Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Good Read

This year my new year’s resolution was not to make one. Resolutions, especially at this time of the year are generally made with bright hopes and high spirits. However, come the middle of the year (or the middle of January in many cases) those well-meaning resolutions have been quietly forgotten. That is why the following “thing that I have decided to try to do” is most definitely NOT a resolution!

I have decided to read more “classic” literature. I found myself in company, very pleasant it must be said, over the holidays where authors such as Dickens and DH Lawrence were mentioned. It occurred to me that the closest I had come to classics of this sort was while at school and the nearest I had ever come to Dickens was being in the chorus of “Oliver” many moons ago. My boss has also tried to draw me into literary conversations which seem to end at the mention of “John le Carre”. I felt that this situation should be remedied. On discussing this with my boss, her eyes lit up and she suggested “Brave New World”. My mum, however looked a bit doubtful and suggested “anything by Jane Austen”. I dutifully considered these suggestions and decided to start with “Lolita”. Whether this is what my mum or my boss had in mind is a moot point, but my copy has an introduction and notes and rather a lot of big words which does give it the air of something that one might have read in school. Providing I haven’t lost my appetite for the classics by the time I have finished the book, I might just move on to, oh I don’t know “War and Peace”. Any other suggestions would be warmly welcomed, just please don’t mention “Ulysses”.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It’s OK because there’s no Blood

Post Christmas and New Year, with my new boiler settling into its new home and, for the time being, fulfilling its purpose, what better way to celebrate than to throw a party. However, when expecting anyone under the age of, oh about 10, just remember what you might be letting yourself in for.

Most of the guests had arrived and we were just settling down to a glass of two of Vino Collapso. The doorbell rang and I answered it to an excited six year old waggling her tooth. (Now here is where readers of a nervous disposition should look away and, if not, I did warn you!)

“I’ve got a loose tooth”, N. informed me “and it’s about to come out. Look if I just waggle it a bit more it will just pop out.

Forgetting the important law of reverse psychology (Why oh why!!!) I broke in “Look sweetheart I’m a bit squeamish so why don’t you wait until you are home again before you attempt to disengage your tooth from its moorings?”

“But it’s OK” she said perhaps thinking that I was not aware of the intricacies of losing teeth “because there’s no blood and it’s not painful”.

‘Not painful for you’ was my first thought, followed by ‘it was painful in my day – so what’s changed?’

“That’s really not the point” I countered but already she was giving me that “adults are no fun” look perfected by children over many millennia and running into the house.

She then sat opposite me and, with a demonic grin most definitely directed at me, proceeded to wiggle the tooth for about the next half an hour. If I dared to look away she would lean over and inform me of the progress of the tooth from mouth to within wrenching distance of the tooth fairy.

I pleaded with her to stop and think of my other guests. Sadly their enjoyment of the fun seemed in direct proportion to my squeamish agonies.

And then it was all over. I must have been looking away when the actual deed was done because the next thing I knew, a small sharp pearly white tooth was thrust in my direction and then laid triumphantly on the coffee table.

The idea of spending the rest of the night staring at a dislocated tooth lying on my table (and I’m sure there was some blood on it by the way) was just a bit more than I could take.

“Look sweetheart” I said “We don’t want you losing that tooth do we? Why don’t I wrap it up in this nice hankie and give it to your mum. You want to be able to get some money from the tooth fairy, don’t you?”

“Well ok” she said and allowed me, somewhat reluctantly to pass the object, now bundled up in the hankie to her mother who was finding the whole thing somewhat amusing.

“Now that that’s over” I said with some relief to the other guests, who’s for more wine?”

I’m not finished yet” N assured me. “I think there is another one loose. If I just give it a twist……”