Saturday, 24 April 2010

Marching Orders.

Fine weather brings out the best and the worst in people. The best is seeing Hubby on his second week of leave beavering away in the garden like some demented boy scout, desperate for that last badge on his arm. His wheel barrow has been trundled hither and yon across the lawn as he humps the detritus of branches and dead plants left in the wake of the wall fall, into a pyre. The expression on his face as he sets light to it and sees a smoulder grow into a roaring fire, would gladden the heart of any Akela. It also proves that in every grown man there is still a little boy who loves setting fire to things. It probably also explains why ‘man’ is happy standing guard over his barbecue, presuming himself to be the alpha male as he flips his burgers with masculine verve. He is unaware that the gathered throng of WAGs know damn well that the wife has done the donkey work to provide said barbeque and they also secretly think that he looks a bit of a twit in his jocular, bra and stockings apron and not as he assumes, a wit.
The sunny weather has also meant that the Band family, after persuading Hubby to put down his barrow and put on his boots, has been lucky to enjoy several wonderful walks along the coastal path of the Rame Peninsula. Is there anywhere more breathtakingly fabulous in the rest of the world? When the air is calm, the sky and sea a blue only holiday brochures boast, and butterflies flitter past and ones nostrils are accosted with the scent of wild gorse, then I very much doubt it. Sadly, it probably goes without saying that the eldest children have no truck in coastal walks and have steadfastly stayed put on a warm sunny day, in their beds, their heads enshrouded by a duvet.
The only unfortunate aspect of going for a walk with Hubby is that he seems to think that his 5 and 8 year old girls and 44 year old wife are the Royal Navy’s new entry trainees and although the culture for ‘beasting’ these youngsters has well and truly been put to bed, the walks are nevertheless at a hearty pace that leave the youngest to the oldest flagging and begging to know ‘are we nearly there yet?’ “Get your arse in gear” Hubby barks before issuing ‘Remedial Training Measures’ which means he hopes to see the three of us knocking out a few press ups. He looks rather crestfallen when his orders are met with three tongues being stuck out at him. Luckily for Hubby, the dog is more obedient and bounds over craggy outcrops with the zeal encouraged by the RN, his tail wagging enthusiastically, thrilled to be the team leader. The girls and I continue our gentle perambulation, exploring the flora and fauna that surrounds us. It takes a while to stop and scoop up a furry caterpillar and watch as it curls into a ball. It takes even longer to wait for it to unfurl and make its meandering way home again, indignant that it was so rudely interrupted. By the time we have ‘mustered’ at Moran’s in Cawsand, Hubby is half way through a ‘full English’, impatient by our loitering. The girls order cheesy chips and I am made to wolf down the most sublime poached eggs. “Right let’s go”, he orders, indigestion stuck in my chest as I rummage in my bag for some Rennies.
The sunshine and unhurried pace of the Easter holidays has meant that we have hosted our first get together of the season. I love nothing more than seeing my house full of my favourite people all happy to be together, drinking, eating and laughing, the children in seventh heaven to be with their friends too. Unfortunately, the increasing needs of various diets must be met and ensuring that all my guests have enough to eat is tricky. Once they were just vegetarian which meant plonking a salmon steak on the barbie at the last minute but more recently two friends have been diagnosed as coeliacs. That means no gluten. Ergo, no buns, no sausage, no pasta salad, no couscous, no beer. Thank God they were able to eat the Pavlova but, this left a child with a dairy intolerance in tears. “I can’t eat that or I’ll vomit”, he sobbed. I was half inclined to encourage him. Instead I magnanimously handed him an ice lolly before another child asked if he too may be allowed one as he had an intolerance to eggs. And I have an intolerance to fussy children I desisted in replying.
To redress the balance of having spent so much time with my youngest children recently, my fourteen year old and I went into Plymouth a couple days ago to do some girly stuff. We had a mooch around the shops, then sat al fresco with a coffee and watched the world go by. This is where the sunshine brings out the worst in people. My God we saw some sights. Please let it not just be Plymouth where enormous women don thin strapped white cotton cheesecloth smocks that billow like sails over the tops of their pushchairs, concealing the babe within but revealing myriad, garish tattoos.
Teenagers with barely a scrap of clothing on, reclined on any given surface, snogging without coming up for air, as though this was their only chance and they were about to do down with the Titanic. We walked to the Hoe. More snogging couples, only this time and with more space afforded to them, were astride or atop each other in a most vulgar fashion. I didn’t know where to look until my daughter pointed her finger.
“Oh my God look. There’s my brother”. Remedial Training Measures have been adopted forthwith. When not doing press-ups, he is cleaning his bedroom.

1 comment:

Alice Band said...

My God it's lonely out here alone in cyberspace.