Posts Tagged ‘the part you throw away’

Metropolitan Police Commander Lucy D'Orsi meeting the Queen during a Buckingham Palace Garden party

Metropolitan Police Commander Lucy D’Orsi meeting the Queen during a Buckingham Palace Garden party

D of E: Hey Liz at the party shall I do you and you do me
Her Maj: Sure why not
D of E: Got the idea off Cammo and Boris


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I wish that I was
Someone whose spaghetti fits
Neatly in the pan.

Tuesday Sp

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My son takes an interest in Bear Grylls. Partly because he himself was almost called “Bear”; partly because Bear Grylls climbs big mountains and eats gross stuff on TV. But these days, it’s mostly because it has recently come to his attention that Bear Grylls proposed to his wife by pulling her engagement ring out from between his bum-cheeks while skinny-dipping.

This was his other idea for making it a really special and memorable moment.

This was his other idea for making it a really special and memorable moment.

My son thought this was awesome, because he is eight and it involves extensive discussion of the bum-cheeks of someone he admires, so of course he did. So awesome, in fact, that he decided to draw a picture of it.

BG full piece

He drew this at bedtime, while allegedly listening to me reading The Famous Five. I’m not sure why it’s meant to be read right to left, but maybe he was channeling his inner Manga artist.

As you can see, it comes in three distinct parts. The first part is the moment of the proposal:

BG proposal 2

There’s clearly some thought gone into this. It contains all the essential elements of a really good marriage proposal, as understood by an eight-year-old boy. Bear is down on one knee, because that’s the proper way to propose to someone. There’s some sort of disturbing phallic symbolism going on with Bear’s arms. The ring is gigantic (I bet Bear was glad to get that bad boy out from storage, Christ). His future wife is smiling, because she’s so happy to be proposed to. Naturally, she’s asking the question all newly-engaged women ask at such a moment: “Where did you get it!” And Bear, also smiling, proudly replies, “From my butt”.

I will admit that’s a much more memorable answer than “Beaverbrooks”.

By the way, my son and I are both painfully aware that he has spelt “Where” wrong. Sometimes in the white heat of artistic creation, these things slip through the net.

The next piece of the picture is a bit more mysterious:


My son’s best explanation of this is that it was “some of my homework that I had to cross out”, accompanied by the mysterious smile that means he doesn’t want to discuss it any further. As far as I can tell, it’s a picture of a pyramid with an eye on the top, and the inscription “50 gerfit” scrawled across the bottom. Maybe they were studying Masonic initiation rituals.

And now the final piece of the triptych, which shows Bear happily contemplating what he’s just achieved:

Bear Grylls proposal

“I got my ring from my butt.” Well, yes you did, Bear. Yes you did.

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Goodbye Vacuum Cleaner

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Stuff my kids will remember about their summer holidays - portrait

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BOSSYCAT: It’s morning! Morning! Hello! It’s morning! Time to get up!

SHYCAT: Hello! It’s morning! Hello! We love you! You slept through your alarm so we came to get you!

Startled ringtailed lemur

ME: What? What? I slept through the alarm? Oh my God, what? How did that happen?

BOSSYCAT: Ha ha, not really. We fooled you. It’s not really morning at all! April Fool! Good thing we’re so cute! Bye!

SHYCAT: She made me do it. Bye!


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Eye of Sauron

Somehow it feels wrong that we found this at the bottom of an empty mug of tea. If there is such a thing as a sentient supernatural entity who is the essence of all evil on this earth, you’d think he’d pick a coffee-cup.

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You know that whole Horror-Movie trope where someone’s adorably off-beat child receives messages that warn of the imminent arrival of terrible dark forces bent on the destruction of all humanity holds dear? And, because horror-movie children seem to be Pictures people rather than Words people, they choose to express what they know through the medium of terrifying drawings? Only the parents choose not to act on it because they are busy cooking dinner or working on their tan or getting divorced or something?

Here’s what I found propped up on my seven-year-old son’s desk on New Year’s Eve:

Angel Devil Spiderman picture

My first reaction was “Ha ha, I hope this isn’t like one of those drawings in The Ring or Silent Hill or Children of the Corn or The Butterfly Effect and I am one of those dozy parents who completely misses the signs of horrors to come.” My second (possibly more rational) reaction was “Holy shit, I hope this really isn’t like one of those drawings in The Ring or Silent Hill or Children of the Corn or The Butterfly Effect and I am one of those dozy parents who completely misses the signs of horrors to come…better do some parenting here and see what’s going down.”

Extensive interrogation revealed the following:

1. The picture is of a devil and an angel
2. The devil has a pitchfork because he is bad
3. The angel has a halo because she is good
4. The thing in the angel’s right hand is a candle
5. Yes, he knows that being naughty isn’t a boy thing and being good isn’t a girl thing
6. Oh yes, and Spiderman. Spiderman is in it too
7. That, um, that blobby thing underneath. Can we talk about something else now?
8. The candle is because. [This was probed further, but no further information was forthcoming. Apparently the candle was its own justification]
9. It’s all drawn in black because it is
10. Because it is
11. Because it is!
12. This is all the information he wishes to share on the matter, or as he put it, “I think I’ve finished talking about this now, mummy. Let’s read The Faraway Tree and talk about Lego.”

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So I just got home and turned out my pockets, and discovered that – alongside the more usual pocket detritus like a pen and a tissue and a trolley-token and an emergency 20p – I also have an extraordinary number of conkers.

Lots of conkers

Some additional observations on the subject:

1. These are not all the conkers I have collected this autumn. These are just conkers I have collected today.
2. These are not all the conkers I have collected today. These are just the conkers I collected today and didn’t instantly regift to someone more appropriate, i.e. my son, my daughter, or anyone else’s son or daughter who I happened to pass on the school run.
3. I have no plan for any of these conkers. I just want them. I see them; I stop; I pick them up. Because they are shiny and pretty and I can.
4. This must be what it’s like to be a magpie.

Lovely fat palm sized conker

Look at this conker. It’s one of my current favourites. It’s all lovely and round and fat, and as I walk along scuffing up leaves and stamping on empty beech-nut shells, I can turn it round and round inside my pocket and enjoy its asymmetrical nobbliness. It’s like stamping on bubble-wrap while twirling a stress-ball, only with all-natural materials. Yummy.

New shiny conker

I also really love this conker. In fact this conker might be the nicest conker I’ve found today. It’s an especially dark glossy colour, and the non-shiny part is so new and fresh it’s still a lovely clean white.

Conker twins

These conkers are twins. They came together in a massive fat uber-case, and I had to peel the spiny outside off to get them out, and it hurt a bit, but that made me feel a bit more justified in keeping the conkers afterwards. They have round tops and flat bottoms. They’re very tactile.

When I collect conkers, I like to imagine I’m taking part in the annual harvest of Nature’s glorious autumn bounty, but of course this isn’t true. Nothing I do with this conker will have any real value for either me or the tree. The proper thing to happen to a conker is for a squirrel to take it away and bury it, and then either a) go and dig it up later and eat it, thus contributing to the planet’s average mass of Squirrel or b) grow into a new tree, thus contributing to the planet’s average mass of Tree. “Spend up to a year in a coat pocket, then get thrown in a bin” does not form part of any rational food and / or reproductive cycle. If anything, I’m fucking up the annual harvest of Nature’s glorious autumn bounty. I am a horrid vampire scavenger in a stripey scarf and kick-ass Doctor Marten boots.

Autumnal selfie

Here’s a conker I don’t love any more. I don’t love it so much that I couldn’t even be bothered to centre it properly to take this photo. It’s dried out and the shell has cracked a bit.

Old dried out conker

I took a photograph of this conker, but I don’t feel anything for it other than vague puzzlement over why I still have it. Once I loved it, but not any more. Now it’s old and ruined. Soon I will throw it away.

The shameful truth is that I am a shallow, fickle person who ignores the fertile mysteries hidden within, focusing only on the exterior. I only love the conkers as long as they are new and shiny and beautiful. Once they dry out, I lose interest. I suspect that my attitude to conkers means I am not a good person.

The only way I can redeem myself is to save all the conkers I pick up and hoard, take them to a beautiful field somewhere with light sandy soil and just the right kind of drainage, and plant an entire grove of horse-chestnut trees to gladden the hearts of everyone and feed all the squirrels in the area with as many conkers as their adorably fat little middles can hold.

Horse chestnut grove

Like that’s ever going to happen. 😦

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