Original Grandma, Joy and Baby Walkers

Am I the only one who thinks that life is getting curiouser and curiouser? Although in fairness I haven't yet stumbled upon a half invisible stripy Cat with a threatening smile on any of the jaunts with Dude.

2020 started off reasonably normally - well in comparison to how other years of mine have - as an example: the turn of the century - I spent midnight locked in a loo desperately trying to persuade my best friend at the time that although telling her husband about the affair she had been having for 6 months was in all probability a good idea at some point, doing so whilst at a massive party to celebrate the new millenium, being hosted by her parents in law and including all of the aforementioned husband’s relatives and about 100 friends and neighbours was quite possibly a bit ill judged.....she did it anyway, shit storm ensued....put me off New Years Parties for life!

January as we all recognise, under normal circumstances, lasts for approximately 12 weeks, however for me, this year, January was amazing. I had bagged my dream job, just moved into my first proper 'on my own home', Beautiful Daughter was pregnant and healthy, Special Precious Boy was loving life etc etc. We slid through February, - does anyone remember February 2020?

And then March hit us like a sledgehammer...

Time since March seems to have done a weird bendy thing, being both too slow and too fast at the same time. Possibly there is a Star Trek quote for this - but I don't know what it is.

And now, all of a sudden and after a very long time, its July, I'm nearly 52 and I've gone from tootling around the country every day, in a sports car dressed in a suit and heels, to lumbering to the shops and back in a geriatric Volvo, occasionally managing to squeeze my ever-increasing lockdown induced arse into jeans, nattily finished off with a pair of flip flops. What the actual fuck has happened?

I realised I was utterly miserable and I couldn't work out why?

Now I would hazard a guess that amongst my amazing friends and wonderful family I'm not known for my introspective or reflective nature. But I have been pondering....for a while now...

And I have come to the conclusion that all in all, lockdown fucking sucks. I hope you weren't expecting an actual insight into anything there?

Not seeing people, connecting with them, giving them a hug is just shite, pure unadulterated feces.

I'm an irritatingly gregarious person, so not being able to interact with my friends & family properly is a real struggle for me.

Dude although a sweetie has the conversational talents of, well, a dog.....which leaves something to be desired in the whole chat after work thing. Especially as I can talk for 20 minutes underwater without drawing breath - indeed this incredible talent for talking bollocks for hours, on pretty much any subject, bagged me the dubious honour of being the Student rep for Unite when I was doing my nursing degree...I do tend to enjoy a response of some kind though, I find it makes for a more stimulating conversation..

I think the isolation has affected everybody in similar ways so we are all 'reaching out' more - bloody awful phrase. Unfortunately I couldn't think of a better one.

Quite recently, I was having a chat with a very old friend of mine. We met when I first moved to London from Spain 34 years ago, lovely chap, really mellow Welsh accent, a joy to listen to (obviously in between my crazed ramblings). A bit like Dylan Thomas crossed with Martin Sheen, a delightful mellifluous tone with a deep, resonating baseline.

I was telling 'Very Old Friend' about the most recent family FaceTime escapades - I'm sure you can all imagine the scenario; There are Ma and Pops slurping wine, sharing a phone (i.e. we can only see an individual ear and an unconnected to the ear forehead - it’s a bit like FaceTiming Mr and Mrs Potato Head after they’ve been in the hands of a three year old for ten minutes), Precious Special Boy and Lady Wycombeee, bickering and glugging huge G&T's with floating fruit and underbrollies, Beautiful Daughter, Giant Husband and Incredible Grandson. Giant Husband hovers in the background making brilliantly dry comments, Incredible Grandson alternately adding his incomprehensible two penneth worth and then letting his boredom with our discussion be known loudly, and yours truly with a large JD & Coke, all chatting (AKA shouting) away, usually over the top of one another, variously saying things like 'have you gone?' ' Can anyone see Grandma & Pops?' 'hold your phone down a bit I can only see your forehead Mum' etc etc.

During our rambling discussion we ascertained that;

a. Special Precious Boy has a particular talent for convincing you that he is right when he is quite clearly incorrect a la Captain Captain and his cunning wheeze to sell rubber balls for 50% less than he paid but still turn a profit...(two of the best mind fuck pages ever written)

b. Incredible Grandson can move his walker by intelligently applied toe to lino leverage

c. There were too many Grandma's on the call.

With regard to a. There is nothing we can do except listen in awe. SPB should definitely go into politics..

b. Was met with stunned disbelief - he is after all only 16 weeks old, apparently IG can move at the speed of light by dint of pushing himself along with one toe, he does get a bit cross when he gets stuck next to the fridge, and much to Giant Husband’s disgust a stair gate has been hastily erected in order to save IG from the ignominy of hurtling down the steps into the boot room.

However a solution has been found for c. Ma now has the rather fetching moniker of OG Grandma, OG for short. This had to be explained by SPB to us all, apparently OG stands for Original. Who knew?

I might copyright it - I can imagine a range of goods selling in the mecca which is Waitrose - Original Grandma soup/pen/saucepan/slippers/kettle - I think I'm on to something?- perhaps with a pic of Ma added for authenticity? With a matching line for men under the brand Original Pops. OP emblazoned on pipes, slippers and shaving foam. Must remember to write this down somewhere.

So my parents are now jointly titled OGOP - we are aiming to have Incredible Grandson using their joint title anyday...

Very Old Friend mentioned at the end of this tale that, in his opinion, and I quote

'you spread joy where ever you go' and instructed me to remember this fact.

I was slightly nonplussed, as, in truth, I am more accustomed to being called a talkative pain in the arse or a walking nightmare or something along those lines.

I mentioned it in passing to Beautiful Daughter the following day during one of our morning FaceTimes.

Her response was somewhat less than kind. It’s a good job I am made of resilient stuff!

'You are having a laugh Mam, is he deranged?


Her shoulders started to shake and her face went red, as a Mutley like hissing emerged as she tried and failed to control her laughter - Incredible Grandson was asleep on her so she couldn't actually howl.

For something approaching 40 minutes, the tears were running down her face as she laughed and choked out descriptions of all the times that I definitively hadn't spread any joy whatsoever any where.

'See how much you enjoyed that?' I said in a smug tone of voice 'see how without even trying I spread joy?'

I think she might still be laughing.......

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