Spud: How was your day? Get hit in the face with many pies?
Tilly: No; but I did have some toothpaste thrown into my ear.
Ah, yes. Church Holiday Club is upon us.
We had a solemn ceremony in this house on Sunday: the first traditional Passing of the Bag.
Tory Boy bought himself a good quality rucksack when he was at high school. By the time he’d finished college, Spud was at high school and needed a good quality rucksack. Tory Boy loaned Spud his, on the condition that it be returned someday. Six years on, that day was Sunday, as Spud had finished high school and Tory Boy was home.
Cue ceremonial music (Celine Dion’s My Bag Will Go On):
The two poetry books I told you about last week weren’t the only free things I’ve had lately. Feel free to read on.
Thanks to ShowFilmFirst, I got two free tickets to see a preview of Annie Get Your Gun at Manchester Opera House a couple of weeks ago. I took Spud, who has discovered a love of stage musicals since Godspell. Jason Donovan played Frank Butler. He was really good…except for the singing. His voice was weak, like he had a cold or something. I was disappointed. Despite that, we enjoyed the show, especially Emma Williams as Annie Oakley. When she told Frank she could do anything better than him, she wasn’t kidding – she sang the highest and then the longest note I have ever heard. When she finally let the note go, the whole audience sucked in a breath for her. Fabulous.
I have been absent from the blogosphere because I needed the time to catch up on poems – I have managed to edit, type, print and file 71 poems so far this month. I was aiming for one a day so I’m pretty pleased with myself. With another thirteen notebooks to work through and an average of thirty poems per notebook, I only have another 390 poems before I’m finished and will be back with you. See you in November!
Freedom to Boast
I have availed myself of this particular freedom ever since I beheld my first screaming baby. I honestly don’t understand parents who don’t boast about their kids. It’s hardwired to my genes.
Watch out, those of you who don’t understand me – here’s a boast coming up: Spud received a letter yesterday to say that he has won the school Drama Prize. We have to spend two hours of boredom on Speech Day in a fortnight’s time, for our ninety seconds of glory when he goes up to accept the award. Those 7,110 seconds of tedium will be worth it, believe me. I’m bursting with so much pride, I had to rescue my fat clothes from the charity bin.
I watched the story of Meriam Ibrahim unfold on the news. If you missed it, she was imprisoned and sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her Christian faith; and adultery because her Christian marriage was considered illegal. She was heavily pregnant at the time of her imprisonment and was chained to the floor to deliver her baby. It made me grateful that I live in a country where no one particularly cares which God I worship; or how.
More Free Time
Spud has finished his exams! His official, state-mandated schooling is over for ever. Congratulations, Spud, for surviving school and growing up into a well-rounded young man in spite of your helicopter parents. You’ll soon be free of us and able to paint your face blue and bare your bum without having it smacked. Enjoy university.
Click on the images to link to the source.
Click on image for source
Well I never! Or I should say, Beh io mai!
I signed in to my blog to visit all of yours, and discovered a comment which needed approval:
Thanks for your contribution.
Silvia Pio (editor)
That’s the same poem which was read at a memorial meeting for Nelson Mandela, and I learned of it after the event.
It seems it’s not just my kids who are going off having lives of their own.
By the way, I’m chuffed! I love the idea of my poem taking on a life of its own, making new friends, learning new languages. It has a way more interesting time than I do.
But at least it won’t break my heart when it moves into student accommodation in September.
My baby’s all grown up. Sad faces all round…though I am relieved he survived my cooking.
This was him seven years ago:
This was him two weeks ago:
That uniform really lasted!
The school gave them a good send off: Leavers’ Day started with a Full English Breakfast; followed by a huge dragon bouncy castle with tunnel and slide. As the Hub said, they filled them up then emptied them again…
Lots of fun activities ensued including a barbecue and the handing out of Most Likely To… certificates (decided by each student’s friends). Spud was found Most Likely To Run The Grand National, because his nickname is ‘Stallion’. I daren’t ask for details. Finally, they let off the traditional balloons in the school colours.
They were given leavers’ hoodies:
They received Year Books; but they didn’t write in them. The tradition is for each child to buy a hard notebook and pass it around; teachers and friends write pages and pages of memories, good and bad. It’s a lovely tradition. Spud read the clean ones out to us. I may have sobbed a little.
In the evening, they attended a Leavers’ Ball. Five of Spud’s friends came here for pre-ball drinks and post-ball sleep. What a funny world it is: hundreds of screaming teenagers on a bouncy castle in the morning and hundreds of screaming drunk teenagers bouncing on the dance floor in the evening.
They boys passed their school on the way there and back to the ball. Both times, they spontaneously burst into the first two lines of the school psalm (no one ever remembers the third-plus lines). ‘How middle class are we?’ asked Spud’s friend; before coming back to sleep on the floor of our council house and be fed a breakfast of homemade pancakes – some burned, some not; it’s the luck of the draw.
Spud has had seven happy years at a wonderful school. He has been given a first class education at their expense. He has great relationships with friends and teachers and many great memories.
It’s all downhill from here.
Happy future, darling.
The Hub wears a new t-shirt to the play and is ‘awesome’, ‘best dad ever’, admired by all of Spud’s friends.
I pay a teacher a compliment and I’m banned from ever speaking to anyone Spud ever knows for the rest of his life, ever.
Here’s the Hub’s shirt:
Here’s my compliment to Godspell’s choreographer:
Wow! Spud told me the dancing was really naff but I think it’s great!
I don’t understand Spud at all.
If you have long hair like mine was, and decide to cut it, you can send it off to a charity in the UK called Little Princess. They make wigs for children who have lost their hair through cancer. A quick Google search found similar charities in other countries. Please think about doing it if you’re going short; you need a minimum of 7″/17cm and all it costs is a padded envelope and postage.
My hair was long but thin, so my plait was pretty feeble; but every little helps.
When the Hub posted it off, the clerk asked if there was anything valuable in the packet. The Hub explained what was in it and she winked and said, Aw, that’s nice. Are you going to do the same with your beard?
I think he should; I heard their office needs re-wiring.
Click on the photos to enlarge them
Actually, I cried the day before yesterday but I wrote this post yesterday so the title was correct for yesterday’s yesterday but not for today. Anyway, me crying at all except at the end of Love Actually is such a rare event, I felt I had to blog about it.
As you must know, because I’ve bored you to death about it for months now, Spud is playing Judas in his school production of Godspell. The first night is
tomorrow tonight. I can’t get the songs out of my head and as I was preparing his sandwiches for tonight’s tea between tweaking-rehearsal and performance, I sang Beautiful City to myself. I suspected I might be allowing it to take over my life when I came to the line, We can build a city of man and sang, We can build a city of ham…
Yesterday (‘s yesterday) was the dress rehearsal. The Hub is an excellent photographer and took some great pics of the last three school productions Spud starred in (no bias here, honest). He gave them to Spud’s drama teacher and she loved them and asked if he would go along to yesterday’s yesterday’s dress rehearsal to take photos of this production.
The Hub has M.E. so of course he needed his loving and supportive wife along to hold the spare camera batteries. The fact that I got a sneak preview of the show was purely coincidental.
We had front row seats and we needed them, because my heart swelled with so much pride it took up all of the space between the audience and the stage.
I know he’s my son and I’m biased and all that rubbish, but Spud was fantastic. He began as a happy, hopeful man and changed over two hours to anger and betrayal via confusion and doubt.
He sang, with music and without.
He cried in Jesus’ arms the moment before he left to betray him. He sobbed on the floor after the crucifixion.
He was totally believable.
Teachers made a point of coming up to tell me how good he was and how he should pursue acting as a career. But better than that, the director told me that, for all of his talent, he is a lovely, lovely boy and she hopes her own son will grow up to be just like him.
Can you blame me for blubbing?
Wednesday 15 January, 2014
Where’s my birthday post?
I’m not blogging at the moment!
You don’t love me.
Spud turned eighteen while I was on a break. I didn’t write a happy birthday post – because I was on a break. I did take him tea in an eighteenth birthday mug, buy him banners and balloons and not say a word about the girl in his bed on a school day; but, no, all he can see is no birthday post.
Apparently, I didn’t write him a birthday post last year when he turned seventeen. I wrote one for his brother and his father, a hundred readers and even myself – but not one for him. My argument, ‘But you don’t read my blog!’ didn’t cut it, because, apparently, he does.
I have been ordered to write a make-up post and not to make this make-up post all about his brother, which is what I appeared to have done in last year’s make-up post, saying how great his brother was and how he spoiled Spud on his birthday blah blah blah.
I’m a terrible mother.
But I can’t say that, because this post is all about Spud.
Spud was the biggest baby in the hospital, the week he was born – about ten pounds. I have mentioned before that he looked like the V alien baby when he came out all blue and crinkly. And absolutely gorgeous – which is how he’s stayed:
Spud is now a man, and he has a learner’s driving licence to prove it. He has done a lot of thinking this past year about what he wants to do with his life; but the decision was really made in the summer, the moment a sweaty Macbeth spat on him during the performance at the Globe: Spud wants to act.
This past year he has played Greek tragedy, Shakespeare and farce. At the moment he’s rehearsing Judas in Godspell. He doesn’t want to be rich and famous; he wants to work in theatre. He is deadly serious: he wants to pretend to be other people for the rest of his life. I couldn’t be prouder; or more scared.
Happy birthday, my darling boy. Whatever you do in life, I know you’ll obsess about it until it’s right.
I love you.
From the archive:
A jobbing actor comes home to find his house has burned down. His sobbing, injured wife is standing outside. “What happened, honey?” the man asks.
“Oh, John, it was terrible,” she weeps. “I was cooking, the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone, I didn’t notice the stove was on fire. It went up so quickly. Everything is gone; we’ve lost everything! I nearly didn’t make it out of the house. The poor cat is—”
“Wait, wait! Back up a minute,” the actor says. “My agent called?”
How do you make Lady Gaga cry?
1. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.
2. A 3-year-old is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
3. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42-pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a superman cape. It is strong enough, however, to spread paint on all four walls of a large room.
5. When using the ceiling fan as a baseball bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
6. The glass in windows (even double pane) doesn’t stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words “Uh-oh,” it’s already too late.
8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.
9. A six-year-old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year-old man says they can only do it in the movies. A magnifying glass can start a fire even on an overcast day.
10. Certain Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a six-year-old.
11. “Play-Doh” and “microwave” should never be used in the same sentence.
12. Super glue is forever.
13. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can’t walk on water.
14. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.
15. VCRs do not eject PB&J sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.
16. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. foot house 4 inches deep.
17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise in a moving car.
18. You probably do not want to know what that odor is.
19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on. Plastic toys do not like ovens.
20. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy. It will, however, make cats dizzy.
21. Cats spit up twice their body weight when dizzy.
A woman went to the beach with her children. Her 4-year-old son ran up to her, grabbed her hand, and led her to the shore where a dead seagull lay in the sand. “Mommy, what happened to him?” the little boy asked.
“He died and went to heaven,” she replied.
The child thought for a moment and said, “And God threw him back down?”
Thanks to Grannymar for that one.
The rest are answers by children to questions posed on Kids Say The Darndest Things. Via Buzzfeed.
Q: Who was George Washington’s wife?
A: Miss America.
Q: What ever happened to Adam and Eve?
A: God sent them to hell and then transferred them to Los Angeles.
Q: What do we get from the story of Jesus turning water into wine?
A: The more wine we get, the better the wedding is.
Q:When God punished Eve, what did he make her become?
A: A housewife.
A frustrated father told a friend, “When I was young, I was disciplined by being sent to my room without supper. But in my son’s room, he has his own TV, computer, games console, cell phone and music. I don’t know what to do.”
“Why don’t you do what I do?“ asked his friend. “When my kid misbehaves, I send him to my room!”
TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I’m a lot closer to the ground than you are.
TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with ‘ I. ‘
MILLIE: I is..
TEACHER: No, Millie…Always say, ‘I am.’
MILLIE: All right… ‘I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.’
TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father’s cherry
tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn’t punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.
TEACHER: Now, Simon , tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don’t have to, my Mom is a good cook.
TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on ‘My Dog’ is exactly the same as
your brother’s. Did you copy his?
CLYDE : No, sir. It’s the same dog.
TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when
people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher.
TEACHER: Why are you late?
STUDENT: Class started before I got here.
TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America .
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?
TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.
TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell ‘crocodile?’
TEACHER: No, that’s wrong
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.
TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
DONALD: H I J K L M N O.
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it’s H to O.
TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn’t
have ten years ago.
What Kids Really Think About…
summer cool...and some are
A frustrated writer, who is her own worst enemy
Don't get mad; get writing
a blog about small beautiful things