Tag Archives: Mum

V is for The Vicar and the Circus Performer.

What do you get if you cross a Vicar and a Circus Performer? No, this is not a bad joke, unless I am.

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My father was born almost 71 years ago in an area that he describes as the “Slums” of Birmingham. He was the youngest of 13 children, money was sparse. Dad tells of being sent to school in Aunty Jean’s boots because that was all he had, he made his parents proud and was accepted to Grammar School passing his eleven plus with flying colours. His place was passed up because the uniform was too expensive. My father soon began his working life, he was a glazier, he was a bit of a lad, he wanted adventure and he joined Billy Smarts Circus. A fire-eater, a sword swallower, I love to think of my Dad as a legend of the big top.

Mum was the oldest of three, daughter of a woodwork master, some might suggest that my mother’s family were middle class, they bought their house they owned a car Mum sang a song about “peep-toed shoes” in the garden. Growing up in Kent, the garden of England, Mum studied hard, she graduated university with a classics degree. My mother became a social worker. When I was 19 my mum took the brave step to change her path, she studied once again, my Mum followed her calling and was ordained.

We all know the saying two sides to every story. While typing this tale I realised that what I know of my parents meeting, the early romance and marriage has been told to me by my Dad. They met through work. Dad decided not to go with the big top on an Australian tour, he somehow started working in childcare. He met this a raven haired social worker wearing an ankle sweeping skirt as she bought a referral to the home in which he worked. He fell head over heels for my mother, eventually she agreed to marry him. A happy ever after…. it is for me.

I know I do not say this often enough, but I am so fortunate to be the daughter of this unusual mix. My Mum and Dad might have come from opposite ends of England, different backgrounds and contrasting experiences but their union has created a family I am blessed to be part of. Last year as Mr & Mrs they celebrated 40 years of marriage. As a family we dined together in celebration, three generations, six grandchildren at the centre of the day Grandma and Granddad who despite the challenges they faced remained together supported each other and still do.

In posting alphabetically on themes of gratitude over the last month I have considered a great deal. Thought of what makes me smile and laugh, reflected on what has kept me going during times of difficulty. I sit in awe of what my parents share, they have a lifetime together, their lifetime created mine and through all the chaos I created my Mum and Dad have been a constant support.

A terrible teenager I put strain on the patience of my parents, a strain that most would have buckled under, but they never turned away. When I left, moved out at only 17 I wanted to prove my parents wrong, it didn’t work out that way but not once did I hear the words “I told you so”. Now as I face the trials of a teenager’s parent I cringe to think what I subjected them too, but I thank them with an open heart for their example has been an inspiration to me.

My greatest fear in posting this on my blog is that I fail to convey the patience, love and kindness my mum and dad have bestowed on my life. It is so easy to take things for granted, I love my parents very much, for the examples they have set and the inspiration they continue to be. I am the luckiest daughter of a Vicar and a Circus Performer and will always be grateful that they are parents to me.

How to deal with bedslugs?

We have reached Sunday, our week is almost over and again it is a fabulous blue sky day. My Son may not be aware of the improving weather, for him at 16 it is college holidays and he seems to have lost the ability to get out of bed before dinner time.

Teenagers are a strange breed, I know I was one once but I was a different variety. I was goby and forthright, I knew my mind and was not going to let anyone get in the way of me being right, so I rebelled and moved out. By the age of 17 I had three jobs a flat and my hard-earned independence, I partied and laughed.
My teenage years were short-lived but I do look back on them fondly the year I lived by my own means, life before Dan taught me a lot… it is amazing how much you learn when you are determined not to be wrong. But I was never a bed slug, I did not have time.

The teenage bedslug is perhaps a male breed of adolescent. These slovenly youths, loiter under duvets till darkness approaches, late afternoon brings the first tentative movements from their pits, normally heading towards the kitchen to empty fridges and leave a trail of dirty plates and sandwich crumbs in their wake.

Over the years many tactics have been used to handle the bedslug, I recall my mother brought my older bedslug brother the loudest alarm clock of all time. I used to go into his room and turn it off after 10 minute, he was immune to its incessant hollering.

I have tried the bacon sandwich technique, the hope that the aroma of food will prompt them into early surfacing … This has mixed results. Today, food based bribery has won the day. My bedslug surfaced for Easter eggs and the promise of roast lamb at Grandma’s.

Perhaps teenage boys are a lot like dogs, and should be encouraged to modify their behaviours with food treats, now where did I put that clicker?

Happy Easter one and all.