Friday, April 24, 2009

A letter from America


Dear Dawn, Katy, and Mate,

I have no real reason for writing you this letter. As of this moment, I am not ill, or expecting to be. I stopped smoking over 2 years ago, so whilst I appreciate, it could come back and bite me on the arse further on down the line, all is well on that front. As you probably know, I do like a beer or three, but even the amount of booze I consume has halved since we sold the pub. I am slightly over-weight, but you can blame that on the non-smoking, as I now have my taste buds back. I am sure you would agree that everything I cook tastes so gorgeous, so what’s a boy to do? That’s right, eat some more.

So my health in general is OK. Your mum can stress me out a bit, but we all suffer that one together, and her bark is more often worse than her bite. The only thing that gives me cause to pause is my memory. I think this is an affliction most of our generation are going to suffer with, and I blame the music industry. Your Granddad has always marvelled at how many song lyrics I can recite at the drop of a hat, he almost seems proud of me for it, but I am beginning to think it may have a downside.

I think the part of my brain that is used to store all the thousands of lyrics I have heard, is full up, and needs a new “storage solution”, as big yellow box would put it. Unfortunately, the bit of my brain devoted to tiny inconsequential stories about you lot, now has some lyrics mixed up with it. I could, if asked, sing the whole “Purple Rain” album, word for word, including that freaky backwards bit at the end of “Darling Nikki”, but ask me what Dawn’s favourite first book was, and all that springs to mind is “Revolver”, which is obviously not correct.

I can remember Katy’s first word (other than Mum and Dad of course) because it was PUB, and even in writing that, I still feel a perverse sense of pride. Ask me Dawn’s fist word, and all that springs to mind is “Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur of what is known as...” Now Dawn has always been an A grade student, but that can’t be right.

In my head, Katy’s first nursery was in Stanley Road, Dawn was born in a hospital in Baker Street, and Mate’s playgroup is on Warwick Avenue. I have looked all of these addresses up, and they are all wrong, so I have decided to write this letter, as some sort of ‘kick in the nads’ to my memory banks, and also something to embarrass you all with, if you are ever brave enough to bring home significant others.

I remember taking Dawn to Camber Sands when she was about 5, if you have never been, it is a long flat sandy beach, which can stretch for at least 200 metres when the tide is out. Dawn had brought her favourite teddy bear, Mr Wendal, along for the trip, and as soon as we parked the car and opened the door, she was off. They looked like a modern day Hansel and Gretel running towards the sea, but instead of a trail of breadcrumbs, we had to follow a trail of discarded clothes, straight to the sea. When the trail eventually ended, we were faced with a naked child, and a very soggy teddy, splashing about for all their worth.

For you Katy, I remember, that at the time we were thinking of having you, it was very fashionable to name your child after the place they were conceived. Even President Beckham and First Lady Victoria, named their child Brooklyn, a famous, if not seedy, part of New York where they were staying at the time. Your Mum and I were at a wedding, in a beautiful part of Cornwall, on the (drunken) night of your conception. We thought long and hard about it, but “Hotel Corridor” is not a name you should inflict on any child, even if that child then conspired to deprive you of sleep for 2 years.

That then leads us to Mate, always destined to be the baby of the family. Actually, you remaining the baby of the group had little to do with destiny, and lots to do with the operation I had to make sure it stayed that way. You see, your Mum comes from Irish Catholic stock, and that lot have kids into their sixties, and I don’t mean their age. With you, it is more about forgetting the things you have done, than remembering. You are the Steve McQueen of the family, always trying to escape. We had the zoo incident, the Tescos incident, and as a one year old, you actually broke out of your cot by bouncing. I kid you not, you jumped so hard and so often, you went straight through it. I wouldn’t mind, but it was not one of those cheap IKEA ones, it was a real wooden one from your rich Aunt, on your Mums side.

Such fun and such memories, all disappearing purely because some brain-box, working for a grocer, invented the IPod. If only I knew then, as I uploaded the 600+ CD’s in my collection, the end result would be a loss of your childhood exploits, then maybe I would have just listened to them the old fashioned way, one at a time. Although, if I download The Beatles Anthology, maybe I will forget about all the nappies I have had to change at 2 o’clock in the morning. Where’s the USB lead?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

PARKLIFE! Reminds me of karaoke at The Lord Napier, see you stirred my memories

Anonymous said...

Makes me feel a bit sad. Not sure why really. You have depressed me now, need some harry hill.

Russ said...

I shouldn't read your posts while buzzing.

Angpang said...

As evil as this sounds, I do enjoy the fact that nothing even goes to plan for you. The more you suffer, the more entertaining you become. Keep up the good work.