Saturday, 23 June 2018

Pollen, cricket teas and all of my shoes

Goodness, midsummer is glorious isn't it? Teeming with pollen, but utterly glorious. We walked down by the river today. The dog has spent the days since the cone came off galloping about in ecstasy and re-establishing the layers of pleuth and smells that he loves so much. Pleuth is our word for that sort of mud that is a dark greeny brown and very organic smelling, you know the stuff. A friend has the same dog as Bertie, only in white. Every time we go out he gets filthy. Get brown dogs my friends; Bertie has all the same dirt only I can't see it, so I happily pretend it's not there.

The biggest boy made me laugh today. I told him that the average woman has twenty pairs of shoes. He thought for a moment and said, 'In her life?' Oh so young and naive.

It reminded me of something I had written down in the little notebook I keep of funny things the children say. I went through it with the two older ones the other day and we were crying with laughter. A lot of the things were things the littlest boy said, so they were under strict instructions not to tease him about it. Anyway, the shoe thing...

Middle boy: Did you know that A in my class thinks that twins can read each other's minds and that they're always thinking exactly the same thing?

Biggest boy: They can't though.

Middle boy: No, they can't.

Biggest boy: I bet X and Y in Year R [twin girls] aren't thinking exactly the same thing right now. I bet one of them's thinking about girl stuff and the other one's thinking about shoes.

Middle boy: Yes!

Biggest boy: Girls always think about shoes.

Me: Not all girls think about shoes you know.

Biggest boy: You do.

Me (outraged): I do not! I'll have you know that I hardly ever think about shoes compared to some people.

Biggest boy (in tone of finality): You've got TWO pairs!

He played cricket for a grown-up team today, which has the advantage of including a big tea. He rated today's as second best for the season so far. They lost the match, but the scones were excellent and you could add your own jam and cream. He didn't hold back. I told him to eat raw vegetables and fruit when he got home. He said he'd already had potato salad so he was fine on the salad front. I said it's not green. He said in an outraged tone that it did have green in it. His eating habits aren't as healthy as they used to be. And the cookies I make seem to disappear really fast. I may have to alarm the fridge.

I went to a local literary festival event last night. I've been making an effort to go to more writerly things, even though it always seems to clash with something the children have on and involve all sorts of tricky travel arrangements. They are always really inspirational. I think I've said before how good it is to meet other writers, as a contrast to the alone time spent writing. It makes it feel less alone somehow, to know that others are out there tapping away at their keyboards late into the evening as well.

I shall leave you with something that the littlest boy said a while back, although I may have shared it before, if so apologies.

Me: It's St George's Day today.

Littlest boy: Why?

Me: I don't know

Littlest boy: Who even is he?

Me: The patron saint of England.

Littlest boy: Is he alive?

Me:  No, he's a saint, all the saints are dead.

Littlest boy: Even St David Attenburgh?

It's an easy mistake to make, no? Enjoy your summer weekend, see you on the other side. CJ xx

PS I do actually have more than two pairs of shoes.


  1. Bertie does look mighty happy to be relieved of the dreaded cone. I totally agree on the brown dog. I was going to get a West Highland White Terrier as my brother had one and I liked him a lot.. but then I found out that they are a breed descended from a Cairn Terrier and my brother's dog was always dirty.. so we got our Cairn instead due to his dirty blonde color. I've never been sorry. Your kids are such a great source of humor! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. A lovely post, with good pictures, which had me smiling at what was said.
    Thanks, and you too. xx

  3. Out of the mouths of babes. It won’t surprise you to hear that most of my shoes are running shoes 😉 xx

  4. You made me laugh with both stories. You had better have more than two pairs of shoes or you need to do some serious shopping!

  5. You've made me wish I'd written down all the funny things my boys used to say. At the time I was convinced I would remember but of course I never did. These are real gems...St. David Attenborough indeed!

  6. I am impressed that you have a notebook full of fun conversation snippets! I thought I surely would remember but of course I don’t. It does look lovely and summery where you are. I do hope you don’t suffer from pollen allergies! Cx

  7. I wish I’d written down the things the children in my class said over the years. We had Mary Queen of Scouts and Richard Loinheat. But the best was a comment from a child at a school I visited to deliver an ICT course. I was greeted by “My mum’s a laptop dancer too!”

  8. What a wonderful read! So glad you have more than two pairs of! Good to see Bertie enjoying shedding the cone of shame. You could write a book about what your boys say alone....glad you keep a journal, wish I had!xxx

  9. Enjoyed reading your post. It made me to enjoy and feel happy by reading the story! Love the first shot of the picture:)

  10. Brilliant! I've been enjoying St Paul McCartney this morning.
    We used to allocate our eldest a box of snacks that he was allowed to eat, as so often we would find some vital supper ingredient missing from the fridge, eaten without a by your leave. It didn't always work.

  11. What a great idea to write down all those sayings. I think I will have to start making a note of the things my little granddaughter says.

  12. Hey CJ,
    I have a book of all the quirky things Sam said, but I stopped long before Olly came along. I wish I'd carried on now. As for shoes; I admit to owning quite a few, but only wear my wellies and flip flops. Maybe I should have a cull? I'm off to Penzance Lit Fest next week, to see Rachel Joyce, Sarah Winman and Nina Stibbe give talks. I am very excited, as you can imagine. £4 per ticket. Bargain.
    Leanne xx

  13. Two pairs? CJ, that's outrageous, such wanton consumerism and vanity! John easily has more pairs that me (he's got a thing about trainers) so I'm safe from the "you've got too many pairs of shoes" accusation. However I'm usually told we have too many cushions which I just can't see, I mean you need a lot. Especially when the dog likes to chew the corners.

    We have little words that have entered our family lexicon based on how the children used to mispronounce them. Angus, until quite recently, kept mistakenly calling his swimming goggles "gobbles" and now we just all refer to them as gobbles. It amuses us.

  14. I have at least thirty pairs, partly, I tell myself, because I never get rid of any...