Tag Archives: Dancing

My Curly Girl..


Emily is my eldest daughter. I have 3 children, Em, Holly and Callum. I’ve mentioned each of them briefly during odd stories and will write a piece about each of them over time, as they allow me too.

This one, is about Emily.

Em is 21 and currently in her 3rd year at University. Now I’m biased (obviously) but Emily is special. She is the most kindest, caring, patient, person I know. I have no doubt she has gained these attributes from her mum Jane, who I’ve been married to for 23 years and I fortunate to be able to say I love her more each year.

(I know what your thinking – “That’s great, after all that time still feeling like that” – together 25 years this year actually.)

But, I hasten to add, I’m a catch, and she just sank her claws in and wouldn’t fucking  let go…

And then, upon getting married, she suddenly decided that NOW was the time to have children.


I on the other hand, was planning the next 5 years worth of holidays in the sun. That and experimenting with an assortment of factor 2 – 50 tanning lotions and making the gradual transition from speedos to shorts. As it was, Jane became a splendidly and a wonderfully compact pregnant shape in fairly short order.

The whole speedo-to-shorts revolution passed me by. I felt quite cheated. It had all happened without me and speedos were long forgotten by the time I next went abroad some 9 years later.

I must add that during my barren holiday spell Jane became pregnant another 2 times, and each time managed to maintain the same small compact shape with each child. To the point that on each occasion the hospital were sure, that each baby was under-size and there was a problem. All because Jane wasn’t wallowing like a tanker and removing door-frames bodily as she passed through them. There never was a problem and on each birth Jane delivered a healthy 7 1/2, 81/2 and a 9.3lb + size baby.

Emily’s arrival into the world was accompanied on the night by a blaring car alarm that seemed to go off every 10 minutes or so outside Jane’s window. It was like a nails on chalk-board period. I spent the day and evening at the window cursing the multi-tone alarm that continued to raise my already frayed nerves to breaking point. Till finally Net, who Jane shared a house with during her nurse training days, arrived to check up on Jane. Net by this point in their careers had headed into midwifery and was just finishing her shift.

She then went on to tell us how during a manic day, she had spent the shift rushing out to her car because,

“The bloody car alarm had gone stupid and had been going off allllllll day!!”

(Jesus, she doesn’t know how close she came to discovering a vehicle spread across the car-park..)

Then Emily arrived and I was, am, and till my dying day will be.

Utterly besotted.

Even from being tiny, Emily has always been incredibly articulate. I always found it amazing to come home and have a conversation with this tiny little human being, who, was so serious in her discussions. Em has a wonderful empathy with people. I mean she really cares what people think and feel. I think sincerity from a tiny age was just so sweet to come into contact with. The lovely thing about Em is when she turns her attention on you, you know you have her full and complete regard whole your in her company. And you only realize how much notice she’s given you when, a few days later a card will arrive, a card that means what it says, the care and thought that’s gone into the words evident. Or a small parcel of something, just to let you know she listened to what you said and to remind you she loves you and heard you…

I love her for these simple things she does.

When she was born and began to grow, became more vocal and interesting by the day, it became obvious to me I had this small persons welfare and care to try and guide. Hopefully in a direction that made life interesting for her and fun. I loved talking to her because she wanted to know things. She loved stories and I was only to pleased to make up things for her. Because the beauty of it was, She had this wonderful trusting naivety, really believed everything she was told.

The “Happily Ever After”, true faith in life.

I think I got the bigger kick out of just seeing her reaction to what ever I could come up with, or what tale (Lie) I could tell her..

Even meal times weren’t sacred. Its amazing what you can do with a bag of alphabet potato shapes. It was just a good job I’m not dyslexic.

Scans 003

I had a field day.

My God. The power.

I don’t think I’ve ever come across another child who was so patient, or would consider so carefully, what you explained to her, see the common sense of it, accept it and move on. I don’t think I’ve ever, and I really mean EVER seen Emily have a tantrum.

I felt cheated sometimes.

Till the other two came along. And I found that dragging a screaming, floor kicking child by the reins around Sainsburys, wasn’t as funny as it looked when it was someone else dragging their child. And trying negotiating,

“Come on, be good, get up. Soon as we’re done you can have…”

Or calling their bluff and walking away to the end of the aisle to hide and peer round the beans, to wait for the drum of small feet hurtling after you, only to see them either, still face down kicking the floor, or, running off in the other direction like a mini-raging Hulk.

Or finally, counter raging back at them and just dragging them along, till they got fed up of the squealing noise their faces made on the floor and decided to get up.

Only for them to stand stock-still, tip their heads back, let shoulders slump and arms dangle, and bawl in stationary up-right rage mode.

Em just didn’t hit this period. Nor did she hit the terrible teenage years, of uncommunicative, unhelpful surliness. That teenage angst more commonly echoed along the lines of,

“The world is a shit and I hate it and everyone in it (apart from my friends who understand me),”

Just didn’t feature on Emily’s radar.

She passed through it all in a sublimely pleasant way.

Everything she’s gone through to get where she is present day, is just a reflection of her sheer determination to succeed.

Emily is now at Uni in her 3rd year studying Speech Therapy. Its just a good job I don’t have to say the “Therapy” bit because it drives her mad when I can’t quite pronounce the “th” bit clearly, and end up uttering it more with an “f” sound. She tries to make me say it properly, only for me at this point to intentionally exaggerate the pronunciation until she shouts at me and says,

“O sweet baby Jesus! For Gods sake! Its “th!” “th!” Say it with me you bloody half-wit!! “TH!!””

And I momentarily snap to attention like I’ve had a mental slap and something shifts in my brain and I say it.

“Th! Th!! Woohoo! Th! THHHHH!” And almost immediately slump back to the “f” sound.

“Th! Th!! F! F!! F?? Ohhhhhhhh Fffffffuckit!”

And Em shouts despairingly,

OooohhhmmmmyyyyyyyyyGGGGGGOOOOOODDDDDDDD!! Your doing it on bloody purpose!!!!!!!!!!”

It bodes well for some traumatized child who can’t say “Sammy Snake” who she may later treat, that even with a tongue that will flap like a wet towel, they will be able to swear fluently before the end of the 2nd session.

They may not succeed in saying “S”. But they sure as fuck won’t have many “F’s” in their vocabulary either. With Em’s professional acumen and determination, they will be able to say,

“Thammy th’nake you motherthucker.”

And will be nothing but heroic in their achievements in shouting

“Thuuck this for a game of th’oilders!” as they storm out.

I’m just happy she leads a good life with a boyfriend who loves her and who truly cares for her. They’re a great match and work well together and its a reflection of the determination to succeed with their long distant relationship that after 3 years at opposing Uni’s, their still dedicated to each other and support each other, even at the most uncomfortable turn of events..

To the point of, when sitting in a restaurant on holiday and receiving their order, being distressed to find it was something quite inedible. So rather than complain, make a scene,

hurt any body’s feelings,

Vinny kept cramming as much as was humanely possible in his mouth and going to the toilet looking like a manic hamster so he could spit it out so it looked like they had enjoyed the meal…

Finally and on a serious note.

I speak to Em most days just because we can. She loves what she is doing, what she’s working towards. But I think she gets enormous amounts of pleasure out of life in general, either at Uni or at the part time job working in a coffee shop in town and all the people she gets to meet there.

And while she may be away from home leading her own life, she’s never far from my thoughts. None of my children ever are.

And, even though I see her only occasionally, that’s fine.

She’s leading a full and busy life, doing what any parent would want their child to do.

Enjoying it.

I speak to her most days and the days and when I do get to see her, the hug is always worth the wait. Its like having my own personal ray of sunshine that automatically brightens up a day that I didn’t realize was overcast till I saw Emily at that precise moment.

Personally what I get from having such a caring relationship with Em, is simply that.

A caring, really caring sincere relationship.

See, I know I’m amazingly fortunate to have this young lady in my life, and to be able to spend time with this person. Because she always lightens my heart every, every time I set eyes on her again.

What I hope is, that I’ve in some way inspired her to try things in life. To believe in herself, and, although its hard at the best of times, never to doubt herself or fear a challenge but to be brave enough to rise and meet it head on.

Because if there’s one thing that I’m certain Emily knows and will never doubt.

It’s that her Dad knows there’s no limit to what she can achieve and he’ll always be there when she needs him most.

me and emmy
I don’t think I’ve ever had any doubts about My Curly Girl.

So, it must be true.

Dance Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Ron


I was pleasantly surprised on Monday to receive a visit from Kerry and Wayne. They were in the process of changing vehicles, having bought a small digger and trailer, and were over to collect and transport it back to France. They had just completed a 15hr grueling journey by car from France, and having arrived at 2am in morning it was a case of straight to bed.

They called to see me Monday evening with the latest updates on their progress in France.

Kerry’s French lessons seem to be slowly but surely paying off. And she is now at least semi conversant with the various dirty old men that seem to be attracted to her, and flirt outrageously in their efforts to woo her. I’m not sure if it has something to do with Kerry’s height, or the diminutive size of the attracted suitors.

They all seem to waver around the 4 foot 6 mark.

I think what attracts them is, the ability to stare at her chest unashamedly because its at their eye level. Also, if it came to passing out vertically, they would do so and literally lean face first  against her bosum.

For example.

She and Wayne were wandering around a market in the center of Cognac, and it being lunch time, the market traders had closed the stalls to sit down with each other, have a spot of lunch and a gossip. Quite a time  established event. As Kerry and Wayne made their way through the abandoned stalls, Wayne watched the traders reactions as they approached. 

The Monsieur’s sat around some white plastic garden tables, breaking bread and having a spot of wine. He noticed one chap spot Kerry and began nudging his friends to bring her to they’re attention.  Then after a spot of winking and nudging he jumped up and made his way to Kerry and Wayne, asking to be allowed to have his photo taken with Kerry.
(the dirty old bugger)
Kerry laughingly obliged and it was a matter of moments before he was asking for a kiss.

God knows where it would have ended but Wayne made a point of straightening his Deputy Sheriff badge (See- There’s A New (Deputy) Sheriff In Town) and the vertically challenged Monsieur retreated, albeit triumphantly back to his gang of work friends who were cheerfully  showing they’re admiration for the little fella having tackled the big red head.

Kez and the market
Rest une noggin on these muffins, Monsieur,” Said the kindly lady…

The second French love experience took place in the supermarket.

While Wayne was perusing the meat aisle, Kerry drifted off looking elsewhere. She had noticed this small, elderly gentleman as she was casting about looking at various items, but hadn’t taken much notice, just that he was well dressed and short.

Personally I’m beginning to believe – on looking at the evidence – that she’s targeting defenceless, horny old men.

This enthusiastic old man had taken one look at Kerry and made a bee-line for her. So when she turned from what she was looking at, she literally tripped over the gentleman.Automatically, her French kicked in,

“Excusez moi Monsieur! Pardonnnez moi!!” (Exscuse me sir! Pardon me!!)

But the old chap, at 80 and a day, was anything but put out. It was then that she realized the reason she almost tripped over him was because he had actually made his way directly behind her to instigate this moment.

And as he opened his over coat to display a bandolier of Viagra, clicked his heels, tipped his head and said something along the lines of,

“Bonjour grande dame. Tu ressembles à un énorme sac de Malheur.”

Hahaha wink wink

“Mais lookee ici, je peux aller toute la nuit comme un train à vapeur de seulement 6 de ces bébés. Une danse de fantaisie?”

“Good afternoon tall lady. You look like an enormous bag of trouble.”

Hahaha. wink wink

“But lookee here, I can go all night like a steam train off just 6 of these babys. Fancy a dance??”

Kerry got the message, and although flattered, had to decline both dance versions.

Which brings me to the Porters dance class.

They had been out for a coffee in the center of Cognac, (Kerry probably on the look out for another old duffer) and while Wayne was quietly sat having a cappuccino, reading the paper. Kerry in the mean time was sat watching some people Salsa dancing in the square. She was mesmerized with the steps, actually moving her feet in time teaching herself the moves. So when  they indicated they were short of female dancers and gestured towards her – would she like to join in – she did what she thought was the only modest thing to do. She made a show of holding her hands to her chest as if to say,

“Who Meee?”

And made to look over her shoulder ready to jump up and say ,

“Oh go onnnnnn then!”

The woman behind her had no such reservations however. With arms waving, she almost bowled Kerry out of her chair and tipped her own table over in her rush to partake. Poor old Wayne had to attempt to enjoy what remained of his coffee while sitting directly in the way of Kerry’s pursed lips and laser like glare, as she stared at the offending lady who was prancing around like a baby elephant (Kerry’s words), thinking,

“That should have been me.”

So, they’ve decided to enroll temporarily in a dance class. Thinking a spot of Salsa would add even more sunshine to their lives. They asked around and were pointed in the direction of this class.

What it turned out it wasn’t, was a Salsa class. What it turned out itwas, was some sort of medieval dance. Average age 400. You know. Stand side by side, hands held daintily at head height, then step together, left, forward, right, back. Then right, forward, back, left. you get the idea? It was like king Arthers court come to Cognac. Not that hot, dazzle, quick step Salsa that they had in mind.

Kerry and Wayne actually gave me a demonstration. They were both all dainty, on their toes, left, forward, right, back etc. The trouble was it just wasn’t in time with each other.

One went through one routine while the other was dancing something completely different. It was like watching two people trying to fly each others kites.

Finally, speaking of dancing.

Kerry and Wayne were on their farm duties prior to their home visit, part of which involves moving live stock around on the farm. When I say live stock, I mean the camel, zebra, horse’s and goats.

This means moving them to a near-by field that they share with the breeding pair of Ostriches (Ron and Nancy, see – Vive Le Garlic, and Sucked Off By A Camel)

To enter the field takes some guile, as Ron, the very aggressive male Ostrich, doesn’t take kindly to people intruding on his love interest, Nancy. If you’ve read previously you’ll know that the entrance to the field is via one gate, with a fence in the middle, which allows access to booth fields when open. The main point here being, you have to weigh up where Ron is before you enter it, and judge whether or not you can open the gate and herd the animals into the adjacent pasture, before Ron notices you and sets off on a mad charge.

All in the nature of protecting what’s his.

I’m much the same with chocolate dipped ginger biscuits.

Anyway on this occasion, gate opened, animals bullwhipped in by Indiana Wayne and gate shut by Ostrich whisperer Kerry, with Ron’s dramatic drumming footsteps getting closer.. When Ron finaly arrives though, it’s to see a now closed gate, and is throwing himself against it in some angst that these intruders have pulled the wool over his eyes.

Yet again.

And – Goddammit – he can’t reach the bastards.

Kerry and Wayne continued herding the animals further into the field laughing at Ron’s harmless rage, as he batters himself against the fence putting a show on for his other half.

(See Nance? See Me? big Ron?? See Big Ron frighten these puny humans! Ron Big! Ron Strong like Bull!!! Nancy In for Ron Time Soon!!! Hoorayy!!)

I think the Porters are resigned to the fact that Kerry handles the Ostriches better than Wayne, while Wayne gets the truck stuck in mud much better than Kerry (to follow).

On this day though, Ron not to be outdone, has obviously been giving some thought to the situation, and with Kerry and Wayne looking on bemused, does no more but gallop deeper into the field, along the now dividing fence. Until he reaches a designated point he’s marked for himself.

He squares himself up to it, squats, then hops some 4 foot vertically straight over it.

Into their side of the field.

The previously bemused Porters can’t quite believe it and are stood slack jawed, until Ron turns round and heads straight for them.

(Yeah. Who’s laughing now?)

It then became a race between Kerry, Wayne and Ron as to who would reach what first. Ron catching them, or the Porters getting to, and through, the gate.

As it was it turned into a rolling launch over the gate, with Ron a close third. Ramming himself into the wood work, feathers fanned out around him hissing like mad.

Kerry and Wayne turned laughing breathlessly, to look back where Ron stood, anger apparent in every jarring crash against the gate. Then as Kerry straightened up he did the only thing left to him. He seemed to clear his throat with a wracking cough, then spit a big elastic dobber in Kerry’s face.

If you don’t know this then I have to tell you that Ostriches eat their own excrement, so I have no need to explain Kerry’s reaction.

“You fucking, fucker, you Fuck fucker!!!!! You Dirty Fucking fuckerfuck!!!”

Kerry is quite soft hearted with animals, but at that moment I think Ron was closer to becoming a really big drumstick than ever before. Even he quailed before Kerry who now looked like she was wearing a terribly fragrant Phantom of The Opera mask.

I mean, this shit caked one side of her face and right through her hair. And in between, with her arms held apart from her body, and trying to spit out what she imagined she had in her mouth, she topped Ron’s rage from moments before and added brimstone..

Wayne, obviously didn’t laugh. Then. Lets face it, he was on her side of the fence. He’d have been better getting in with Ron than laughing in the face of Kerry’s incandescent anger.

As it was, Ron retreated back up the field and hopped himself back into his side, making his way back to Nancy.

(You see Nance? See Big Ron? Spit in Big Haired Lady’s face?? Ha! Hahahahahaha!! Now Ron Big Love time!!!)

So. Apart from the flirting, elderly, diminutive, Viagra ready French men. And despite the jump over the damn fence, (come on) spit in your face big bird, Just dying to trample your ass.

Everything’s going dandy.

As I end this, the Porters are now on route back to France. Having successfully acquired Wayne’s new toy (His mini digger) they will have stopped on the way to rest up. And, being unable to resist it, Wayne will probably be scoring,

“WP loves KP”

in the car park tarmac with his new toy.

wp loves kp