Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On the waves of the air, there is dancin' out there

Man of the House and I settled down for another riotous Saturday night: watching 30 Rock and eating delicious harissa chicken from Cook. Please forgive my product placement but my children just forced me to see Smurfs: The Movie which was so solidly packed with adverts-by-any-other-name it addled my moral compass. I’m of the generation who watched Peter Purves redden as he said, ‘You’ll need Sellotape, oops I mean sticky tape,’ but clearly things have moved on somewhat. And if Cook do want to send me a crate of ready-meals in return for the plug, who am I to interfere with market forces?

‘Remember when we were young and child-free and would go out clubbing on the weekend?’ I mused to my Best Beloved, who was wiping harissa sauce off his dressing gown. I couldn’t complain because I’d dropped Uncle Ben’s rice all over my Totes ToastiesTM.

‘We never went clubbing,’ he said. ‘We used to go to the cinema or have a take-away, so it’s not much different from now. Except you stopped me wearing my dressing gown to the cinema, so this is better.’
I was sure I remembered clubbing and laughing and wild drug-taking but maybe that was with some other husband.
‘I suppose all those non-parents are out whooping it up,’ I said wistfully.

‘Probably, poor sods,’ Man said. ‘Can you rewind? I missed what Alec Baldwin just said.’

Next day I went to Grange Girl’s for tea. ‘Good was it last night, Grangey?’ I asked, as she pottered round the kitchen yawning.

‘Excellent; we got tons of blackberries.’

‘You weren’t off dancing somewhere?’

‘Heavens no. We berried till late. Had to wear head torches. Then I got up early to make Marguerite Patten’s crumble!’ She handed me a large bowlful.

Later I bumped into Pierced Boy, sunglassed and wincing at loud noises.
‘Big night?’

‘Piano,’ he mumbled.

'New bar in Brighton is it?’

‘No, I practised the piano. I’ve just taken it up again after my Shine-style child prodigy burnout of ’83. Lost track of time and played Shostakovich for six hours. I’m wrecked.’

Surely Born and Bred Boy, founder member of the children-ruin-your-life contingent, would have a story worth living vicariously through?

‘Course I was out. Saturday night! Wooh! Pardeee!’

I essayed a few ‘woohs’ of my own and waited patiently for him to give me the gories.
‘I went to that folk thing at the Ellie, traditional songs about the moon and stars.’
‘Wooh,’ I said, with a little less fervour.

‘Finished a bit late though; I had to leave before the end.’
Back home I informed Man of the House that our Saturday night had been the most exciting to be had anywhere.
‘And hold onto your Paul Clark trilby,’ he said, loading the dishwasher cheerily, ‘Because Sunday’s the new Saturday. They said so on Woman’s Hour. I’m lining us up Dragon’s Den and pancake duck from Panda Garden.’

Bring. It. On. As Smurfette would say.

Beth Miller, 23rd August 2011. Published in VivaLewes.com

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