Friday, July 30, 2010

The Incident

It is time, I fear, to tell An Incident from our recent holiday. It has nothing to do with the spud bar the fact that he was 20 feet away but missed it entirely. This is a Good Thing as seeing one's mother pulled naked from the ocean is possibly 'scar for life' material. But I digress.

It was lovely and hot in Biarritz that week. Sadly however work was the order of the day and so I could only manage to get to the sea quite late. Luckily it was still hot and sunny, less luckily the tide was coming in making swimming a bit iffy.

Late one afternoon we went to one of our favourite beaches; a beach with quite dodgy swimming as the sand shelves off quite sharply. This forces the waves to pound their way into the beach rather than roll beatifically into nothing and makes paddling almost impossible. There was a sharp cross-current and after the Frog lurched back from his swim with sand in his hair it was clear that the sea had teeth.

I am, however, made of the sort of stuff that is likely to see me swimming off the coast of Devon in March and jumping into freezing mountain pools for the fun of it. I'm a strong swimmer and secretly I rather thought the Frog was exaggerating and had just bungled his dismount.

The swimming flags were close together and probably 100 people or more were crammed between them, some on the shore, the majority just into the surf line and a brave few in the breakers.

Cockily, I (dressed only in a bikini that someone should have stolen and burned) waded in, expertly dodged the waves and was out beyond the surf in no time. The cross-current was perfect for allowing a good long swim without the dreary necessity of actually going anywhere. 'Heavenly' I thought to myself, swimming endlessly on the spot 'being able to stretch my muscles like this'.

Presently I felt I'd had a good amount of exercise and should probably go in. I monitored the waves. I rode the swell. I held back from the breakers. I was carried into the shore, perfectly vertical, ahead of a wave. I landed, en pointe, daintily in front of the crowd. Just as I was at my MOST cocky, a wave I'd ignored because, after all, I was walking up the shelf on dry land, knocked me flying.

As I got up, I realised with horror that it had pulled my bikini bottoms clean down to my ankles and I was now sitting, naked from the waist down, in front of 100 gurning tourists. I sat in the swirling tide hanging on to my kecks trying to pull them up discreetly and was halfway there when the next wave dragged me under. I emerged still hanging onto my knickers and nearly had them up when the next one came and took me for a proper dragging.

This time when I sat up, I realised my bra was now hanging by one strap and I was entirely nude. Feeling nothing but embarrassment I let the next wave take me, hoping to get back out into the deeper water but suddenly, what's this? Two strong arms had me from behind!!

Was it the Frog? Was it Superman? No! It was a young, handsome French lifeguard! Woo hoo! Sadly, he was trying to drag me out of the water. A wave came, he gestured with his head and we dove under, me still hanging on to my clothes.

At that point, a second life-guard joined the party... and THAT, my friends, is how it took two strapping young men to drag me from the sea, naked, resistant and shouting 'Non! Non! Mes culottes! Mes culottes!!!'

I think being 45 helps in these cases as I managed with some level of experience to both shrug back into my bra and pull up my pants before they stood me up in front of the over-excited crowd. I tried to maintain a semblence of dignity but within seconds realised that there was so much sand in my drawers that they were sagging down to my thighs like a wet nappy.

Lifeguard number one looked at me, puzzled and possibly put out that I wasn't melting with thanks. I looked at him. We looked at the sea. 'C'est dur' he said. 'Oui, c'est dur' I said, manipulating sand out of my labia and pretending nothing was happening.

Ursula Andress, eat your heart out...

Friday, July 23, 2010

No tears

I was woken up by a big kiss on my nose this morning, for a fraction of a second I thought it was the cat licking me - a new tactic to get me out of bed and over to his food bowl; but no, it was Charlie.

He wasn't that miserable that he'd missed his girlfriends leaving in the night (something he might be changing his mind about in another 15 years...) but he was very concerned about the where-abouts of his buses.

This morning he is sitting on the sofa trying manfully to raise a single eyebrow. The problem begins with the fact that he can't even raise them both together quite yet - if he was a girl I might be encouraging him now to keep it that way; I've been able to raise a single eyebrow since the age of 6 and it amazes me that my son hasn't tried to drive one of his trains across my forehead; there are enough lines there to handle the traffic at Clapham Junction.

Oh my. We have to leave the house in 5 minutes. I am in my nightie. Another line hits the forehead...

Notes from Inside my Stress

OK, well putting pressure on myself to come up with something funny is like commissioning my own personal writer's block. 'Yes, it's Sparx here, have you got something dark that can come and sit on my creativity for a while? Really? Excellent, I'll take two'.

It's been a rough few months. I've been putting in some very long hours , the Frog has been booked up solid and our poor little boy is reduced to playing games in which his little buses beg his big buses to 'stop working please Mummy' and whenever his poor Father manages to nip into the loo for a quiet twenty minutes (he is a bloke, after all) I am informed that 'Daddy is at the Studio, Mummy, I will sleep in your bed.'

We tried unsuccessfully to take a 2-week holiday, thank gods we had friends visiting for the last few days or we would never have stopped working long enough to get out in the sun. Finally, while away we got the news that one of Charlie's best little friends has a brain tumour and while the emergency surgery was successful, she is now facing a year of painful treatments, so everyone is a little bit in shock.

Having said that, in general things are quite good at the moment, things are calming down, our little friend is coming out of hospital in one piece and remarkably, the cat is still alive. Boney, down half a kilo and covered in dreadlocks, but still jumping on us at 3-hour intervals day and night demanding whatever meal it is on his Byzantine meal schedule that he thinks we've missed.

Yes, it's all rosy here at Sparx towers. We had an accidental half-sleepover with two of Charlie's girlfriends tonight (a sentence I would never have imagined possible a few years ago) and yet again the gender differences became apparent. Charlie took two buses into the bed, the girls took their little purses and kept waving them around and making 'I'm a Lady' faces while he ducked manfully and made disapproving faces. It was highly comic. Both girls are now home with the parents and my little spud will wake up alone in the morning. I am prepped for tears.

Right. With this non-post I'm off. Will try to visit other blogs soon, time permitting - forgive the lapse.

Friday, July 02, 2010


Well well well. has it been a month since we chatted, dear Internet? Close, I bet.

We've been larking about as usual, 'staying afloat on the great sea of life', I might say, if I fancied waxing poetic at 8am which is probably a bad idea.

I'm using a blog writing app which makes me feel terribly modern and ridiculous. The predictive text on this thing occasionally makes me wee with laughter to the dismay of my fellow passengers (and presumably the next person on this seat... But I digress).

We're off to France tomorrow, leaving our flat and our ageing puss in the capable hands of friends. Charlie has been waiting soooo patiently for this. The promise of a real airport has taken his mind completely off the bloody Transport Museum and for that I fear regular air travel may remain in our carbon-laden future.

We've done lots of things that might have been blog-worthy recently - camping, picnics, raids on our local ice-cream van armed with pound coins and hope, paddling, sleepovers, I've been away - oh, and the first copy of my book arrived in the post on Wednesday - hooray! If anyone owns, or knows a girl over the age of 8 who likes a bit of a read, let me know. I'm available for speaking engagements, parties... er... um.... Ok so anyway yes there is A Book. Fiction. Children's. Enough for now.

I have decided, at any rate, not to post on this blog anymore unless I think something is particularly funny. This blog used to be more like a 3 or a 4 on the 1-5 scale of 'is this a funny blog?' however is now more like a 1 or a 2. It's odd, because 3 year olds are actually quite funny. One of our local Dads is a stand-up comedian and we saw him last night, turning parenthood into the comedy fodder that it is, yet somehow it's been all too serious here at spud towers.

So, anon. This is where I get off. Nice to chat, have a lovely weekend and I'll try to drop in soon.