Thursday, 16 June 2016

The F-Word

Saying the F word is not big and it's not clever.

The F word being...'Foof'.

An innocent sounding word. Not even a word, in fact.

But in our house, saying this word is akin to being eaten alive by piranha fish. It is code for 'Please tickle me as hard as you can, immediately.' I dare not write it again, in case a little person happens to be looking over my shoulder. The origins of this word are obscure. Its potency and longevity are, however, not in doubt.

It happens at least once a day. Sometimes it is deliberate, sometimes someone is cajoled into saying 'f**f'. It always results in hysteria.

In other news, Eddie brought home his hand-made Fathers' Day card from nursery. The pre-schoolers are encouraged to dictate something 'personal' which is faithfully recorded by their key-worker inside the card.  I'm delighted to report that Eddie's reads: to daddy who is very good at play dough. When questioned, Eddie explained with a shrug that it was 'all he could think of'. Which made his father feel very special indeed. For foof's sake.

Currently reading: Oranges are not the only fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Friday, 3 June 2016

Saxophones, Mid Life Crises and Magic Dragons

I have recently taken a step towards a long-held ambition to play the saxophone. Not really sure why this particular instrument other than being a teenager of the 80s: surely the decade of the sax solo. I'm thinking of Haircut 100, the bit in The Lost Boys, Bruce Springsteen's Bobby Jean, and my personal favourite from INXS, Never Tear Us Apart. So, as I approach mid-life crisis territory it suddenly seems important to emulate these inspirations from my childhood.

From a 'murder mystery' evening, but this is perhaps how I am picturing my saxophone playing self...
I'm on lesson number four and so far so good.

Apart from the fact that suddenly, last week, I couldn't get a note from the thing. Now, my 'embouchure' isn't terrific, being a beginner, but I can usually make some sort of sound, and, let me tell you, now that I have learnt B flat I am capable of a mean (if slightly slow) rendition of Puff the Magic Dragon. So - what was wrong?

Something looked a bit bent out of shape at the top of the sax.  I had my suspicions, and quizzed the kids about whether any of them had been in to the study and touched it.

"Nope. I definitely wasn't there when it...dropped," Eddie reassured me.

Ok. So we have established that it 'dropped'. Well done, Eddie. Hoisted by your own command of the English language, aged 4. How much Eddie actually had to do with the 'dropping' remains speculation.

£45 of repairs later, the rules about not playing with Mummy's saxophone have now been firmly established. Puff continues to - well, if not quite 'frolic' then perhaps 'wallow'.

Currently reading: The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, translated by Ros Schwartz