Monday, 17 January 2011

Two of my 'Raison D'etres' -




My two mid twenty somethings - Andrew & Joanna, both Leos, born 4 years and 4 days apart, yet I still get their birthdates wrong - together here at the Isle of Wight music festival last year. Rarely without a smile on their faces, often engaged in manic laughter through shared humour, and always on the look out for each other.










There is never a dull moment when they're around. Unknowingly possessed of an abundance of natural humility, they seem to energise and uplift everyone they meet and engage with - and remain a constant source of joy, pride and inspiration for my wife and I. All the tough times, adventures, experiences and difficult choices we've had to face as untrained parents over the last couple of decades were worth every moment of heart ache, tears, sleepless nights, ice cold terror and despair. And I'd willingly go through it all over again without changing a single nano fragment. Boy oh Boy...did we ever draw the longest pair of straws.


As a Dad, I love the above shot. Although their expressions suggest otherwise, this was actually a moment of mutual consensus and diplomacy, concerning something stupid they'd just witnessed and reached the same conclusion over. A second later and they both erupted into laughter. 


Taken by one of their oldest and closest friends, this marvelous capture remains our favourite 'brother and sister' photo of their recent adventures together. Thanks for the umpteenth time 'Rachael !' You're a star. 

Please, if you still have a pulse - I implore you to play this video featuring the eponymous 'Simons Cat'. Its one of a series of outstanding animation shorts by genius Brit animator Simon Tofield and his equally genius partner in sound design - Shrooter.  

Already a global YouTube phenomenon with over 90 million hits on his series of videos, Simon's Cat is mostly based on one of his own four hungry house cats - 'Hugh'.

Here are their links: http://www.simonscat.com/  and also: http://www.shrooty.com/ 

You can see another video of Simon's Cat within an earlier post below - "Pooh in the Box". This particular video is titled "Snow Business". I sincerely hope you like it. Don't forget to turn the volume up!



And now to continue with A&J again...


Taken early on Christmas morning 2010, Joanna and I were enjoying a surprisingly quiet and very relaxed
moment together, with 'Taz' the handsomest tabby boy cat - sometimes affectionately refered to as 'Bugga', and his very pretty, feline black sister 'Misty Moo' partly camouflaged on the sofa. The woolly Santa stockings were knitted by my Mother when A&J were mere toddlers and will remain an essential slice of Yule Tide custom and fun for their whole lives.

 Even our happy pussy cats have their own pair of mini designer stockings. When they were kittens they used to crawl inside their respective socks and slink around the floor together. Very funny to witness, especially when they bumped into each other. Well, have you ever seen a pair of odd socks fighting on the floor?
Thought not.

 This was the quiet before the storm, when everyone else descends upon us and I lock myself away in the kitchen for the next three hours or so. Cooking being a major passion of mine. Christmas is never a chore or a stressful occasion in our tribe. Tiring yes, but never tiresome. Perhaps we're lucky but we've never had a painful one yet. Long may the tinsel continue to sparkle for us all.


Just to prove that you don't need to buy expensive gifts to induce laughter and merriment, my eagle eyed wife spotted these 'grown up sized' baby suits in a supermarket and grabbed them for the princely sum of £3.00 each. A& J have always loved dressing up and any excuse for a fancy dress party, especially when the theme is comical.

 They opened these presents at the same time, looked at each other and instantly tore off into the kitchen to peel their respective suits on. The laughter and screeches that emanated from the kitchen for the following couple of minutes had us all in fits, and will remain etched into our memories forever. A truly precious 'Banzai' moment of fun and silliness for us all to share. This was their reappearance and living proof that even at the ripe old age of 27 and 23 respectively, they are still very much happy bunny wunny kids at large. Priceless.

Andrew dutifully (?) remained within his 'grow bag' for the next three days of partying and beer practice, we learned later. Jo said it looks a little 'matured' now. Alledgedly. If you see something that resembles it on Ebay - report it as missing and odorous. And the suit too. If any shred of evidence remains attached to him that is.

Oh...and if you see him - tell him I want the £50 quid back he blagged off me for 'just a couple of days'.
But he can keep the suit.

And tell him to have a proper shave - 'before' he starts his new job on Monday. That means the stubble too.
And remind him to clean 'both' shoes, with the polish I gave him. Not just one of them.

Oh, and if you really do see him, make sure he's got this YouTube link I text'd him the other day. It shows how to 'tie a tie knot' properly. He asked me thats all.

And remind him to phone - not text - Nanna & Grandma and thank them for the cash they gave him for Christmas!

And Mum say's she's got him the new white shirt he wanted. And yessss..she's ironed it too.
But he'll have to come over and get it himself, cos she's still not up to a return visit to his flat again, so soon after passing out the last time she popped in for a cup of coffee. Hmmm.

And no...you still can't borrow the new hoover sonny jim. Its a good one and we want to keep it that way. And anyway, it doesn't do beer cans, furry pizza leftovers and dirty underwear. Remember?!
And besides, we've hidden it with the neighbours next door again. Along with my tool kit.

And you'll never get past their dogs. Even you know that. You've still got the scars.

Warned you though didn't I.   Ha ha!!

Love you bloke.  Dad...xxx

6 comments:

Ayak said...

What a beautiful post. Your pride for your son and daughter really shines through. I love the giant babygros. And lets face it our adult children are still our babies!

Mark said...

My older boys are in their teens; I dread the day they will leave even though I know it will come and it is right. But then I always have the little one to keep me young a while longer.

No cats though - certainly no cats - allergic I'm afraid

Phil said...

Thank you Ayak. My feelings of pride for them are made all the more easy because of who they choose to be and the core human values they have indivudually chosen to adopt. They inspire me. The 'babygros' are quite unique. Why any manufacturer would choose to tailor for adult sizes beats me. Its not like they came from a joke shop. And yes, they will always be our babies, just as we have now become our parents.

Phil said...

Hi Mark. I shared the same concerns once, even though paradoxically I had always openly promoted the causes of independance and frequent ventures amongst foreign cultures, but for what it's worth, the funny thing is that when they did finally leave, my pride for them increased even more on seeing how well they adapted and structured themselves on their own. I suppose if they moved to another country I would struggle, but right now our collective relationship is as good and as balanced as it gets. And continue to take them on as many and far ranging travel adventures as you possibly and affordably can, as often and frequent as time permits. The university of life through travel is still the finest and most effective of them all. Bar none. And you out qualify most people I have ever met on that one!

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