arm and go along and see's on in dear Bermondsey Street for the rest of June...and if you're passing I'll buy you a pint in The Garrison before you get shunted into place by Banksy-esque policemen with their pretty balloons. The boy was given a Mars Bar as part of the performance , "An indulgent choice youn man" which he scoffed down in one mouthful...I'd have treasured it until it was rotten myself.

MONEY BY SHUNT from Susanne Dietz on Vimeo.

And here's the mad, mad, song that got us all going....

Money from Susanne Dietz on Vimeo.

It can be found at