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Tuesday, April 04, 2006


2020hrs, supper in t'oven ~ Jason Whitton's "Thriftstore Cowboy" album *yet* again on the stereo ~ nibbles: biscuits and mascarpone cheese and (shame!) macadamia nuts.

Parents: As i organise to fly to mum's side, selfish thoughts busy themselves with my idle mind. I brush them aside but not without shame that they even intruded.

Mums 'n' Dads! Specially Mum. Wot's it all abaht, Alfie?

As I pack and phone and scrub the apartment and generally do in 2 days what i'd leisurely thought of maybe getting round to contemplating a month from now, the sniveling me-me organism is whispering bore groan sulk hassle.

Wasn't there a corny song years back about a child whining to his mum about what he'd done and her presenting him with a no-charge invoice for all the thing *she* had done for the brat?

There was, and we can all write our own, mine being:

  • Driving miles to take me out on the three Exeat Sundays we had at those dreadful schools i whinge about a feared

    Don't even *mention* the cost and sacrifice it must have taken to have me imprisoned in those places for privileged beatings and terrifying hearty bruisings on the rugger/hockey/cricket field.

  • Instant generosity despite the funds being short in those days
  • Kitting me out for Oxford with everything the posh undergrad might need
  • Kitting me out with everything the first-time job-seeker might need, like an apartment and major help with the rent
  • Arriving back from Hong Kong, eager to see her baby again and understanding sans demur when selfish aforesaid says down the phone that he has a date with a friend, so maybe another night, yeh?
  • I lose count, or am i just in shameful denial?

    I pack and i focus on what i'm going to do when i get out there to make things easy for her.

    She's 85, active gardener, brill artiste, life-embracing enthusiast. If i'm to have the time to repay even a scintilla of what she's delivered uncomplainingly for me, she'd better sort out the menu for her 125th birthday.

    Waitrose trolleys: they like this in the States? You try to take a trolley over the exit mat and the wheels just freeze. There's a notice to that effect but you see jokers trying it. The burly security chaps are right there.

    PigPen: that charlie brown character who can just stand there and acquire a patina of dirt. I'm that way with abodes: my mum has a most elegant Knightsbridge apartment. i've been here since march 8, trying to be tidy but it looks like a terrorist hideaway. Untidiness everywhere, even where it should be hard to be untidy, i've introduced a genius new element of sloppiness.

    Impromptu prezzies: clever mum. One whole drawer is devoted to cute knicknacks she's picked up round the world - greek olive soap; cool gizmos like torches that you wear like glasses; cards from everywhere; just the most ingenious stuff.

    Hopes: natch, masses of framed fotos of family etc, christenings, fotos i'd sent casually of the girls and which were given pride of place; me young; me and Mrs Busker young, that happy triumphant look you don't even realise you wear when you've totally written the Book of Love will age together and triumph over all.

    Not easy ....

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