Tuesday 24 June 2008

Life's pants

Somehow the boy has run out of pants...he's always had a mountain of them, but just suddenly unless I wash on a daily basis (and even in our sexy shiny black steam-powered machine I hate washing) he doesn't seem to have any. I've tried to make the point that stashing his pants behind the bathroom door is not helping, but even the threat that I'm not doing any washing until clothes that need washing are in the washing bin hasn't brought any joy. I have a feeling that there are twenty pairs hidden under the debris which covers his bedroom florr, but to be honest I'm too nervous to start looking. Even the local council's health and safety officer would probably run a mile at the site of his room. I don't mind so much...after all he has to sleep there, but regularly the piles of 'stuff' start spilling out into the corridor...and it is at this point that my bellowing starts. It's usually followed by a farly sulky evening...and I just know that I am the worst father in the world, I simply don't understand and it's just not fair. Still where would life be if we didn't have stereotypes to keep us going.

Back to pants. I decided that I had to do something when he started pinching mine...I think there's simply something wrong with that...although I have a sneaking suspicion that mothers and daughters exchange clothes all the time. So in a subtle case of revenge, I went to Next, got the style that he likes...cotton boxer shorts...in suitably restrained black and beige patterns, which he put on today...they're too big to be warn under his gym shorts, but he couldn't have any of mine, so presumably, he had a a pant valence whilst running the 1500m.....

Sunday 22 June 2008

Ashes to ashes

Three generations travelled together to bid farewell to the oldest. In the car was one grandfather, three fathers, three sons, and a grandson and two brothers. It's an old riddle, but never more appropriate. The brother, the boy and I travelled north to sprinkle the ashes over The Roaches...an impressive rocky outcrop near Leek in Staffordshire. Our journey fun...lots to chat about...and it seems death brings the opportunity to relive our memories...and I hope rekindle our lost relationship. Having picked up the urn (a little secret...it's more like one of those sweet jars from which you could choose a quarter of lemon sherberts, or bullseyes, or mints...and so on), we drove from our newly discovered stepmother...actually we'd known (of)her for thirty five years, but it was only eight weeks ago that the old man had revealed they'd been married for four years. What seemed from base camp a short hill walk turned into a climb worthy of an expeditionary force. One of us bounded up like an antelope, the other weazed away from the classic combination of asthma and marlboro whilst the other clung closely to the slope from a recent outbreak of vertigo. A motley crew, but we made it. The brother wanted to send a letter to the father, but unseasonal gale force winds made this a challenge worthy of fitting a rich man through the eye of a needle...when the paper eventually lit, clearly the obstinancy of the intended recipient held true...taking some twenty minutes to burn through. At the point of sprnkling the ashes...it's amazing how bulky incinerated human remains are, we simply said goodbye, not knowing what else should or could be said. The brother emptied the pot...with ashes flying into the air...much as you might see someone's spirit fly up to heaven in a B-movie. That was it. The end, a few tears...but not as painful as expected...a relief really. Lunch beckoned. Hopefully bonds remade. For the boy, his second funereal experience...and maybe he will see that it can be good to let the pain out and that from death there can be good. I'd like to think so.