WHAT YOU'LL FIND ON THIS BLOG

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Evidence that Fran's day involved chickens, dogs and plucked pheasants

Things which happened today.  (An opening line to die for, I think you'll agree.)

1. We had an Epic Fail of an outing with Elijah, our grandchild.  We drove optimistically to a local 'attraction' because we knew there was a children's park and a mini-farm where you could see small animals.  Then we looked at the prices.  What we didn't realise was that, even to get a sniff of a kiddies' slide or a furry rabbit, you had to ring your bank manager, plead that you'd never defaulted on a loan yet, and borrow a million pounds.  We decided against it.

The only comfort is that Elijah didn't know it was an Epic Fail.  He splashed delightedly in puddles and fell over in long grass a hundred times while we stood and debated how to turn an Epic Fail Day around.  Also, he enjoyed the trip round the garden centre which was also there (free ...) and the chance to point at chickens.

'I'll have that one, please, with chips.'



Did we manage to turn the day around?  Not really.  Elijah fell asleep in the car just as we were on our way to the next Attempt at Toddler Entertainment, and so we all just went home.

2. I saw these signs for sale at the garden centre.  

Sign 1.



Sign 2.



Well, those would put a burglar off, I think.  But .....

Sign 3.

Not so convincing!



Sign 4.

Translation: 'Come in, burglars!  Put your feet up and help yourself to the drinks cabinet.'

3. Something else that amused me was the music that the garden centre was playing over its sound system.  It was 'I still haven't found what I'm looking for' by U2.  My son, Elijah's dad, said he'd remember that for when shop assistants said to him, 'Can I help you, sir?'  He thought it would be fun to burst into that song as a response.  What this tells you, readers, is that he has exactly the same stupid sense of humour as his mother.

4.  The other thing I did today, once Elijah and his parents had driven off home to London was feel sad...



.... so I comforted myself with 'Archipelago', the most depressing film I have ever watched, which I found on BBC i-player.  Have you seen it?  It should be subtitled 'What Holidays With Families are Really Like: the Truth'.  It's a bit arty, involving improvised dialogue you're not sure isn't just mistakes, long drawn-out shots of persistent rain, and the sudden uninhibited screaming of the 'f' word when everything had seemed very polite and restrained up to then.  I quite enjoyed it, despite all that, and there's a fabulously awkward scene in a restaurant, worth watching the whole film for, especially if you have a family member who either a) always complains about the food and embarrasses everyone or b) refuses point blank to complain about anything, ever.  There's a pleasant little pheasant-plucking interlude, a lot of heavy knife symbolism, and it all ends happily ever after more or less as it began.

A bit like my day, really.


25 comments:

  1. I think it’s high time to introduce Fran’s offspring’s offspring to the family sense of humour. I need to know what he said to the chickens, other than what he wanted for his lunch. And what the chicken replied.

    Aren’t those ‘fun for all the family outings’ a rip-off. If you really go as ‘all the family’ you need a second mortgage to pay for them. Much better to introduce Elijah to cardboard boxes and saucepan lids now; he will be used to making up his own entertainment in no time and you’ll have the pleasure of conducting his early attempts at playing percussion.

    A bit too early for arty films though. Give him a few months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We actually had the discussion about cardboard boxes and how to create a whole kitchen (oven, washing machine, fridge, dishwasher) out of large ones. It kept ours going for months. Fisher Price, go hang.

      Delete
  2. When I feel sad I usually watch Monty Python's Holy Grail, cheers me right up
    Those dog warning signs are here too, haven't seen any on garden gates, but there is a big stand of them at the local newsagency. The German Shepherd and Rottweiler ones are all sold out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you can't see any of the signs on the gates, what the heck are people doing with these?!

      Delete
  3. Hatton Country World. I bet it was. I had to cash in my life savings just to get in to use the toilets.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is that really Elijah in the photo? He's getting so big!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you mean the one on the left, yes it is.

      Delete
  5. I'm sure Elijah thought it was a splendid day. (And that's all that really matters.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. One day maybe he'll be able to tell us.

      Delete
  6. Have you discovered soft play areas yet? They weren't around when mine were small, but grandchildren love them, find it hard to get hurt (hard, but not quite impossible), and there's plenty of coffee (for you) and unhelathy snacks (for them. But chickens only come in nugget form.

    BTW Elijah looks gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my day, soft play meant leaping up and down on people's beds until you got told off and put on the naughty step.

      Delete
  7. I've just played the 'What colour is this?' game with my 3 year old granddaughter (har asking me). It costs nothing, whiles away a whole afternoon and you don't need expensive hairdresser bills as you'll have torn all your hair out after the first hour!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For a whole afternoon?.... You are a mega-grandma. I heard a mum say to her child on the bus this morning, 'You ask too many questions.' We'd all been listening to him for about 20 minutes and were thinking exactly the same. But it's how they learn, isn't it? Annoying, but true.

      Delete
    2. I remember playing the colour game with my kids, but with a slight difference. I had them bring me one of something red, (or blue/green etc) sometimes I would ask for two or three, this way they learned to count as well as their colours. At the end of the day it would be "put away all the red toys, blue toys" and so on until all were back in the box and I didn't have to pick up a thing!

      Delete
  8. If he's happy with garden centre chickens I wouldn't waste money on other stuff until he realises it's there and demands it!! My mum got away with not buying us ice creams for years by telling us it was 'the music van'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know someone whose mum told him that if the ice cream van played a tune, it meant they'd run out of ice cream.

      Delete
  9. I'm with you on the feeling sad bit. We've just had a weekend with all our lot and now they've gone. Waaaaah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm beginning to know that feeling well!

      Delete
  10. I think you were very fortunate that Elijah fell asleep. I've never heard of that film, and I usually like artsy-fartsy stuff. I think singing the U2 song is brilliant. I quite often walk around singing anyway. People just ignore me. They can see I'm soft in the head.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We should sing more. No one sings enough now. I sang in one of my lessons last week and one pupil said, 'That's ACTUALLY quite an up-to-date song.' Talk about subtext.

      Delete
  11. When he's seventeen, Elijah will phone his order to the fish & chip shop asking, " Have you got a chicken ?" Joe did this & had us in stitches; he did eventually order " one portion of chicken & chips please "
    Garden centres & little boys don't always work; same boy aged three poking his fingers into a wall of flower arranging bricks - we had to beat a hasty retreat !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the chicken story! I have a chicken story too. We had a lot of people round for dinner when one of our youngsters was quite small and we had roasted a load of chicken legs, which we served, and he piped up, looking very puzzled, 'Gosh, how many legs did this chicken HAVE?'

      Delete
  12. Sounds like the perfect family day out ... the "weather's not too bad version". Elijah will remember these fondly .
    And for any future bad weather visits , I recommend keeping a couple of fold-up removal boxes in the back of the garage . With the addition of torches , some sandwiches and a tambourine you can keep him amused for hours in the comfort of your own home .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah! He has his own tambourine! We are sorted.

      Delete