Friday, September 21, 2007

Posh's Secret Diary

By popular demand, here is the skit I did for Sunday's 'Cafe Church' on 'Belonging'. Trust me, you didn't miss anything by not being there to hear my impression. More Jade Goody than Victoria Beckham.

13th July
Dear Diary
Well here we are at last in Sunny Los Angeles. Was v. pleased to see some old friends when we stepped off the plane, as most of the British tabloid photographers had gone on ahead of us. Fortunately me and David had had our hair done during the flight, and I managed to get me pout just right for all the front pages.

In the car on the way to the house we played ‘I spy someone more famous than Mummy’. Brooklyn spotted Cameron Diaz, who looked a bit rough. Cruz saw Britney Spears, who could also do with a bit of work. Then Romeo said ‘I spy daddy!’, so of course he won.

We watched the sun going down over the Hollywood sign.

I think we’re going to fit right in here.

15th July
Dear Diary
What a busy weekend it’s been! Me and David’ve hardly had time to gel our hair.
First David had to go and show his face at his new job. The other players look a bit worried, they’ve probably never seen a real footballer before. He showed them a couple of his moves, so I expect he’ll soon make friends.

Talking of new friends, Tom and Katie came round with Sherpa, or whatever their baby’s called (I can’t bear it when people pick silly names for their kids). I really like Katie, she seems really genuine and soon we were swapping addresses of our plastic surgeons and everything.

David and Tom stayed in the kitchen. I asked him what they were talking about afterwards and he said they were discussing whether using grey grouting would stop the problem of discolouration between the kitchen tiles. Oh, and whether Tom will get to be an operating Thetan if he keeps following the Church of Scientology.

It’s nice they’ve got so much in common.

18th July
Today we went out to a local restaurant for a nice quiet family meal, just us and about 20 photographers. I wanted to have something macrobiotic, like Gwynneth, but apparently I was in the wrong sort of restaurant; they only did supersizes of everything, and it wasn’t healthy. All the boys loved it. Will have to eat lettuce only for rest of week.

24th July
Dear Diary, I don’t mean to moan, but am really starting to get annoyed by being told to have a nice day all the time. Also being asked if I like it over here. And if I’m going to stay here. And if I like ‘soccer’. And if I know that Cruz is a girls name in Spain. These Americans are a bit predictable.
Still, seeing lots of Tom and Katie and little Scrunchie, and have met some other famous people too, though not as famous as us, of course. I think we’re starting to really belong here.

12th August
Funny sort of day. Went out for a drive and there wasn’t anyone waving at us. No pointing either. Romeo said, ‘Mummy, why aren’t those funny people pointing at us?’ I said don’t worry, darling, we’ll get out and go for a walkabout.

Went into a supermarket and there was Cameron Diaz, still looking a bit ropey behind the frozen peas. Still, between both of us you’d have thought we’d have managed at least one paparazzo. But nothing. Went to the checkout and the girl didn’t even look up, not even when she called for the supervisor to check the price of me plastic jugs.

These Americans just don’t do irony.

26th August.
The boys are getting ready to go to new schools. David’s started playing ‘soccer’ again. So it’s just me at home, practising me singing ready for the Spice Girls world tour (though David said: Babe, don’t worry too much. You’re the glamour. Specially now Gerrie’s let herself go all hippy).

Never mind, Katie’s still coming round quite a lot, even though they’ve got a nanny for little Sushi and she says she’s going back to work. I really like her. I’m thinking of getting a new tattoo, ‘Victoria and Katie: true friends forever’ in Arabic down my left leg. That’ll still leave me right leg for when I finally have a little girl.

Besides, I’m really settled here now, so I won’t really notice when they’ve all gone off somewhere. I’ve got me shopping channel, a fitness video to practice, and I need to work on a new pout.

Actually I like it on me own.

27th August
Dear Diary
Only 72 days until the Spice Girls meet up for the world tour…

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Balancing Act

Annie and I were overtaken by a unicyclist on the way to school this morning. Since moving house I have missed walking through the park every day, as I always enjoyed seeing the early morning exhibitionists that make use of this particular park: the ribbon-waver, the tai-chiers, the pigeon-whisperer, and the man who runs in slow motion with his knees up to his chin (a particular favourite). And especially the unicyclist. But I had always assumed he unicycled purely for pleasure. Now it looks like he uses one wheel as his main mode of transport because today he was cycling along the road clearly dressed in work clothes plus a fluorescent vest, rucksack on back, going somewhere necessary. There was something odd about the sight - surely 'necessary' and 'unicycle' don't go together? And why why WHY would anyone opt to use a unicycle as transport? The increased effort in balance and pedal power would surely put most people off. Though I bet he doesn't get his bike nicked so much.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Complimentary Medicine

I was walking through St Andrew's Park yesterday on my way to work when I looked up to see three words chalked on the gate-post: YOU ARE LOVED. It may not have been directed at me specifically (though one should never assume anything), but nonetheless it brightened my somewhat weary mood considerably and set me up for the day. No wonder one writer referred to compliments as 'verbal sunshine'.

This is the third compliment I've received recently that has had such a positive effect on me. The glazier who did our windows in our old house came round to give Richard a quote in the new house, and said 'Oh yes, you're the one with the lovely wife'. Lovely! Me! Lovely! Richard probably regretted telling me, as I went round saying 'Lovely!' at inappropriate moments for days afterwards.

The first one was my favourite, though. Out I stumbled from my sweaty tent on a sunny morning at Greenbelt, bleary-eyed from 3 days at a festival and desperate to scrub the fungus off my teeth. Whilst sharing a communal tap with a stranger she suddenly turned to me and said, 'You look amazing! You must be wearing make-up!' (I wasn't).

Yes I know - setting much store by one's appearance is very shallow, and I would far rather be thought of as lovely on the inside. But there was something about the genuine expansiveness of this stranger's compliment that really touched me, and left me smiling for the rest of the day. She may not have had her contact lenses in. She may have decided to say that to everyone who shared a tap with her throughout the festival (in which case, good for her!). But it made me think about all the times I could have given a compliment - when I appreciated something in another human being - but didn't, perhaps because I'm too embarrassed, too British. I'd like to try it more often.

Mark Twain said 'I can live two months off a good compliment'. Those three should therefore last me through till the end of February 08. But please don't let that stop you from giving me another one, and I'll try to do the same for you.

Deoxyribonucleic acid and other simple concepts

Richard and I reckon we've got the bases covered pretty well when it comes to helping the kids with their homework. By education and job training we can do maths, English, French, all the sciences (with varying degrees of success), RE, philosophy, German and Latin (the latter two to a quite pathetic standard). Through our various interests we can also make a fair stab at music, history and art history, geography, sociology, psychology, literature, politics, classics and cosmology. As we grow older we find ourselves more and more interested in the bits we didn't study - and how they all join up.

Which is probably why Jordan will do anything to avoid asking us to help her with her homework. Last night she was stuck, needing a simple sentence to describe what DNA ia made of. I started on base pairing and the double helix with great gusto. Richard then joined in, wanting to fill in his knowledge gaps since he's never quite 'got' how DNA, genes and chromosomes relate to each other (a rare thing: me knowing something better than him). We then got my old textbook out in order to look at meiosis afresh. My poor thirteen-year-old with a homework deadline started shouting 'But all I wanted was a simple sentence!!!'

It's not the first time we've got carried away. When Jordan was 7 she asked us “Do human beings have a plug?” – seemingly a simple question with a quick answer – NO! But in answering we talked about where energy comes from – that was physics. We talked of coal, and trees, and the sun – that was biology. We discussed nuclear energy, Hiroshima, and why the war was happening in Afghanistan – that covered history and politics. We then got onto the energy of the stars and the galaxies – that was cosmology. And we talked of how we too are made of the dust of the stars, and how all energy was originally flung out from one beginning, and how we believe that that beginning was God – that was theology. No wonder Jordan started getting headaches from an early age.

I guess every child has their own cross to bear when it comes to their parents. Complicated answers to simple questions is probably one of the worst things we inflict on our kids.