Saturday 22 November 2008

Six things

Well the lovely Rosiero tagged me to reveal six things that make me happy, and six things that are interesting. I've found it quite tough, but here goes:

Things that make me happy

1. Snow. I would like it to be snowy every day of winter and for it never to turn slushy. Of course it’s even better if it’s on a mountain

2. Smokey pubs, especially while drinking a glass of Strathisla whisky. I know they don't exist anymore, and I hate smoking with a passion. But pubs are supposed to be smokey and smell of stale beer.

3. The boy – nothing comes close (of course). Every moment of every day

4. Rollerblading - when I can on a Wednesday or Friday night with up to 500 other skaters round the streets of London

5. The roof down on the car, especially when it's a moonlight night, and better still if it's snowing

6.Time to myself. It doesn't happen very often, so I revel in it. But all things in small doses

Six interesting things

1. I’ve skied with a murderer – a very sad tale, but if you Google Gordon Wood and Caroline Byrne, you’ll see he’s just been convicted of throwing her off a cliff. He was hiding in Megeve, which is where we go skiing, and he used to take pictures of and for the Boy and I on the piste

2. My wife and I met and married in 99 days. According to friends, when we met there was an audible resonance when our eyes first met.. We had just two people at our wedding, and no honeymoon. We never looked back until we divorced. Five years and five days later. (Actually it was six days, but that doesn’t quite work as well)

3. I once went to collect a plain brown envelope from a penthouse in Hyde Park. In the envelope was £20,000 to stop my then girlfriend bringing a court case for sexual harassment. Another way of describing it was that I slept with a woman who had slept with the father of the man who was sleeping with the (then) future queen of England

4. My plan for when I give up work (which will be in about two weeks if the economy keeps going as it is) is to visit every UN World Heritage site – there’s nigh on a thousand of them. Kind of a ‘Greatest Hits’ Tour. If I’m clever I’ll write a book on it, but I suspect I won’t be!

5. I have a Cilla Black greatest hits CD which I adore. Fortunately the rest of my music collection consists of Foo Fighters, Stereophonics, Kings of Leon, Duffy, Killers, Editors, Manic Street Porters, Lloyd Cole and so on. Plus Englebert Humperdink

6. I've bee kissed by a German cow. In my year between school and university I worked in Oberjoch, a village in the German alps. I spent my afternoons climbing, and one day lay down for a snooze in a field. I was woken by a cow licking my face

Now I think I'm supposed to nominate six more folks...but I'm iot sure who or how, so have patience....

Monday 17 November 2008


There are a few things that I might forget as I and the boy get older so I thought I'd put them down here:

1.When he was a wee bairn, he never sneezed; he pinged
2.When he was a mere six hours old, being held by his mum, he peed in an immaculate arc straight into said mum's handbag
3. He got stung by a bee on the beach and fell asleep; he ran into a door, broke his nose and fell asleep; when he was half-way born he fell asleep
4. He learnt to ride a bike from first getting on to riding off by himself with no stabilisers in two and a half hours
5. The first time he had Coca Cola was at Liverpool st station; the bubbles went straight up his nose
6. His first ice cream was a 99 at Kew Gardens; he wasn't expecting it to be cold
7. His first denim jacket which would just about fit a teddy bear; I still have it
8. His first night he slept on my chest whilst I gazed in awe
9. He ate so many strawberries one day that his face looked like one
10. He used to drink the gravy from the boat if we didn't keep an eye on him
11. He used to snuggle into my bed at 5 in the morning
12. He used to have a little plastic cat with wheels for back legs that he carried everywhere
13. His first step was taken in Brighton New Years Eve Eve
14. A wave nearly washed him away on the promenade in Brighton and we've never had a storm like it again
15. He used to jiggle his legs when sitting down. The last time his mum told him off, it was about jiggling his legs. He stopped doing it until six months ago.

Nights in White Satin (3)

Laundered and ironed sheets, pillow case and duvet cover together with damp pillow (slight staining remaining) miraculously re-appeared on the doorstep before I got home tonight. Accompanying note: "Thanks for Saturday night - 1 port too many I think!!!"


Nights in White Satin (2)

With my memory slowly returning...I felt compelled to add the school song we sang after the meal. I'm putting it down EXACTLY as it appeared in the I hope you can see why we all collapsed into giggles half way through:

Floreat Bancroftia,
Floreamus pueri,
Vivat et memoria,
Fundatoris nostril
Nobis in aeternum,
Magni sint honores,
Floreat Bancroftia,
Floreant rectores

The printer doesn't appear to be a latin scholar, but clearly has a nose for business!.

And the photo is simply to show what happens when you let someone who can't speak a language produce something in that language...

Sunday 16 November 2008

Nights in white satin

I read somewhere recently about the challenges of the etiquette of what to do with the bed linen when you stay with someone. At the end of the stay, should you make the bed? Surely not because that implies the host will leave the same sheets on for the next guests. Should you leave it un-made? No because that implies you are slovenly. Oh the dilema. Well, there's a third option:

Saturday night was the Old Boys annual dinner, so I had a couple of Old Boy friends (I don't mean old boyfriends, quite a different thing altogether) to stay as they live a distance, and we are within a few hundred yards of the school...yes the boy goes to the same school that I used to. The evening started well...the boy was going off to a friend's party and was staying over with a mate, leaving the big Old Boys to relive old memories. First OB arrived, and momentarily got confused thinking the boy was me...the first of three times last night that the uncanny resemblence betwen the boy and I was commented on. With the second OB here, we had a quick snifter before setting off. Them a 'girly beer' - a little bottle of 33...and me a shot of finest bourbon. On arrival, we had first one beer, then a second before proceeding to the dining hall to enjoy a fine meal cooked in the school kitchen - it really was tasty. The meal was, of course accompanied by wine. Erm several glasses and then port passed to the left with the cheese. We managed to finish two bottles. Afterwards we retired to the bar, and I'm confident that by this stage my conversations with the headmistress and the games master and the german teacher (she's english) will substantially enhance the boy's school career...oops. Another couple of beers were downed before we walked in a straight line home. Where it was time for a night cap. And then another. I think my light was tured off at 4.00am. To put this in context, I can and do often go for weeks without a drop of alcohol passing my lips.

I arose mid-morning to find that OB1 had left having made his bed. Now I know what he thinks of me. OB2 had also left. But there was something missing from the room. The towels, the sheets, the duvet cover, the pillow case and the pillow itself. I'm sure the mystery will be revealed. I think I might know the answer already. But I don't want to think about it.

And when the boy rematerialised, he asked if I'd had a good night. I kind of groaned to which I got the response, "Well if you can't remember it must have been good." Oh dear perhaps I've been teaching him all the wrong things....