Archive | 10:18

Crowded House

3 Aug


Talk about hectic!  I have had the cookingest, cleaningest, hostingest two days I can ever remember.

It started at the beginning of the summer holidays, when Spud asked if he could have a games night, ‘like Tory Boy.’  When TB was seventeen, he invited all his mates round, exiled us to the bedroom, hooked up the PS3 to the big tv in the lounge and they stayed up all night, ruining their eyes.  Spud, then eleven, was allowed to join them for part of the evening, so long as he didn’t mind being called names by his big brother.

Spud politely requested his own such evening, again and again until we acquiesced.  The date was set for August 1st.

Then Tory Boy announced he was coming home.  For a week.  With all his gear.  It had to be August 1st.   We still don’t know why it had to be that date, but we’re just the parents.  Coincidentally, Tory Girl was leaving Lancaster that day.

He had intended to stay in his student accommodation until September but he has been offered a job in Peterborough, starting on August 13th.  His degree is in Politics & Philosophy; the job is Assistant Producer at Ideal World shopping channel.

Older readers (and I mean that most politely) may remember that over the past two years I have upon occasion asked you to listen to his campus shows, when he was either presenting or producing.  He loves working in radio but this job came up so he thought it would be worth a shot.

He had a plan:

  • Come home
  • Get graduate loan
  • Use graduate loan to find accommodation, etc
  • Start work     
  • More on the plan later

Wednesday it had to be.  Spud’s long-standing invitation to his friends refused to be rescinded.  No problem.  I got up early on Wednesday to clean, clean, clean.  I like it when we have visitors because the house gets a good bottoming.  By lunch time, my bottom was sagging but I dragged myself into the shower, grabbed a lunch for the car of peanuts, apple, chocolate and water, and had my first sit down of the day at 12:05.

Hub was cross because we left later than planned: he wanted to leave at noon to avoid the five o’clock rush hour traffic on the way home.  An hour later we arrived in Lancaster.  The satnav had no trouble finding Tory Boy’s place: it just followed the malodorous fog hanging over the house TB shared with – need I say more? – grad students.  A fifteen-minute load-up and the Hub and I were on our way again.  Tory Boy followed later by train with his bike, having first dashed off to say goodbye to Tory Girl.

Only one false start – when we had to return to TB to allow him to dig through the fullest bag in the darkest corner of the boot for the house keys he was minding for a mate returning that day – meant we were home by two-thirty.  

We just missed that rush hour, Hub.  Phew.

Spud was out for the afternoon with a friend but they and Tory Boy all arrived home in time for dinner.  I had just cleaned up after dinner when the hordes descended.  Four in total, but they are all huge and this is a small house, especially when you have bags, boxes and bins of student detritus crammed into the hall.  

The lounge.  The upstairs hall.  Spud’s room.  The kitchen.  Plus a couple of airbeds and a huge pile of bedding, teenagers for the use of.  Oh, and a tennis table table.

The boys and one girl spent half the night playing table tennis.  Not what the Hub and I had imagined when Spud put in his request, but we’re not complaining.  They needed to burn off some calories:

It was a successful night, by all accounts.  Half the guests left at midnight but the other half stayed over.  I believe they crawled into bed about four a.m.   There was no mess or destruction, apart from this:

And that was done by me.  My fingers were still greasy from putting out hot sausage rolls, and I dropped the peanut bowl.

There could have been mess and destruction: Spud was so eager to get out and play football in the pouring rain with his mates at almost dark that he left the back door wide open.  Fortunately, I had some hot sausage rolls to put out so no damage was done.

Tory Boy had been  invited to the feast, with the proviso that he did not call his little brother rude names in front of his guests; but he was fast asleep by eight, exhausted by all the leave-taking from his love.  He woke about two and crashed the party, but stayed up after they had gone to (air)bed.  He was out early to visit his bank for that loan I mentioned earlier, having first crept into his brother’s room, whispering as only the human equivalent of a jet engine on take-off can whisper, ‘SSSSSSHHH!  SPUD!  DON’T WAKE YOUR FRIENDS!  MUM WANTS TO KNOW WHAT TIME TO MAKE THE PANCAKES?’

A formal request had been put in by Spud, on his application to hold an event, for Mother to make a pancake breakfast for Spud and guests.  As, despite Tory Boy’s best efforts, he had woken them all up, they decided that the time was now, and played table tennis on four hours’ sleep while they waited.

The pancakes went down well.  I know this because there were none left for Tory Boy and I had to make fresh for him when he returned, dejected, from Stockport.

Here’s how it works with students:

  • You receive your student loan and grant at the beginning of the year.
  • You spend them at the beginning of the year.
  • You live off baked beans and shops’ own pasta for the rest of the year.
  • You don’t worry about the future; why should you?  You’re young and in love.

Here’s how it works with banks:

  • You graduate; we give you a loan.
  • Once you start work.
  • Proof of employment beginning in eleven days’ time doesn’t constitute an actual job now.
  • You can’t start work without a little relocation money?
  • Tough.

Here’s how it works with the Benefit Agency:

  • You must work.
  • We want you to work.
  • You must relocate if necessary to work.
  • You can’t start work without a little relocation money?
  • Tough.

Here’s how it works with parents:

  • We have no money.
  • We can’t give you any money.
  • If we had money, we’d give it to you.
  • We don’t; we can’t.
  • You can’t start work without a little relocation money?
  • Take my credit card.

He has to get down to Peterborough, find cheap temporary accommodation and live off something until his first pay cheque kicks in.  Know anyone in Peterborough with a spare room?

So there we were with Tory Boy and his baggage at home, plus Spud and two mates – one of whom was so comfortable, he stayed in his pyjamas the whole day – the Hub, me and two dogs, and the phone rings…it was my brother, asking to be put up for two nights.

No, we said, we absolutely cannot fit you in.

He arrived at five and slept on a camp bed in our kitchen.




Joke 498

3 Aug


cutest cat in town

cutest cat in town (Photo credit: Mr. Wright)

A famous art collector is walking through the city when he notices a mangy cat lapping milk from a saucer in the doorway of a store and he does a double take. He recognizes that the saucer is extremely old and very valuable, so he walks casually into the store and offers to buy the cat for two dollars. 

The store owner replies “I’m sorry, but the cat isn’t for sale.” 

The collector says, “Please, I need a hungry cat around the house to catch mice. I’ll pay you twenty dollars for that cat.” 

And the owner says “Sold,” and hands over the cat. 

The collector continues, “Hey, for the twenty bucks I wonder if you could throw in that old saucer. The cat’s used to it and it’ll save me from having to get a dish.” 

The owner replies, “Sorry buddy, but that’s my lucky saucer. So far this week I’ve sold sixty-eight cats.” 

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