No Confidence Invoked

How would you have me tell these children

How to prep for life yet preserve youth

Should I tell them all the ways we love each other

Or reveal the awful with each truth

 

Should I tell them of the Flanders Field still growing

Gift them euphemisms for the cause

Sublimate the knowing, temper answers

Opt out with some version, ‘just because’

 

Should I tell them that, for all our evolution,

We haven’t found a way yet to exist

That sometimes there will be betrayal from a lover

Served with honey and a tender kiss

 

Shall I tell them that adults are a throwback

Dinosaurs that still believe in myths

Legends, including every dragon

Will they trust us still when knowing all of this

 

Will children, with their foresight and their fairness

Decree no confidence, invoke that law

Every right they would have, let’s start over,

I’ve seen it, just repeating what foresaw

 

 

Household Tips #2

Not quite household. Unless your household includes kids. Kids who are going to their first music festival.

Certainly disrupts the household, so I’m including it here.

It’s now after 2a.m.

All kids of various ages are in their beds. Hubs has been in his for hours. Gotta work, gotta sleep.

Me. I’m sitting with the last glass of a bottle of red wine wondering how in the hell I’m still sane.

Tomorrow, at early o’clock, child number five heads off for five days, four nights of a musical extravaganza known as T in The Park. Known as this because  it once – many moons ago – took place in a park not too many miles from here and was sponsored by Tennents lager.

Now.

Now it has had so many changes of venue to accommodate the ever increasing number of young ones wishing to embrace their feeedom that no park can hold them. This year it’s T in Strathallan. I don’t know where exactly that is either so no sweat on your part.

Where it is doesn’t perturb me. What it is leaves me shivering somewhat.

Thousands of young people dying to embrace their inner hippy will converge on a swamp, in a tent, with alcohol, a few basic essentials. And sing and dance.

I’m good with the last two.

Basic, also, I can do.

But.

Seventeen,  on their comparitive lonesome, at a venue ideal for every criminal recidivist known, not so hot with.

Any evidence of that? None to speak of.

But imagination. Plenty of.

My answer.

Lots of food.

Lots and lots of snacks and protein shakes and bagels and all sorts of shit guaranteed to sop up any and all amounts of alcohol.

She’s a good girl. She’s a sensible girl. But she’s seventeen.

And I have to keep reminding myself of being seventeen. Honestly. And with some credence for common sense.

Her baggage has more food than alcohol. I’m resisting the temptation to go and remove all traces of the offending liquid with a love note in its place saying, ‘Mum was here. Love you.’

But I haven’t. And I trust her.

It’s every other bastard under the sun I don’t trust.

I have closed my ears almost, and now nearly my eyes, to some of the stories, only this evening, being recounted to me by older kids laughing at the fun ahead.

I daren’t think. I don’t want to know.

Tomorrow, in about five hours, I’ll kiss her goodbye. On her return, all being well, and previous experience (plus now current knowledge) in place, I’ll be glad to see her home safe and sound. And I’ll listen to all her adventures. Even knowing they are, undoubtedly, censored.

I must have been a nightmare for my mum. Belated apologies, Mum. Hope you can hear me from here to heaven.

P.S. Does a big bag of Haribo count as food?

PPS. Why is seventeen that liminal age? Sweets or/and booze? Babe or woman? Don’t anyone say the two are synonymous. This might be my fifth time around but it doesn’t get any easier.

Go On, Go On, Tell Me.

So, it’s been all of five hours since I’ve written anything.

Apart from a drinks order.

On repeat.

I like to be organised. And respect my servers. Happens too rarely. But, you know, it’s nice to be nice.

I would’ve appreciated a considerate customer in my bar serving days. The fact that one of the servers is your son makes it all the more imperative that you make life easy for them. Isn’t that what we do?

Bhoyo number one is off to Thailand for a month with his girlfriend. Backpacking. Just to keep my worry levels at optimum. His privilege. My job.

Not content with not even having packed yet he insisted we all go out for a meal and a few drinks. Being the responsible adult I am – I bloody am! – I volunteered chauffer service.

I like driving. Not on motorways though.

They scare the bejaysus out of me.

Unless they’re empty. Then it’s full throttle and thrills.

I just don’t like other drivers. Or people, sometimes.

Especially lots of people. Gathered together. In pubs. Or clubs. Or shops. Or roads. Anywhere really. Nothing against people, per se. I just hate the noise. And the absence of self-control too evident where many are gathered. Think football crowds. That sort of thing. Hate’s really not too strong a word.

Anyway, I digress.

Driving.

I volunteered. Somewhere reasonably handy. Within walking distance for some. A pub that does meals and lets under eighteens in until 9 o’clock. My eldest daughter’s local. If she had a stile in her back yard she could be there in under a minute.

Not my fault it takes her and her fiance about five. And, considering Joe, eldest bhoyo, is staying with her tonight, and has a long flight tomorrow, we figured there was best.

I once worked in this pub. For one night. Whole other story and my digressions make stories way too long as it is. Ask anyone. Apparently, knowing the finer details may not be necessary. Unless humorous. And then it’s, ‘ Oh, go on, tell us!’

This is not the time.

But we got there, me behind the wheel, wondering what delights this newly renovated pub may hold in store for my empty belly. Rumblings just beginning to make their voice known. Funny how a sunny day and a pile of washing can preclude thoughts of food.  I was starving. Well, hungry, at the least. Nothing could put me off whatever joys they had to delect my tastebuds.

Nothing, that is, except a crowd of weans and adults whose parental responsibility was left behind the glittery, ‘Happy 30th’, banners.

Want to know what a teacher’s night out does not consist of? Guess. Yup. Weans. Worse than weans. Adults. Adults who see an arrow pointing to ‘Beer Garden’ and abandon weans to their own mischief.

Well, I’m sorry – no, I’m not – but if you take weans out with you, Mind Them. Exclabloodymation point. Mind them! They’re yours. And I’m off-duty. And is it any wonder teachers want to bitch slap lots of parents instead of the weans?

So, we didn’t stay there. Couldn’t.

That would have been like being in charge of a class while not having the authority to do anything.

I did a bit of ferrying. And, hey presto! My other son’s place of some time employment.

And it were luvverly. Some weans. Loads of adults. But they weren’t too noisy. Is it really just me?

And the Balmoral Chicken was a feast for empty guts. Breast of chicken, bacon- wrapped, mounds of haggis.

Feckin’ waaaashin’ and sunny days. Forgetting to eat. Shall I complain? Not a bit of it.

Not until I nipped out for a cig to the beer garden in this establishment to partake of a nicotine fix and was accosted on the way by a kid from my own class! At which point, introductions all round, a ‘See you on Monday’ dismissal and I was ready for a drag. Lovely, lovely child. Truly. One of my loveliest kids. Including my own! But not on a night out.

Anyhow, the purpose of this long-winded regaling is to ask what the rules are in your neck of the woods. At 9 o’clock, on the dot, weans are ousted from all establishments where alcohol may be consumed.

Mark you, I’m not complaining. I have enough weans in my everyday life without having them all around when I’m relaxing. And, it’s taken us long enough here in Scotland to let them in at all.

Jeez, at one point, you couldn’t take them in for lunch. I remember being humiliated, on our own national behalf, as a French couple, with two kids in toe, were unceremoniously ousted from a pub because, ‘No Kids at all at all’ was the rule. Right across the board. Didn’t matter if you were only in for eats or not. The look of astonishment on that couple’s faces and the thought of how they would explain the archaic was a wonder to me then. Still is. In some ways.

What happens at the magical hour of 9 o’clock that means all kids must leave? Do all adults decide to have an orgy then? I’ve obviously missed that. Bugger! Or are the sleep police monitoring kiddie bed times?

Feck me. I don’t know.

I do know I’m home with my two youngest. We were having a smashing time. But it ended. They kinda want to know why we had to leave.

Not all of us, mark you. Being a good and obedient wife and mother  a tired auld fart with a full belly I was quite happy to come home, let them watch a bit of Nickleodeon while I bored you all to death with a Grouse in one hand and a fag in the other. (different fag, for the benefit of the Us of eh? )

So hubs is still out with my two eldest, their respective partners, a fistfull of dollars, no weans and a curfew that weans can only envy.

Me? Happy as a pig in the proverbial.

Silence reigns. Folk there are none of.

If they all come back here, I’m kidding on I’m sleeping. That’s what all kids do when they’re caught enjoying themselves alone. I’ve heard.

Slainte! And shh! Kids are almost sleeping and mum’s the word. Lots of them, apparently. :/ But that’s Grouse for you. Well, that, and I just like talking. As long as there aren’t not too many people around going, ‘Go on, go on’. Then you can’t shut me up.

What do you mean this goes public?! Ah, feck it, go on.

Toes Grown

There’s consolation and some comfort in the knowing

That streets I’ve walked upon they’ll walk on too,

That rivers I have known, they’ll feel in flowing,

Their gift of life transporting, they the crew

Forever destined to new embarkations,

New destinations, some far out of sight, 

Predestined in unknown determinations,

Forked with choices they believe are right.

There’s sympathy and empathy in feeling

That those who venture forth to find their route,

Deserve the trust and onward love they’re stealing,

Travellers whose first steps falter’d, as I put

A hand to hold, support the risk they took then,

Determined but with dainty, tiny toes,

Kissed in days I never saw when

New shoes would grow and feet would wander forth.

There are tears that now the door has opened wider,

While heart is closing round the children grown,

Seeking yet to hold a little longer

Even though they, like time, have flown.

I’m counting heads and reeling from the impact

Of emptier nest while four will still remain,

Pretending joy, acceptance of a life fact,

That children grow. And I still have this to feel again.

May Music, Day 12 – ‘Teenagers scare the living shit out of me…..’

……Only they don’t.

Twindaddy at Stuphblog wants to know for day 12 of the 25 day music challenge what was the last song I heard.

Chemical Romance singing ‘Teenage’ was the last song playing in the car on the way home from work. One of the songs on a CD in the collection that my 16 year old daughter keeps there for her entertainment when she’s out with me or her dad.

We don’t get a choice. Well, except when it’s one I hate and I hit FF saying, ‘No way! That’s shite!’

I usually just press play and whatever she’s been listening to is what I end up listening to. I quite like this song. Even although the lyrics don’t speak for me.

Teenagers are pussycats. I’ve had enough of them to know. Plenty of them have passed through my house over the last umpteen years to know.

Some of them are a pain in the arse at times. But I know adults like that too. Lumping any group together and making a collective statement is never a great idea.

May Music, Day 3 – Not Pished (Adult Content – but only slightly!)

No one was pished in the construction of this post.  Although, quite frankly, it’s taken me so long to answer Twindaddy’s third music question, I think I deserve to be.

And this should not have been as difficult as it proved to be. Two songs hit me straight off from my parents.

We often had nights when I was young where a sing-song erupted. My mother sang what I thought was called, ‘Like A Golden Dream’ to my dad when she was being all ‘lovified’. And he would tear up. I know. But that’s love for you.

Anyway, it’s not called, ‘Like A Golden Dream’, as some lengthy time trawling  the internet has proven. It’s called ‘Tosselli’s Serenade’ as far as I can tell. And I found an Italian version sung by Mario Lanza and an English version where the lady in question yodels in it. Yodelling may have its place in the world. But it’s not on my blog.

So you’re stuck with my rendition. If you can find an English version that doesn’t involve yodelling, let me know and I’ll replace mine. (Mibbe!)

Mum and Dad and her song to him

Now, for my dad’s song. This I was most surprised at. After a few jars of Guinness at these soirees my dad liked to pretend to be a bit on the drunken side – ok, he had been lubricated, somewhat – and sang ‘The Seven Drunken Nights’. Now, this is an Irish song and a lot of our music was Irish folk but my dad never sang all of the verses. We used to count out the days of the song and ask why there weren’t seven. My dad would wink and say that he or the guy in the song was too drunk to remember.

Upon researching this song for inclusion here, I now know why the 6th and 7th nights were never included. Auld bugger. No wonder he laughed every time we asked.

The original version was sung by The Dubliners but they were banned, apparently, from singing verses 6 and 7. A few versions of the two omitted verses have sprung up.

Now one version I came across was particularly lewd using a word that rhymes with sock. I’m going for this Irish version by Puca. And be glad I didn’t include my version of this one. 😉

 

 

 

Mothers’ Eyes

Reposes she

With cheeks and brow so fair

Image framed

By skeins of flaxen hair

Puckered lips

Forming glowing pout

Recumbent God

Seen without one doubt

 

Lashes flutter

In dreams of golden flight

Tucked into bed

Safe love secures her night

No demons here

No haunted childhood psyche

A child at rest

All should have her like

 

Portraits of injured innocence

Suffuse my working hours

Souls may keen

At battles without power

A helping hand

From those who know the just

Love them all

As adults we most surely must

 

 

A little one

Though worldly without wise

Compassion demands

We see all through mothers’ eyes.

Four Fifths Is Fine, I Feel.

Unreasonable behaviour this part of I am,

Is silly, impetuous, unworldly, but damn!

It’s honest and true and a little bit crazy,

Flighty sometimes but never quite flaky

Enough to be daft to the point of plain stupid.

Like being a bit tipsy or speared by wee Cupid.

A tiny bit mental, a tad giggly too,

But it balances the serious, so that’s what I do.

Those folk who know me would testify

That I’m perfectly balanced, four out of five.

The one fifth I’m not is when fantasy’s in flow

Or I’m drunk as a skunk, a pity I know,

But delightfully daring to release the repressive.

Preferable to being much too depressive.

No mania here for I’ve read all about it,

I’m just me, can’t you see, a bit foolish, don’t doubt it.

But only at weekends when I’m in full flight

And mind’s in the clouds. I know, yes, it’s right

That others may think I might be an ass,

But, bugger, I’m honest to the point that I laugh

When things that I say bite me on the bum,

I deal with it, accept it, I blush then succumb

To reasonable behaviour once more in mid-week.

Weekends are for weird, I find as I speak.

No wonder my family think maybe there’s several,

Wife, mother, teacher and a bit of a devil.

Like a youth in my mind two days in the week,

So shoot me, but believe the words that I speak.

A little bizarre on the pan that is light

Lifts up my spirits then so I might

Return to the normal, the perfectly plain

The worker, wife, mother, balanced again.

 

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