This Blog comes from the safety of the conservatory, I am trapped in here until the pungent smell of gas has disappeared from the rest of my house and I can walk around without feeling high.
Let me take you back a few days.
Monday morning began as normal but by lunchtime I had a hole…no wait, I need to think of a better word than hole…..a void, a gorge, a cavity right outside my house.
The men in yellow coats came some time ago you see and rather like an annoying case of earache are still hanging around. Their purpose, to replace our gas pipes. It can’t be the gas pipes I thought to myself, why would they be smoking whilst digging, but what do I know!
Today I have been informed that my gorgeous front garden will be undergoing a touch of landscaping i.e. not 1 not 2 but 3 holes being dug in my lawn HOW ATTRACTIVE. Any more holes and I will have my very own moat; I may even install a drawbridge with turrets.
I have watched with great interest how 4 grown men can while away so much time looking down into a hole in the ground nodding like those little dogs you see in the back of cars. Today was particularly fascinating when another clearly more important man turned up with a clipboard (and we all know how important a clipboard looks) and placed 12 cones around himself, his van and THE HOLE. He then put on a pair of safety goggles, a hard hat and attached a torch to it. “OOO” I thought “he’s going in, goodbye little man with clipboard”. To my utter amazement he peered into the hole (for anyone with a somewhat mucky mind I said peered not peeed), then nodded, wrote something on his clipboard, lit up a fag then tidied up all the 12 cones and left. WHY? WHY? WHY?
Health and Safety gone bonkers. Who actually sits and decides how many cones are appropriate in these situations, who decides that its OK for pedestrians to walk round these holes taking their own lives in their hands but not for a man with a clipboard. I wonder what would happen if a mere mortal like me were to step within the boundaries of the circle of cones, would I disappear forever or catch the nodding disease of the men in yellow coats. We shall never know.
As much as I moan about the before mentioned holes it got me thinking about all the times in my life where I would have been very grateful for a hole opening up beneath me and swallowing me . My earliest memory of this immense feeling was when I was about 13 years old (you remember how that was don’t you CRINGE!!). Well on this occasion it was my Northern Mother who introduced me to the feeling of shame that you had actually come from her womb. It all stemmed from her passing her driving test at the ripe old age of 33 and my Father buying her a car, not any old car a baby blue, old, rusty VW Beetle which back in the 80’s was anything but trendy. The car which she lovingly named Bertie was a whole heap of….well you can fill in the blank! Every Monday morning she would offer to drop me at the station as it was in her words “on my way”. The problem was that as it hadn’t been used all weekend it would never bloody start, she would then enlist the help of the Dustbin Men to push her down our very exclusive road. As if the shame of this wasn’t bad enough they would let out a rather loud “HOORAAYYY” as Bertie spluttered to life and roared of down the road sounding like a tractor with The Northern Mother waving cheerfully out of the windows. God Bless Her!!!
It was at this stage I used to attempt to make a run for it, grabbing my bag and coat and shoving a piece of toast in my mouth as I went. The problem was that in my haste to get the toast she had driven back round the block and was now sounding the horn wildly to let me know she was back and ready to go with the delightful sounds of Barry Manilow blaring from the tape player.
I in turn would do a type of Starsky and Hutch manoeuvre which involved checking for onlookers then diving into the back seat and laying full length while we drove off. My friends who would be by now waiting at the station cheered loudly as The Northern Mother once again sounded the horn in appreciation. Oh the shame!!! My friends thought she was immensely cool and I just wanted to find out how I started adoption proceedings.
I remember quite clearly with the opposite of fond memories her picking me up from school one day, not as a surprise but because she needed to go to the hospital which happened to be at the end of the school road. She had you see managed to blow herself up on the cooker, as she stood before me with no eyebrows, lashes, fringe and a bright red face that looked like she had been blow torched, I wished for that hole again to open up. My Father who now lives in Australia and I love dearly ( I must add he doesn’t live there because he nearly killed my Mother) worked for the gas board had assured her that the slight smell of gas that seeped from the oven was perfectly safe and could wait until the weekend to be looked at. Unfortunately as she lit the pilot light what she encountered was anything but safe as it exploded in her face and blew her across the kitchen. To say she was slightly annoyed was a bit of an understatement only made worse when she finally reached my Father who was playing golf and carefully reminded her that she was still alive and that he would definitely take a look at it once he had finished this round of golf. Whoops bad move Daddy!!
Fortunately for me Bertie the beetle came to a rather untimely end when the next day due to the large sunglasses my Mother was wearing to hide her singed hair and eyes didn’t notice a lorry pulling out and reversed in to him. As you may or may not know the engine is in the boot where a Beetle is concerned. So that was that Goodbye Bertie and Good riddance.
Mum was fine by the way, which was more than my dad was once he had got home.
I guess that there are times in everyone’s lives where that old saying “I just wish the earth would of opened up and swallowed me” are used. At least I can look back and laugh at these moments with fondness.
Which is nothing to how much my Mother laughs at The Teenager now being totally embarrassed of me and The Husband?
I think the word I have heard her whisper is KARMA!!!
Lots of Love