Thursday, 30 August 2012

Musings on being a Grown Up

I often have concerns about growing up but the problem is I don’t actually now what that entails, not considering myself a Grown-Up at all.
This can be difficult especially when I land up yelling at my eldest, who is all of nine years old, that he needs to grow up. I fear that is the pot calling the kettle black.
Being a Grown-Up and feeling like a Grown-Up are obviously two completely unrelated things. You are a Grown-Up in that you are adult but whether you behave or feel like a Grown-Up is a matter of opinion.
When I think of Grown-Ups I think of my parents and it dawns on me that my boys see me as a Grown-Up and that in all probability my parents view their parents as the Grown Ups and so it will continue.
Grown-Ups are organised, poised, glamorous, unflappable, serene, knowlegable, considered, entertaining and endlessly patient. Attributes I have yet to garner – but that is my picture of a Grown Up I dread to think what my son thinks a Grown Up is; probably loud, contradictory, unfair, disorganised, nosey, and with a dubious dress sense.
And on that basis I should not be encouraging him to grow-up at all!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The best excuse for not eating vegetables…

Not eating vegetables!

Now my boys, like all boys, are not overly keen on vegetables and trying to get them to eat their statutory five a day is a task that would make even Hercules struggle.
But I don’t give up that easily and nor, am I afraid, do my boys.
They are ever on the lookout for excuses not to eat fruit and vegetables particularly ones they dislike. Obviously I try not to give them food I know they hold in abhorrence but just sometimes I feel it is good for their souls to be forced to eat something a little out of the ordinary or something that I truly believe they will enjoy some day.
I am not a sadist, I don’t force them to eat foods that I know they detest all the time, just occasionally, so that they get the idea that they should just get on with it. Nothing is more painful and embarrassing that when you take your child to a restaurant or to someone else’s house and they kick up a fuss about the stray Brussels sprout that is totally out of proportion to the situation. And you land up in a fierce whispering row about the fact that they should eat it because it is rude not to and then your host or the restaurant manager says its fine and not to worry but you’ve cornered yourself and it becomes a matter of principal and the whole meal/occasion is ruined and will be forever remembered as “The time when Mum blew her top over a Brussels Sprout and we got barred from the restaurant/were never got invited back again”.
There are times I look in askance at those hosts who serve up Brussels Sprouts/broad beans to children - it is almost as if they don’t like you…
Anyway back to the boys and the novel ways they engineer to get out of eating food they don’t like or at least think they don’t like because half the time you just know they have never even tasted the stuff before.
Now Bog Boy, at the grand old age of six, has taken to not bothering to go to the loo if there is something more important happening such as playing on the Wii/Nintendo/iPod or even playing on the trampoline and I get the jolly task of having to deal with his pants and the skid marks.
It is not pleasant and he and I have been having a running battle of wills all through the summer. He fails to make it to the loo and I threatened to put him back in nappies. Invariably I lose.
So when we were in Wet Welsh Wales he had another accident while we were out by the rock pools and I blew my top saying that that was it he was going back into nappies and he’d have to deal with it himself.
“But it’s all your fault Mummy!”
“Why on earth is it my fault? You are the one who has pooed his pants!”
“You make me eat tomatoes!”
Of course I did! Silly me! In my quest for healthier eating I had decided that all of us should eat tomatoes on a daily basis. Each boy should eat two baby plum tomatoes at lunchtime and as far as I was concerned they could smother the wretched things in mayonnaise just so long as they were eaten. I won that battle.
So there I am on the beach and he’s hollering at me.
“You make me eat tomatoes and they are poison.”
“How on earth can they be poisonous?”
“They are! They are making me go to the loo quicker so it is your fault that I poo in my pants!!”
“Eating vegetables makes you go to the poo and you making me eat tomatoes is making me poo quicker so I don’t have enough time to go to the loo properly! You should NOT make me eat vegetables.”
He was so adamant and so very, very cross with me that I couldn’t help it, I burst out laughing and no, he didn’t have to eat any more tomatoes; I am still standing firm n vegetables though!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Looking good in a wet suit!

There is no way anyone on gods earth that anyone looks good in a wet suit - well I suppose a size zero model may do in fact I am sure they'd look relatively normal for once but a modest size 12 will look decidedly frumpy however much she sucks in her stomach.
I know I've tried.
In fact I tried all afternoon as I helped the boys with their boogie boarding.
And why may you ask was I trying to suck my tummy in?
Well believe it or not just sometimes on a beach holiday in the wet welsh Wales you happen to land up on a beach pitch right next door to a serious grey fox. For the unititiated that is a male of mature years who is a deadringer for George Clooney.
I couldnt help it. There's something about having a seriously good looking guy in the vicinity that makes one sort of want to be seen at one's best and turning up on the beach in a wet suit isn't getting off to a good start.
So I spent the whole afternoon trying hard not to breathe - a very difficult thing to do when you are in the sea boogie boarding with your kids and trying to look super cool as well. It was all too much in the end so I decided to cover my embarrassment and stay in the sea until he went much to my boys delight never have they had their mum so willing to stay in the sea with them right up until tea!

Not having a holiday

Do mothers ever get holidays? I'm not sure.
I'm here in a static caravan on a receding cliff on the Welsh coast with two energetic boys, a blind and somewhat deaf jack russell and a whippet that has serious separation issues and despite everyone else enduring a heat wave all we have on the horizon is rain, rain and more rain.
I'm trying to look on the bright side at least my boys don't care about getting wet so there are plenty of things for us to do most of which would involve them getting wet anyway such as boogie boarding, crossing the river (a favourite past time whenever we venture west which involve lots of broad flat stones and a river that is luckily nevermore than a large stream at best), rock pooling, and sea challenging which involves paddling in the sea in your clothes and challenging the surf to see how long you can stay dry before a rogue wave gets you and you get soaking wet.
The dogs quite like getting wet too, well perhaps not Tattie my whippet, but Tigger adores it and he is rather hairy. Every time the boys venture near the sea he is with them splashing about barking and digging up the sand.
Tattie ping pongs from me sitting well above the water line to them in the surf bravely plunging in then hurtling back to check that I am where she last left me and then shaking all the water off so by the time we return back to the caravan we are all rather wet and sandy.
I do a lot of cleaning in Wales.
Probably more cleaning than I ever do at home.
I also do a lot more ordering about in Wales trying to get the boys to think a bit before they charge about in their wet and muddy gear. I seem to be on a permanent look out lest the place gets wrecked!
But despite that I don't feel I am getting much of a holiday clearing, cleaning, cooking and minding, I do love it. Lying in bed at night listening to the waves crash down on the shore as I did as a child when we stayed here, I wonder if my mum got much of a holiday back then or did she too remember her childhood sojourns in this magical place?
For my boys are the fourth generation to come here for our holidays perhaps they too will bring their children in time and enjoy not having a holiday too...

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Hi Wales we're here if you didn't already know...

Yep arrived with a bang or in my case with some rather choice Anglo Saxon after an eight and a half hour trek from Suffolk in the east to New Quay, Wales in the west via the M25 (deliciously clear) and the M4(what was that about nose to tail right through to bloomin Carmarthen!)
By the time I stopped driving I was literally seeing stars and felt as though I would never be able to stand straight again. There are times I truly believe I'd be able to get to Australia faster than I can get to the land of my forefathers and we're meant to be part of one united kingdom.
Crossing into Wales over the bridge in amongst the most godawful traffic this side of a bank holiday I glanced over to the opposite carriageway taking people back to england it was empty, it made me panic a bit thinking that all of those holiday makers trying to get back were still stuck trying to get in..
Anyway, we got here and just as I drew up it started to rain hence my choice words. The Boys were round eyed and let's just say very keen to help mummy unload and get sorted. The quickly hunkered inside 'sorting' everything out while I grappled with getting the gas on.
Every year I have the same problem or at least variations of it trying to remember just how it's done and every year I have forgotten - this year was no exception just that it was a bit wetter than normal.
A lot wetter than normal so much so that even my knickers were wet
And it wasn't until I called the cavalry in the form of next door neighbours, caretakers etc that I remembered to turn the butterfly valve to vertical...
It was time for a little more Anglo saxon - I really wish I could do it in welsh.
So hi Wales we're here if you hadn't already noticed....
And I remembered that I had to turn the butterfly to vertical

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Welcome to Wet Welsh Wales!

New Quay, Wales
Well at least that's what it says I can look forward to this coming week on my weather app. Not a good start to our annual pilgrimage to New Quay in Wales but not an unexpected one either - it is the wild west after all and nobody said it had to be dry!
I'm half looking forward and half dreading it.
It will be the first time me and the boys will be down there on our own and although I have no qualms about managing the caravan - two bedrooms, two bathrooms one en suite - looking after two hyperactive boys and two mad whippets is quite another matter! I fear I may have to put out warnings for other holiday makers in the nearby vicinity...that  or ensure I get up at sparrows fart to exercise both dogs and children while the Traeth is relatively clear of human, animal and other animate obstacles!
Although we may be a small family as families go we are, to say it politely, rather loud and have a tendency to make our presence felt.
The boys chat to all and sundry and if the Olympics are anything to go by the youngest will be on the prowl for food to supplement his mother's pathetic attempts at a picnic while the dogs, going on past performance will not be saying please and thank you and will be making off with other people's picnics or else pissing on their sandcastles...
Ah the joy of seaside holidays with rats (whippets to the uniniated) on stilts and feral boys.

You Have Been Warned...

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

All men are bastards

Man at Work

Most girls are brought up knowing this; it’s part of an international female psyche on all levels - not just when your boyfriend dumps you. It’s there on a political, social and emotional level. Its realisation is part of growing up.
But as a mother of boys I am beginning to reassess these assumptions and take a particular look especially on the relationship front.
I have the privilege to be surrounded by men; in fact the whole of my working life I has been dominated by men; firstly in the farming sphere as an agricultural student then farming reporter, then in the property world as corporate PR and features writer extraordinaire and finally working with a myriad of builders over the last decade turning a romantic wreck into a glorious home here in Suffolk.
I am comfortable with that but throughout it all, I held strongly to the tenet that: all men were bastards, and knowing this has kept me linked, however tenuously, to the sorority of females the world over.
However the stories and tales I have been told over the years in this rarefied male atmosphere has made me look again at this confusing species.
Perhaps they are not as bad as they are made out to be. Perhaps my boys are not going to grow up to be bastards who rip through a myriad of females in a quest to satisfy their baser natures. Perhaps instead of having to apologise to distraught young girls and assuage their grief because my sons’ have done a bunk, I will be needed to care for my boys’ broken hearts.
The female of the species seems far more hard-nosed, mercurial, warped even than I could ever give credit. In fact for every tale of a man doing something truly despicable I hear several of women doing considerably worse.
The thing I think that makes it harder for a man is that society is disinclined to allow a bloke to show his feelings especially when a girl dumps him/runs off with his best mate/plays emotional ping pong with him/or even physically attacks him.
They are not allowed to cry, grieve for a lost relationship/feel scared etc. they just have to stand there like a sacrificial ox and show nothing whatsoever.
I suppose I am now in that honoured position of not just being a mother to boys of my own, but also mother figure to all those who work for me thus I am safe to talk to – I am told it is a privilege of age. (I don’t like it but I am getting used to it)
I’ve seen starry eyed boys crushed learning of betrayal, of grown men reduced to sobbing in dark corners when dumped for no obvious reason. I’ve seen them rant and rave at the unfairness as a partner leaves taking everything from their home right down to the kitchen sink and curtains in a petty act of revenge. I’ve seen them quake in fear as they listen to deranged threats not just against them but against their children because a two week fling has come to an end.
I am privy to many secrets of the heart and am expected to dole out sage advice when necessary. I am getting it down to a fine art. Usually it’s along the lines of:
“It will all come out right in the wash.”
“She didn’t deserve you.”
“There are plenty of fish in the sea.”
And my own personal favourite after many, many years of listening: “Look for God’s sake don’t charge on in there, give yourself time to get over her. There’s nothing worse than a rebound relationship.”
Sometimes I even - and I feel this a betrayal of the sisterhood - advise: “Look just go for a one night stand; you need sex and fun not a full blown relationship right now.”
And in all of this I am learning - not all men are bastards…

Monday, 13 August 2012

Bringing up Boys: Born Survivor

Boy and Ball
There are times you just know that they are born survivors. In fact there are times you actually begin to worry that they are, in fact, rather too good at surviving.
I frequently say that my youngest, Bog Boy, is going to succeed at anything he puts his mind to; the problem is I don’t know quite which side of the law that’s going to be…
He is disarming, charming, cheeky, clever and full of confidence. Chatting to people, be they older, younger, friends or strangers, hold no fear for him. He knows what he wants and when he wants something he really is quite ruthless. He frequently gets want he wants and all with a smile.
He has many gambits in his repertoire but the one that works best is a direct frontal attack. Take the time he cornered an unsuspecting mother in the playground at going home time. She had brought her sons some mini donuts so he could eat them after a hard day at school. Now Bog Boy has a penchant for donuts and he has been wickedly indulged by some of the mothers because he was very cute with his big blue eye, dimples and blonde, blonde, hair but like encouraging dogs at table by feeding them titbits, indulging a child this way can only lead to bad behaviour.
Spotting the donuts Bog Boy trots up to the mother and politely but determinedly states:
Him expectantly: “I like donuts.”
Her absently: “That’s nice...”
Him earnestly: “I like donuts.”
Her slightly confused: “They’re for my son
Him astounded and very round eyed: “What all of them?”
Her apologetically: “Erm, yes.”
Him sensing a chink in her armour: “I like very small donuts.”
Her giving in: “Oh OK well erm just the one…”
Mission accomplished.
IN South Africa while picnicking at Kirstenbosch (a bit like Kew Gardens) he trotted off to play and managed to join another family entirely and garnered all sorts of goodies stating when finally he returned to us that he much preferred their picnic to ours. I had to rush over and apologise profusely but they seemed perfectly relaxed about it.
And he did it yet again at the Olympics yesterday while watching the Women’s Modern Pentathlon, shamelessly taking advantage of the bon homie and good will of the spectators around him.
His father reported back that he secured nuts from a German, ice cream form an Italian and sweets from an American and not one of them seemed remotely upset by his tactics.
As I have said before I only hope that this is not a prelude of things to come as I fear that he might not be on the side of angels…however angelic he seems.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Bringing up boys: when they are NOT around

My Boys
So there I am all by me own.
By myself.
It’s kind of weird and exciting and lonely all at the same time.
I don’t have any responsibilities beyond those that concern me and the animals. No children to get up, feed and water. No husband to pander to, to make sure he’s OK, that he has everything he needs and wants.
It’s just me.
And I really am not quite sure what to do with myself in the moments that I have spare.
I am MEANT to be working my socks off in order to meet all my deadlines before I take a couple of weeks off to take the boys to Wales and join my husband when he takes time off from work.
But the problem is that when I need a break from work  I realise how incredibly quiet the place is. There’s loads of stuff to do don’t get me wrong but doing it on my own without the backdrop of the familiar family cacophony is disconcerting to say the least.
I find that I am talking to the dogs a load more and the radio is on almost all the time and as for the TV well it IS the Olympics...
It makes me realise how much I like having them all about me, obviously NOT when I am getting mithered by them to do things, mend things and generally feed and water them and clear up after them but just them being about …just them, well - breathing!
I will focus and get all my work out of the way and I'll get the youngest’s bedroom all painted and decorated by the time he gets back on Friday ready to move into; the cleaning will be finished, the laundry all beautifully put away. Fridges cleared of suspect detritus, office organised, photos catalogued…well maybe not going that far but you get the picture.
I’ll be ready for them to come back. I’ll be looking forward to their presence about the place, the noise, the mess and the general chaos that follows them about and I won't mind at all...
I’m really missing them!

Monday, 6 August 2012

The Wickedest Whippet: Looking as guilty as a puppy beside a pile of poo...

The Wickedest Whippet: Innocent!
Looking as guilty as a puppy beside a pile of poo. I’d like that to be figuratively of course, but for me the whole situation is as far from Blackadder as I am at present from my children.
They are with their grandparents in Yorkshire and I am down here staring at a pile of poo in my kitchen trying to work out which whippet was wicked. There is no reason on earth why there should be poo on my kitchen floor, the door to the garden is not closed, the dogs have not been beaten for any infringement real or imagined (yet); in fact quite the opposite they have all been free to wander outside, inside and in my Lady’s chamber or at least her office. No one has been ostracised, left out or even picked on so there is no excuse and they all look equally guilty.
I am afraid there is only one thing that can be done each and every one of them bar Tigger, the Jack Russell ( I know it is not him because I know what his poos look like - sorry  it’s a dog owner thing we’re like that) will have to have their noses rubbed in it and then thrust outside not to come in again so that they can reconsider whether it is a good idea to poo inside the house or not.
I do hope they choose the former in future.
Now grabbing a fully grown whippet and rubbing their noses in poo is not something I would recommend on a daily basis. It is much easier when they are puppies and it is all part of their toilet training.
I was successful in collaring Gemma who is now looking at me balefully from under the yew tree in the pouring rain, I was successful in cornering Tattie who is now shivering and looking pathetic; but trying to capture Sassy aka The Evil Black Job or the ultimate Wickedest Whippet, has been - how shall we say - a bit of a challenge.
The first two were over and done with in short shrift but as soon as I turned in HER direction she immediately saw my intent and thought: Not On Your Nelly and was gone like greased lightning, jumping over the stair gate in the small TV room which is meant to keep the canine pack curtailed, and bolting up the stairs. I, of course, followed. She charged along the corridor and into the big spare room. I thought I had her but as I reached forward to take her collar she leapt on the bed outmanoeuvring me and bolted out the door and disappeared. I searched high and low.
She would not be found.
She would not come downstairs when I called.
She was not going to be conned with rattle of Gravy Bones in her bowl nor by me pretending to go out for a walk.
She resolutely did not want to be anywhere near me just in case. And I wouldn’t blame her.
So for two hours I had to leave the poo in the middle of my kitchen as I tried in vain to get hold of the little cuss her. It has been a battle of wills.
And I only succeeded because of the postman.
None of my dogs like the Postie and will all charge to the nearest window to bark their derision whenever he comes to deliver. I caught her and now she too is outside in the rain sulking.
I don’t know who is the real guilty party but I do have my suspicions…

Thursday, 2 August 2012

London2012 - I’ve seen the future…

Dusk at the Olympic Park - London2012
Last night my Dad said something profound:
“I’ve seen the future…”
At first I wasn’t exactly sure what he was on about. He is old after all say my boys. I suppose to them, at the tender ages of six and nine, at 70 years he is old, although I don’t really see him that way at all.
He’s just my Dad - sometimes kind, sometimes hard, sometimes laughing, sometimes cross and irascible. Opinionated, definitely opinionated and like most of those in a generation older than ourselves prone to saying things like: “It wasn’t like that in my day” or “When I was young we would never have been allowed to get away with that” or that old hoary chestnut: “I worry about the future for you lot, I thought we had problems but I certainly don’t like the look of some of yours that are coming down the track.”
So when he said he’s seen the future I was worried. He hasn’t been to London in over 20 years and usually says things like: “London is best viewed from 10 thousand feet flying en route to somewhere else”.
He lives in North Yorkshire, he’s happily retired with his dogs and his tennis and his shooting, his garden  and a fishing rod for when he needs some quiet time.
However, for the past five days my Dad embraced the Olympic spirit and has hurtled about London like the proverbial blue-arsed fly chasing after Olympic events as if he was in the finals of some 400m sprint himself. He’s been to the North Greenwich Arena to see the Gymnastics; he’s been to Lords to see the Archery, Wembley to see the Football, Excel for Fencing and Weightlifting and Earls Court for Volley Ball and he’s wandered in a happy daze around the Olympic Park itself.
And while he has been hurtling about he has made sure than everyone in the family has been able to join him if they want and all because no one invited him to the Olympics when he was six back in 1948. He says he was determined all his children and grandchildren should get the opportunity to experience London2012.
“For it’s unlikely to come round again in mine or your let alone their lifetimes!”
It has been brilliant but the best thing, the most brilliant thing has been his epiphany about the future.
The future for his children and more importantly the future of his grandchildren. He worries about things like that.
His biggest concern is our cultural heritage and the pressures he feels that is under with the seemingly huge influx of immigrants to the UK that he has witnessed in his lifetime. He has served his country in the Army and was privileged enough to be posted all over the world. He feels he is in a position to be concerned.
And if we read the papers and hear of the racist violence and segregation of communities, tales of greed and avarice I think he has every right to worry and to say so.
But he has had an epiphany.
It happened on a DLR to ExCel on Monday to see the Women’s Weightlifting. At Poplar I think, or it might have been Canning Town, a group of laughing giggling over excited school children scrambled on board and sat opposite.
It was like electricity dancing about; those children couldn’t have kept still or quiet in a month of Sundays and actually such was the party atmosphere no one wanted them to. My father couldn’t help but stare.
Right then and there he saw the future.
Three little girls and two little boys not much older than his eldest grandson.
You could not have posed a photograph more inclusive of race or religion the whole nation was encapsulated in that little bevy of brightness, that spot of light covered in union jack ribbons and bows and face paint and T-shirts and heaven else only knew what. Utterly British to the core. It was beautiful and I said so as I sat next to him and he was silent.
I hadn’t realised how much the sight had affected him, how profound the meeting was between him and the future.
But he hasn’t stopped telling everyone since.
He’s evangelical about it.
“They were totally colour-blind, it didn’t matter a toss to them at all about religion or anything.”
It was a totally British thing and he says if he hadn’t come to London2012 he would never have known; come to that nor would I.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Olympic operation!

So a few months ago after failing to get my Olympic tickets and getting all glum and very unpatriotic; I get a call out of the blue from my 70 year old Dad: "Fancy going to the Olympics then?"
"Errr yes please!"
And being as he's my Dad it wasn't just me, it was my boys and my husband as well. A girl's just got to love her Dad.
My Dad is an ex-military man and this wasn't just going to be any old foray into the London 2012 experience it was going to be a major operation done with precision and plenty of prior preparation
Luckily, I didn't have to worry too much about that initially; but when it came to letting Grandpa and my eldest go off together for the Fencing at Excel I swiftly apprised the situation and realised that I had to make sure they were both well prepared, much to the embarrassment of my son on the packed DLR train to Custom House!
Firstly Grandpa had had grave misgivings about the whole taking-his-grandson-to-the-Olympics-thing following a rather disastrous Sunday crabbing at Walberswick where The Boy was rather disgracefully behaved showing off to a mate.
Then after a marathon Monday watching Archery, Weightlifting and a walk in the incredibly beautiful Olympic Park, followed by yet another action packed day watching Volleyball and TeamGB ladies football versus Brazil, I realised that possibly Grandpa may be a tad exhausted when faced with dealing with a nine year old.
So what do I do?
Remember exactly what my father always says - Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Perfomance.
First I realise that I have to get The Boy to London the night before his excursion to cut down on travel time, avoid us arriving late and causing my father a heart attack, and ensure that both protagonists start the day at roughly the same time having had a good breakfast - one is always more grumpy on an empty stomach!
Then I ensure that The Boy knows how to use the emergency mobile to call home if there's trouble. I have visions of them losing each other and fret that I will have to train it in from Suffolk to fetch either one of them from the authorities.
To limit possible losing each other situations I make them both a picnic so that they can physically stay in their seats the whole session. And of course NOT lose each other.
I repeatedly tell The Boy that he must keep an eye on Grandpa the WHOLE time and that if Grandpa suggests they move in a certain direction to go with him even if it seems wrong.
Me: "Just stay with him OK?"
The Boy: "All the time?"
Me: "Yes, all the time."
The Boy: "Even if he goes to the loo?"
Me: "Especially then."
The Boy: "Gross!"
I give the boy a look and he knows I mean business.
I think I covered every eventuality. Every conceivable situation that could arise. I feel confident that they are prepared. I even personally escort them to the tube station and right on to the DLR heading to Beckton which means they do not have to get off apart from at their own stop - Custom House.
It is a perfect military operation.
Then just as we reached Poplar a stop before I needed to leave them I realised with horror that I had wrapped Freda's Fruit Cake in bacofoil.
Immediately I had visions of my father being arrested on suspicion of trying to bring a suspect package into the Olympic venue. Of Freda's Fruit Cake being blown up on the spot by security, my father arrested, my boy bereft and alone at the Excel with no means of contacting me.
I grabbed the picnic bag and frantically rummaged around to locate the package. I can tell you this is extremely difficult on a packed train and I didn't dare bring the cake out in case I caused a panic. So I did it all by feel and it must have looked so odd! I heard over the tannoy the imminent arrival of my stop. Like some demented escapologist I triumphantly withdrew the tin foil from the cake and hastily stuffed it in my pocket just in time.
I don't think my father was any the wiser but my boy just looked at me and mouthed: "You. Are. Such. An. Embarrassment!"
I think they'll both be OK but me, well if anyone looks at the CCTV I'll be the one arrested for suspicious behaviour!

Go on you know you want to...


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