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Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Strange happenings

Zara top from their new on-line shop; mmmm, give me more frills ..

Strange goings on at Blighty HQ: bikes, noises from the garage, Boy 1's sudden interest in personal hygiene, long multiplication...I don't quite know where to start.

Last night as I sat tiredly at the computer clicking in a desultory manner at the new Zara online store I heard banging and then drilling.

(Actually Zara looks quite tempting, there are some nice lacy top arrangements but like a jaded roue at a brothel it takes a lot to get my interest these days:"no, no, sheep and dwarves, done that, so dull").

First I thought the noise was Boy 1 messing about when he should be asleep, in contravention of the strict no power tools in the bedroom policy. I was about to charge up there with my riot shield and baton, when I realised the noises were coming from the garage. Mr Blighty had embarked on an ambitious DIY project, involving sawing up the nasty 70s kitchen units plonked in the garage as storage by the previous owners. These are to be replaced by some very rugged metal racking, which arrived in a huge TNT lorry. I think there may be some male competitiveness thing going on: when we visited friends recently, the husband had installed the same racking and I perhaps overdid the admiring of this. With hindsight, dissolving into tears and describing it as the most beautiful thing I had ever seen was possibly a bit over the top. The other husband had also sustained manly injuries to his hands, which no doubt helped underline the macho nature of the endeavour.

Steady yourselves ladies: manly shelving units

In fairness, the garage project has been kickstarted by the Blighty family all getting bikes. For a while I have been thinking that Boy 1's bike is too small for him - something about his knees around his ears gave it away. Mr B carried out intensive research, I got into the swing and threw around terms like "disc brakes" and "hardtail" and we ended up with bikes with exciting names like Saracen and Rockhopper and the Lady Glide Plus - er, think I made that last one up .... We also have a fancy bike carrier thing for the back of the car called a Hollywood Fourway, which has been worth the money just for the times I have made jokes about Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz etc. It' very simple to use - just 28 straps, and you are ready to roll in 5 hours.

It is a long time since I have been on a bike and I must say it's nice to be mounted, er, on wheels, again. (When I was a baby lawyer about 100 years ago in a City law firm, a posh girl I worked with told me she had met a nice man at polo at the weekend and he was going to mount her next weekend; my word, these posh types don't mess about).

Only a couple more hours now boys and we'll have all the bikes on the back of the car..

So we have been having family bikes rides, which I love. If we go walking Boys 1 and 2 spend their time hanging on me, nagging for chocolate, and generally messing with my mind; with bikes they have to concentrate on peddling (and Boy 2 is completely obsessed with what gear he should be in, he asks at least every 40 seconds); also I can peddle off into the distance, should I feel the need to escape. Yay!

Boy 2 appears to have lost focus and instead is torturing a piece of grass
I feel it's important not to let things slide sartorially even on a bike ride, so I donned these jaunty trainers. I feel my fashion choice was validated when a tiny girl shouted to her mummy "That lady's got pink shoes!" The tiny girl was probably one of those very influential fashion bloggers, Tavi or Tibby or Timotei.

The Blightys are very much in the Zeitgeist, bicycle -wise. Look at these Boris* Bikes we saw a few weeks ago in London - to rent and drop off. *Boris Johnson, Major of London, larger than life character, keen on cycling, went to school and uni with Dave, lots of blonde hair.

Meanwhile Boy 1 has started having showers in the morning before school. Up till now, he has wallowed for hours each evening in the bath, playing with Lego, using gallons of hot water, very busy with all sorts of activities except actually washing. But now, showers - another sign he is growing up! He is also going to his first disco soon, at the school. And there will be girls there, from the nearby girls' schools. Frightening. Even more frightening is the dance moves I have seen him trying in the kitchen. I had no idea moonwalking was so physically demanding.

Lots is happening for Boy 1. He has also started fencing. Should a child who often falls off his chair when just sitting quietly on it, be allowed near those pointy stick things?

And we have already reached the stage where Boy 1's Maths homework is beyond my intellectual level. Mr Blighty came home yesterday to floods of tears, quivering, and cries of " I can't do it" and " I am a complete failure".

"What on earth is wrong with Mummy?", Mr B asked Boy 1. "She tried to help me with my squared numbers and got all upset, poor Mummy, I think she needs to go to bed" said Boy 1, wisely.

Strange times.


  1. Blighty you are so funny and I think that secretly you are a Telegraph columnist and you have just taken pity on those of us in bloggyland that are after some humour with our on trend, fashion forward whatsies (FF speak).
    Boy 1 looks too little to be interested in girls but the early morning shower are indicating something.
    I like your pink shoes very fetching.
    My husband rode one of Boris Bikes when we were in London and he said it felt like Boris was on the back! Not nearly as smooth and sleek as your *ahem* Lady Glider.
    Super impressed with Mr Blighty's building endeavours. I was going to say something rude and very Benny Hillish but I realised it would ruin the tone of your splendid post and of course Mother Blighty might not approve.

  2. You describe everyday events so eloquently...I enjoy your blog so much.
    Always a bit of fun and a laugh and yet not too self deprecating.
    smiling as I close...

  3. Blighty,
    What a wonderful shot of your new post- modernist racking, set against that gorgeous blockwork, Sublime! I hope Mr. B is'nt going to ruin it by putting things on those delightful shiny shelves and spoiling the effect.You must stop him.
    Regards from 'Him indoors'.

  4. Dear Mrs Blighty, You are a complete joy! I laughed my head off. May I please empathise regarding the homework! While I am sure that every generation complains that they do mathematics differently - they always do and then this is compounded by pedagogical differences in each country. One is always trying to work out exactly which is the new way they have come up with this time and when the whole lot is also in Spanish which is clearly part of a grander plot to render me completely beserk, I start to think that mathematics really isn't that important and my daughter's ten fingers and ten toes will have to suffice for the rest of her life. The actual Spanish homework has driven me to drink - actually only a glass pre-dinner but my younger daughter has marked this development grimly as if I am well on my way to being a lush, to wit, "I think I'll have a glass of wine", "What, another one!!!" One can only hope. By the way, Washington DC is wonderful. I don't think I will go home after all...

  5. Hey B, I will fill you in on essay stuff eventually, but I have another one due this week, then a 3,000 worder for the next fortnight.
    Soooo - I've bought Paradoxal, applied it, emailed all my friends, hung a painting, read you, read FF, and found this - this should really appeal to you.


  6. Essay not happening, as usual.
    I note Mr B is co-ordinated with helmet and jacket. Honesty you should go to Hermes to shop for a cycling outfit, say shoes, scarf, windproof jacket.


    What a beautiful place to go riding!

  7. Further essay evasion, have you read anything by Kate Williams? "Becoming Queen" about Queen Victoria perhaps? IF yes, what did you think. I tried to read Oprah book but it was so negative and (b)witchy, and just downright sour grapes I got depressed and stopped reading it. (I also started my next essay too). Queen Vic, could be my reward for finishing next 2 essays.
    Louise xxx

  8. As always love this and also catching up on all the latest posts since "expedition blighty"! Other than that, I will just say ITA with hostess of the humble bungalow. :D, Macs

  9. Oh Blighty I can always count on you to liven up any evening! Love the bicycling exploits! x

  10. thank you for this posting! So many parallels, the rack in your garage is our to-come-rack in the cellar. Plus the charging up with riot shield. Superbe!

  11. Kate B - I will contact The Telegraph and demand they give me a column and a large expense account and then we can go out for large lunch; is your daughter still in London? hope she is having a good time
    Hostess - hello, thanks for your nice comments
    Him Indoors - isn't the blockwork fab? I caught Mr B watching Grand Designs after his racking triumph, most worrying
    Linda - what are you doing in Washington? Are you CIA?
    Louise - the Paradoxal is rather splendid, I am very pleased with mine! Never read anything by kate Williams, sounds good, you are a hive of activity, essays, reading, nail polish, wow! Funny how some books are depressing to read - will avoid Oprah book;
    hair-mess - hi there, thanks for stopping by!
    Semi Expat - hello, hope all well
    Paula - the racking rocks!


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