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  Spud’s long-standing invitation to his friends refused to be rescinded.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.




55 Responses to “Crowded House”

  1. vivinfrance August 3, 2012 at 11:05 #

    I can’t click like on this one: I thought my week had been hard, but this one really takes the biscuit. Do you get time off for good behavious?


  2. jmgoyder August 3, 2012 at 11:15 #

    It is great getting to know more details of your life – and what a life!!!


  3. misswhiplash August 3, 2012 at 11:28 #

    I bet any grey hairs doubled overnight…so glad mine are all fully grown up, approaching pension age and not coming home in the middle of the night from college


  4. viveka August 3, 2012 at 11:42 #

    Tilly …. I ‘m glad I’m not a parent *laughter Your family are such a joy to get to know.


  5. Kate Kresse August 3, 2012 at 11:53 #

    what’s one more, right? oh boy~ craziness, memories and lots of boy-stuff everywhere. hang in there Tillie!
    Hilarious re=count, and it sounds like the guys had fun!


  6. I used to be indecisive August 3, 2012 at 11:58 #

    A post of two halves… The success of games night, collection of Tory Boy form Uni etc and the utter frustration of the system in this country which ‘supports’ young people who are trying to start out in life. It makes me so cross that it is so hard for honest hard-working young people to get that first toe on the ladder.
    I wish I lived near Peterborough because I’d be happy to let Tory Boy use my spare room. 🙂


  7. laurieanichols August 3, 2012 at 12:32 #

    Oh Tilly, I hope that the Hub showed some love for not getting stuck in traffic. The food looked really good and it sounds like you had a lot of fun with the boys, all of them. I know the feeling with Tory boy, I’m getting there with my oldest. As always I’m a big fan of the Tilly Bud family!


  8. mairedubhtx August 3, 2012 at 12:48 #

    Sounds like quite the night.


  9. speccy August 3, 2012 at 12:50 #

    You are Superwoman!


  10. adinparadise August 3, 2012 at 13:04 #

    Just reading this has made me so exhausted, I think I must go and lie down for 8 hours. 😀 Your boys and their friends must think you’re the best mom in the world. You deserve the weekend off. Enjoy. 😉


  11. adinparadise August 3, 2012 at 13:06 #

    PS: If ever I come to stay, I also want a pancake breakfast. 😉


  12. grannymar August 3, 2012 at 13:54 #

    Pancakes for breakfast with bacon please!


  13. Al August 3, 2012 at 15:12 #

    There’s a TV sitcom in here somewhere, Tilly.


  14. terry1954 August 3, 2012 at 15:29 #

    no matter what happens, u r a terrific parent!!!!!


  15. gigihawaii August 3, 2012 at 16:20 #

    Count your blessings. It would have been worse had Tory Girl decided to stay with you and Tory Boy. What’s another body, right? Love those sausage rolls. Can I have a bite?


  16. Janie Jones August 3, 2012 at 16:36 #

    It seems to me there’s a quaint saying along the lines of a humble house is always as big as it needs to be when filled with love. I just can’t remember it right now. I sincerely hope everything works out for Tory Boy.


  17. Gobetween August 3, 2012 at 16:57 #

    Now I want some pizza, looks like a blast I hope they enjoyed it all.


  18. Hattie August 3, 2012 at 17:24 #

    You are heroic. My crowd will be here this afternoon. Well, a shakeup is good for us!


  19. Pseu August 3, 2012 at 18:52 #

    love it.


  20. SchmidleysScribbling August 3, 2012 at 19:57 #

    One thing I can deduce from this post…life is never dull with kids around. I enjoy my granddaughters vicariously via my daughter.

    Tory Boy has what sounds to me like a “good job.” My two graduated granddaughters (one in art the other in environmental something or other) are working in food service at present. The second oldest with the more impressive degree hopes to go to graduate school in a year or so. My third olest grand is working for a vet. She wants to be a “qualified” vet tech eventually, although she is already doing that kind of work at present. Number 4 is busy having traffic accidents and off to college in the fall. Never a dull moment for my daughter, who is your age (51 in September). Dianne

    PS If Tory Boy will allow continue to keep us posted on his experiences. Good luck to Spud too. Soon he will be using your credit card.


  21. Tom (Aquatom1968) August 3, 2012 at 20:50 #

    Amazing Tilly! And still you find room!


  22. kateshrewsday August 3, 2012 at 21:02 #

    Phew, Tilly. If you want something doing, ask someone busy: and they just kept on asking!
    I hopw that when my kids are in their teens they will see table tennis as an attractive way to spend a night together.


  23. bluebee August 3, 2012 at 22:49 #

    The best of times, Tilly, although not for TB – hope things fall into place soon – we have a spare room, but it’s not quite in Petersbrough, haha. However, if the boys ever come to Sydney, they are welcome to it.


  24. siggiofmaine August 4, 2012 at 05:42 #

    You must have been exhausted..I am from reading all that happened ! It is an experience
    retrieving a boy from university….and then the party.
    Hope you’ve been able to rest up for the next bout of company. BTW do you have a hotel shingle out front of your humble abode…? You could get a bit of spare change for the chef.
    Peace and love,
    Siggi in Downeast Maine, USA


  25. Three Well Beings August 4, 2012 at 07:24 #

    I love the table tennis dining arrangement! Looks just about perfect! I think it’s good for me to read this…I get very nostalgic about the days when our household ran similarly, and was full of youthful activity. I miss it sometimes…but those days are for a time, and then we get older and the idea of it is exhausting! You did yourself proud…everyone had a good time and remained in one piece! Excellent! Debra


  26. Patti August 5, 2012 at 00:55 #

    Sounds like your house is the place to be – can I come for a visit? I can bring my tent and sleeping bag.
    We had the eldest move his stuff back in with us on the same day – the lease was up on the old apartment, the old job ended and the new one won’t begin till fall. So our back porch, which I had worked hard to clean up for father’s day, is now full again.


    • Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife August 6, 2012 at 22:44 #

      Isn’t that always the way?

      You are most welcome but I’d better warn you – the last time we had guests pitch a tent in our garden, they woke up to find themselves wearing it. Our Doberman ate the guide ropes while they were asleep 😀


  27. Kay's Musings August 5, 2012 at 06:21 #

    You have such an exciting life and you are truly the hostess with the mostest. You really serve fabulous food! I know your kids must be so grateful.

    I’m having such a hard time keeping up with my blogging with our guest and the Olympics here! My life doesn’t require as much energy as yours does though.


  28. eof737 August 5, 2012 at 14:53 #

    You are a real trooper Tilly … and with a great sense of humor to boot. Hugs to you and the family



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