Tuesday, 30 September 2008

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing...

Sy loves quizzes.

Mastermind and University Challenge have him rubbing his hands with glee, as does the arrival of a new soduko book or, can you believe, the quiz pages in 'The Lady'(??!)

His absolute favourite though, is The Pub Quiz.

There is a yearly one at our local- a grand affair with about twenty teams taking part- and we have won it three times in the last five years.

I use the term 'we' very loosely, as i have the knowledge of a mentally unstable gnat- it's Sy that seems to know all the answers.

Seriously, percentage wise, we are looking at him answering about 98% of the questions.

I answer the 'music from the seventies and eighties' section and the odd obscure one ( name Rigsby's cat in Rising Damp..)

We can usually rope in a couple of friends to make up the numbers, but the evening will normally end up with three of us getting pissed and one other (guess who) still quizzing and writing all the answers down too-It is the one occasion he will. not. drink.

I had a phone call a couple of nights ago, from the pub, asking for the shield back, for this years quiz.

'And will you be entering a team this year?'

'No, we aren't allowed to anymore. We've won too many times '(absolutely true.)

'Well, we will need your team name from when you won last year to add to the shield.' (things happen really slow around here...)

'I'm afraid i can't remember it (true again)...'

'Shall we make something up for you?'

I started laughing at this, as we tend to make our quiz names as fun as possible...The year before last we were 'Alex Nas'.

Think about it.

And it is still on the quiz shield, for all to see.

I finished the conversation spluttering something about not worrying about a team name for last year, and to leave the shield blank- conspicuous by our absense sort of thing.

I thought that was for the best, as out of the corner of my eye, i could see that Sy had already started writing down anagrams for 'The Sheep Shaggers'.

You win some, you lose some...

'Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Art for arts sake..

Sy has gone to Stratford today.
I'm sure he will visit Will's grave (again..), peruse some obscure book shops and possibly pop in to say hello to the lovely people at The Falstaff Experience.

At some point he has to do a stint at his brothers art gallery in Shrieves Walk.
He doesn't do this very often- it depends when his brother wants a day off. Today, Alton Towers beckons, so Sy has done the family thing and is standing in for him.

The gallery has been open for a couple of months now.
Beautiful paintings and sculptures of all things Shakesperian and Stratfordian, all commissioned pieces.
The opening of the gallery was lovely. Several local dignitaries, some press, some of the artists who created the pieces and some ''specially invited individuals.'

Sy was asked to give a talk on some Shakespeare stuff, which he duly did.
He decided to talk about his research, his theories on Will's illigitemate son, the relationship he had with the true love of his life (and we all know that wasn't Anne) and how he was eventually murdered.
These good people weren't expecting any of this.
And boy, did they want to know more.


One of the pieces in the gallery is a bust of Shakespeare. A lovely piece and Sy stood examining it for ages.

'Want me to buy it for you,' i joked (you should see the price tag- not in my price range.)
'It's not right'.
'What do you mean, it's not right?'

He had a quick scan of the room to make sure the artist wasn't in ear shot and told me ;

' The quills wrong- it shouldn't have feathers all the way along it- they should just be at the top.
Will didn't have straight hair- this chap looks like he's had a session with Darling Daughter and her straighteners. And finally- he looks as if he's got anorexia. Will's face was a lot fatter than that. He looks as if he hasn't had a good feed in months. He needs a month or two of your cooking Sprouty.'

Now, i don't know if Sy is right or not. He's the Shakespeare expert, not me.
But if i owned a gallery, and Sy was standing in for me, what would be the chances of selling anything if prospective buyers were given information about a piece, like the information he had just given me?

It'll be a bloody miracle if he brings home any commission.

'Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Mwah, Mwah.

I was given an award for blogging today.

Somebody actually took the time to say that they liked my blog and that i deserved an award for it.

Bloody hell.

So, thankyou again, (Very) lost in France.

It really did make my day.

I told Sy about it.

'I've got an award for my blog.'

'Which bit?'

'All of it, i suppose..'

He doesn't look too thrilled. He say's he's really pleased, but i know different.

You see, there is one thing i left out out of one of my earlier posts-(Eating, drinking...some things i have found out about my writer..)

Don't ever think that you might be able to write too- Your writer will not be able to tolerate this.
There is no room in your house for two egos.

And i think i might be on the verge of breaking this cardinal rule.
Only difference is, i'm not doing this for money (actually, at this point in time, neither is Sy, so he shouldn't be moaning really.)
And, i don't really believe i can write (he knows he can.)
I write the way i talk (without the accent, obviously)- there is no reasoning to my ramblings and no proper grammer either. I talk at a hundred miles an hour, draw breath only when i feel dizzy and start to turn blue, and lose track of what i'm talking about very quickly.

It's people like me that create the nightmares of chatshow hosts and English teachers.

Sy's Writers Guild award takes pride of place on a shelf above the telly in the sitting room.
Now and again, when he's had too much scotch and there is particularly bad police drama on the box, he will trundle over to the shelf, pick up the award, look at it lovingly and tell the world (well, just me normally) about how crap telly is these days and that 'they don't make drama like they used to.'
But his language is a lot more colourful.
And he also reels off his 'hitlist'- but i can't name names at any of the corporations, for legal reasons.

I thought i might print off my little award and sit it next to Sy's.

But then he might think i'm getting ideas above my station. And we can't have that.
I'm now going to go back to the kitchen and carry on with the ironing.

I know my place.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Monday, 22 September 2008

Reader, i married him.

...Well, i did actually. Six years ago last Friday to be precise.
But it was such a feckin' awful day last Friday, that it has taken me till now to be able to write about it.

I think i'd better do this in two parts.

Part one- The wedding day. (Which was very nice.)

Sy and i got married on the Isle of Iona, off the West coast of Scotland.
Absolutely stunning place- three miles long. a mile wide with a few houses, an Abbey and a chapel.
I'm glad it was as stunning as i had been led to believe, because i had never even heard of the place, let alone seen it, until three days before we got married.
The best way (and possibly the only way, unless you have a helicopter,) to get to Iona is by ferry.
Two of them in fact.
On reflection, i truly can't believe that i booked my wedding into a chapel that i had never seen, on an island i had never been to.

We also had to be married by our own parish vicar, so he came up to the island with us.
Best vicar in the world- covered in tatooes, smoked cigars and wore a leather jacket.
I'm not sure how many people can say they had their vicar at the stag and hen party.
But we did.
And could he drink.
I think he went on to work for Wiltshire police.

Not only that, but when i booked our B and B, i asked the people who owned it to be our witnesses.
It didn't cross my mind that they might have said no.
But they were smashing (we still visit them now) and Joyce, the lovely owner, picked me heather and wild flowers on the island for my bouquet.
We asked a passing tourist to take photos for us, and i can't remember whether we five or six people at the service itself, because tourists kept wandering in and out of the chapel.

I'm not entirely sure our marriage is legal- i read somewhere that you have to get married before 6.00pm. Something to do with the hours of daylight, and making sure you are able to see the person you are marrying.
Our wedding was about 6.00pm, but it was so laid back, i'm not entirely sure what time we actually got into the chapel. We were too busy drinking whisky in the nunnery on the way there to look at the time too closely.

After the service, more pics were taken on the beaches. Totally white sand. Totally gorgeous weather.Total bliss .

The reception consisted of dinner in the only pub on the island, lots of whisky drinking, some loud singing and then a slow moonlit walk back to the B and B about 3.00am.
Sy in his kilt and me in my wedding frock.
And as we sat outside the B and B, in our wedding attire, watching the sun come up, Sy told me where 'King' Arthur was buried.
And i remember thinking Cornwall isn't going to like this one bit.

Part two- The wedding Anniversary.

Well, the car blew up.
So, no car, so couldn't go out.
And Sy told me he has 'designed' my anniversary card on the computer.
But seeing as we have no ink at the moment, i'm just going to have to wait for it.
I'm damned if i'm going to look at it on the computer.

I have had better days.
And much better wedding anniversaries.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Follow you, follow me...

i see my darling hubby is following my blogs.
This is nice to know- he's taking an interest in what i'm doing.

This also means that i won't have to leave post-it notes stuck to his computer screen when i want to tell him something.
How convenient is this!

So Sy- this is for you...

Drinks at Emmas tomorrow night,.
The christening is two weeks away- make sure you try your suit on this week please.
Don't forget you are at the Gallery a week on Sunday.
Let me know what to get the twins for their birthday.

Bugger the post-it notes- i think this might be far more effective.

Shakespeare's Housekeeper (aka Sprouty) xx

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The one to watch...

What's on the television is always a talking point in this house-

As i'm sure it is in most homes.

'Can we watch X-Factor?'

'No, we're watching Strictly..'

Or something like that.

In this house, certain programmes can evoke an array of emotions, outbursts and comments.

Sy has to watch, without fail-

Channel 4 news.
BBC news.
BBC 24 hr news channel ( i know he watches this, because the telly always comes on to this channel whenever i switch it on- day or night).

I am seriously starting to think about looking for the news equivalent to AA..

In addition the news channels, he likes to watch;

Old and obscure movies that start at 1.00am.
Anything in black and white.
Have I Got News For You. (Maybe that should be classed under the news channels?)

I like to watch;
Desperate Housewives.
Anything that makes me laugh.

Not that i get to see what i like very often...they always seem to clash with the news.

Darling Daughter likes to watch;
A good drama (suprisingly) as long as it has plenty of murders, blood and swearing (an age thing, i feel.)
The music channels. Any of the four hundred odd that are out there- she's not fussy.

Thank God she has a telly in her bedroom.

If there is a Soap on (which is an extremely rare occurance), and it really doesn't seem to matter which one, a comment of some sort always comes from Sy.

' I went to drama school with him...'

'She had a boob job just before she joined the cast...'

'He was giving her one while they were filming that episode...'

'I had a rather interesting sexual encounter with her once...'


Sy smiles at me.

'I''l tell you about it one day.'

I really, really, don't want to know. At all. No details, thankyou very much.

One thing we did get to watch together a couple of weeks ago was the episode of 'Call the Cops' on BBC4 about the nineties police drama 'Between the Lines', and an episode of the drama afterwards.

Sy won a Writers Guild award for his work on 'Between the Lines' and it was cracking to watch, and see how the programme was put together.
The lead actors talked about how they were given scenarios to act out- shop lifter, cat burgler-and were interviewed in these roles by police to help them get 'inside their heads.'

I asked Sy if he had had to do anything like that.

' Not for Between the Lines... i did when i wrote for The Bill, though.'

Wow, thinks i.



Drink driving?

'What was it then..?'

Another little smile...

'A flasher'.

I didn't dare ask him if he rehearsed for it.

Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper. xx

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Radio or Radiohead...?

I've had a brilliant morning.

I have, in this order;

Cleaned and hoovered the sitting room.

Cleaned the bathroom.

Hosed down my kitchen (hosed is the appropriate word, believe me).

Washed, dried and ironed three loads of washing.

Sorted out all the weeks recycling, for the bin men tomorrow.

Visited that great monstrosity that is Tescos and bought stuff for baking.
And some sausages.

Baked an apple crumble (with scrumped apples- if they come looking for me, then the evidence is nearly all gone. It wasn't very big. Honest).

Sent four replies to e-mails that friends have sent, asking me and Sy to dinner, three of them asking if it could be 'shared' dinner, and could we bring pud? (must have heard about the crumble...)

All this before 11.00am.

And, while on my marathon job session, i have listened to some fab music.

For cleaning and hoovering- Aerosmith( just try doing anything slowly while listening to 'Dude looks like a lady')

For ironing-The feeling

For baking- ELO (Mr Blue Sky...Miiister blooooo skyyyy..yyyy)

And if i'm computering...well, most stuff really. Anything. Sky's the limit.

Until Sy appears.

Because if Sy's writing, then he really needs 'his music'.

Now, remember, i like most stuff.

But there is a time and place for certain types of music.

And today, he is turning a Radiohead cd over and over in his hands.

If there is one thing that is totally going to ruin my day, it's Radiohead.

I really, really can't cope with their music.

Might as well go and choose a form of death right now.

Not much traffic today, so no point running screaming into the road.

Broke the only rope we have when we towed a friends car out of a ditch a few weeks ago, so hanging is out.

And Darling Daughter had the last of the Paracetamol for a raging headache last night (Probably induced by the loudness of her music).

So, two options left.

1; I leave the house now- and don't come back until this particular piece of writing is finished. (not great.. it might take days, and they are bound to notice i'm missing at some point).

2; I try to talk Sy into listening to something else.

'I need to get this chapter finished Sprouty, so i'm going to listen to some Radiohead'.

At least he has the decency to warn me.

'Okaaay...which listening device are you going to put it on?'

'Cd player in the kitchen.'

My domain. Grrr.

'Can you listen through your computer?'

'No, to close to my ears. I need it as background music.'

'So, if it's background music, can't you listen to something else? If it's that far away surely you won't really hear whatever music it is.'

He muses over this for a moment.
Am i winning this one?

'Well, it's either Radiohead or the Native American chant music.'

No, i'm not.

One more try.

' David Bowie? We both like Bowie...'

Deaf ears.

His mind is made up.

And the writer has to write, so that's that.

I've packed an overnight bag, just in case this chapter takes more than a day.

And i am now wondering what electrical equpment i have with long enough cables to reach into the bathroom.

At least i have a choice. Of sorts.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Don't tell the cows...

When i first started working as a housekeeper i was 17.


I didn't even know what a housekeeper was then. I just liked the name.

I didn't know that after twenty five years of being in the profession, i would have a list of ailments that all come from doing this kind of work.

Arthritis in both knees.( from spending so much time on them).

And in my right arm (polishing arm).

Dodgy breathing. (from inhaling everything from Dettol to caustic soda- not much in the way of Health and Safety training in the old days.)

Back problems (from lugging all the equipment about.)

Actually, these problems aren't as bad as they sound, unless we get a spell of damp or cold weather, when they all hit at the same time, with the force of a nuclear attack.

So, pretty consistant, at the moment.

I try vainly to get off the settee, without having to bend my knees, or put any weight on to my arm, at the same time i'm sucking my breath in as the pain in my back starts.

Sy looks up from his paper.

'Rain, then?'

I have found another role in the family as a barometer.

Sy will tell me periodically about his 'finger'

The 'finger' in question is the one he uses most when he's typing( self taught, so he uses his own tried and tested methods).

I know it's repetitive strain, but will he go to the doctors?

Will he buggery.

No sympathy from this woman, i can tell you.

He has other fingers. I have no more knees.

Of all these problems, there is one that affects me every day, without fail.

The state of my hands.

Now, i'm no spring chicken, but apparently i look young for my age, and i try to look half decent if we go out, but the hands are a different story.

The last time i went to the manicurist, she filed my nails, rubbed on some mega-expensive hand cream and told me there was nothing else she could do for me.

I felt like i'd been diagnosed with a terminal disease.

Thank God i don't have to shake hands with many people.

Sy took me to an event where the majority of people had never had to clean their own homes.

The first woman i shook hands with pulled her hand away in horror.

And that was enough for me.

After that, i kissed everyone (because that seems to be the thing to do) and kept my hands firmly tucked away.

In the past, i've tried every hand cream you can imagine. I'm still waiting for one to appear on the chemist shelves claiming to be able to deal with 'sandpaper hands and warty callouses'.

I'll bulk buy the minute it comes out. Buy shares in the company probably.

But i do have a product that helps a bit...and it's a huge secret, so don't tell.

Go to your nearest country supplies store (you know, somewhere that sells green wellies, wax jackets and dog food in tonne bags), head for the aisle that stocks supplies for cows (there might not actually be an aisle that stocks supplies for cows- if not, speak to an assistant), and then scan the shelves until you see....

Udder cream.

Believe me, it works. It's the closest thing i've found to a half decent hand cream. And costs half the price.

My farming uncle put me onto it.

'If it stops cows udders from crackin' in the cold, it's gunna 'elp yer 'ands.'

Just don't fish it out your handbag at inopportune moments.

In the country, you might just get away with it- in the city, forget it.

You will lose your friends.

Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

We are not a muse....

I've looked at a lot of Sy's scripts, treatments and proposals over the years, and his characters are always beautifully developed. His female characters in particular- he seems to be able to get inside a womans head and give her all the right things to say with incredible clarity and emotion.

I'm flicking through a treatment one day for a proposed television drama. It's Sy's baby, and the characters are predominantly female.
As i turn the pages, i recognise the attributes of one of the characters in particular.
And as i read further, i definately know who she is.

And it bloody well isn't me.

It's one of his exes.

So, i carry on reading, sure that somewhere in there, is me- lovely me, who sings to my man, cooks, cleans and runs baths for him, as well as getting the bed warm for him at night.

There's bugger all.
Absolutely nothing .
No. Sign.Of. Me. Anywhere.

I talk to Sy about this, in a proper grown-up fashion- arms folded, bottom lip drooping and a little girl voice.

' I thought that i might inspire a character...'
' You will, Sprouty, just not at the moment.'
'But i thought the woman in the writers life is the inspiration for all his female characters'.

Lots of laughter.

'You've been reading too much Dante'

I go into the kitchen and Google 'Dante.' Like i said before- Educating Rita (or Sprouty.)

I start washing up and Sy creeps up behind me.

'You are my muse, you know'.
'How can i be, when i don't see me in any of your work?'
' You are my work- don't you see? I couldn't do any of it if it wasn't for you.'

And i think i know what he means.

Till next time,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Sunday, 7 September 2008

I like driving in my car....

..well, i have to really, as i don't trust Sy to drive at all.

His driving has to be the worst i've ever experienced. Really.

Now, i'm not saying mine is perfect (too right woman, i hear you men scream), but as the daughter of a coach driver, who drove various vehicles over many years and passed all his driving tests the first time, i can safely say i had The Best Teacher.

'Always use your mirrerrs'

'why can't i look over my shoulder?'

'Because you'll get a crick in yer neck, yer silly bugger.'

'But the driving instructor said..'

'Tek no notice of 'em...they teach yer how to pass a test, not how to drive.'

Now, you have to bear in mind that we live in a very rural area.

Single track roads, lots of floods and unexpected sharp corners.

When Sy moved in he had possession of a nifty little black sports car.

'That'll be no good round here,' i informed him.

'But it's great for nipping around in!' he exclaimed.

'Exactly how much 'nipping' do you expect to do living here... i'd trade it in for a landrover if i were you.'

Sy was non to pleased with this exchange.

Time would tell.

The first thing he encountered while spinning down a counrty lane was one of the local girls walking her sheep.

I don't mean a flock of sheep, with a dog and everything. Far to normal.

A flock of sheep, on leads, taking up half the road.

'Sprouty, i nearly had a dreadful accident..'

'What did you come across, the sheep, combine harvester or the mums on the school run?

'The sheep...they were everywhere, even though they were all on leads.'

'Well slow down then.'

I think Sy's driving is inherited from his dad. His dad taught him, and his driving is just as crap.

It's city living. Driving is very different in the cities to driving out here.

Definition of city driving;

Drive as fast as you can, brake fast and hard, make sure you have full use of hands for rude gestures at other drivers who don't get off roundabouts fast enough.

Definition of country driving;

Drive slowly, take bends in second gear, have full use of hands to wave at all neighbours and farmers.

If, and it's a big if, Sy drives, i absolutely know for sure, that he isn't concentrating.

He will be thinking about whatever it is he is writing about.

One of the last times we had to get petrol, all he had to do was put the petrol into the car. Nothing else.

1; get out of car.

2; open fuel cap.

3; take off petrol cap.

4; Put fuel in.

5; put petrol cap back on.

6; shut fuel cap.

7; get back into car.

He decided that points 5 and 6 weren't worth bothering with...

Still, i'm grateful that he works from home, for the time being.

I can't begin to imagine what the insurers would say if he told them he'd had an accident involving a flock of sheep on leads...

Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

Thursday, 4 September 2008

All in the name of research...

Sy takes his research very seriously when it comes to his writing- and rightly so.

He has been gathering and investigating information for his Shakespeare book for about twenty years.

I have been 'helping' him on his quest for the last four years, and thank God i haven't been there for the other sixteen too, or i would have probably shot myself by now.

Or him.

I can just about cope when he's got his head stuck in books or is on the web- it's when i hear those immortal words;

'Fancy going for a drive?'

I break out in a cold sweat and wonder if there is enough money in the Christmas fund for petrol.

In our early days, we did go for romantic drives- a forty or fifty mile round trip through the Cotswolds, stopping at a friends teashop in Broadway for scones and cream...but those drives are delegated to history now and 'a drive' has a whole new meaning.

So, I stop doing whatever it i'm doing, don my wellies, feed the cats (because i know we won't be back within the next six hours), raid the Christmas fund for fuel money and set off with Sy with a fixed smile on my face.

Now, I know exactly why Sy needs me with him for his Shakespeare research.

I would love to say it's so that he can bounce ideas off me, show me places where Shakespeare hung out and the suchlike.

In all actuality, it's for the reasons listed below;

1; I can change a tyre if I have to. (He can't- if he hurts his fingers/hands he can't work).

2; I know the best pubs within a radius of sixty miles.

3;If we should break down, the RAC card is in my name.

4; I know this area like the back of my hand.

We have been on a few of these jaunts lately.

Stratford itself, Feckenham, Earls Common (Shakespeare hid in a pub here for eight months- i'm sure the only reason was because he couldn't find his way out of the village. It's like that today- one village blends with another and you don't have a clue where you are if you don't know the area- and there's no pub anymore, so you would have to stay under a hedge.), Worcester, Alcester, Kings Coughton ( pronounced 'Cowton,' if you live here), Huddington...there are others too, but i've hit meltdown.

'Stop here, Sprouty.'

'I can't, we're on the main road into Stratford and there's a juggernaut behind me.'

'Well, pull over into that layby.'

'That's not a layby, it's the entrance to a field and it's full of mud'.

'But i need to stop there. There's a tree in that field where Shakespeare had a pee...'

And dutifully, i find somewhere to stop and Sy goes off to investigate the tree.

As I stand there in the gateway, up to my knees in cowshit and wondering how the hell i'm going to back the car out onto a main road where the average speed is seventy mile an hour, I see Sy taking notes and smiling.

Either he's completely lost the plot or maybe, just maybe, he's found out something that no other Shakespearean scholar has ever managed to find out.

I just hope i don't have to endure another twenty years of research involving 'a drive'-

Neither me nor the car will last that long.

Till next time,

Shakespeares Housekeeper xx

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

And you are...?

Sy writes under a pseudonym.
In fact, Sy is the pseudonym, and as i'm writing about the writer, in the main, it's better to use his working name.
When i first questioned him about it, he said it was easier to take criticism if it were aimed at someone who wasn't real.
I'm crap at remembering the right name at the right time.
The phone rings....
Me: 'Hello?'
Caller: 'Can i speak to Sy please?'
Me: 'Who?'
Caller: 'Simon?'
Me: 'Just a moment....' and then i proceed to call Sy at the top of my voice by his real name.
It's no wonder he hates taking me to any event or meeting where he goes by his writing name.
The first literary event he had the courage to take me to was The Cheltenham Literature Festival http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/literature Sy had been invited to do a talk so we were given the opportunity to meet all sorts of people we wouldn't have ordinarily.
God, i was so excited. I bought a new frock, a pair of heels and a great pair of incontinence knickers to wear in case it all got too much meeting Jilly Cooper.
When we got there, we were signed in and given name badges. They were so beautifully written, that it took me moment or two to realise they had got my name wrong.
'They've got my name wrong!' I wailed to Sy.
'No they haven't- you're Mrs Sy tonight'.
'But i'm not Mrs Sy. I'm not even the real Mrs Sy yet, let alone the pretend one.'
'You'll manage'.
I was able to stumble through most of the event by calling everyone 'darling' because that's what everyone seemed to be doing, which also meant of course that no-one asked me my name.
The problem came at the end of the evening when we had our photo taken for 'Country Life' magazine.
' Can i have your names please?' asks the photographer.
I look at Sy and panicked a bit. Before i know it i blurt out, 'Who are we? What are our names?'
Sy looked at me as if i'd gone mad, and told the photographer his name. I just stood there spluttering and desperately trying to remember what name i was supposed to answer to on this occasion.
And before i knew it, the photographer had gone. Probably through fear.
Apparently our photograph in 'Country Life' was lovely. And underneath, next to Sy's name was mine.
'Unnamed Companion'.  Well on that occasion i certainly was.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

The best days of your life....

Darling Daughter goes back to school today.

As i write, several things are happening;

There is a hairdryer whining in a bedroom above me.

Added to that is the sound of some obscure radio station (it could be Radio 1...haven't listened to it for years as i don't know who any of the bands are any more).

There is also the sound of new, heeled shoes clopping about, and the odd bout of swearing at, i can only presume, the hair straighteners not doing their job.

Sy is, and always has been, able to sleep through all this, even though it is happening in the room next to ours.

While living in London, he tells me he slept through a bomb blast.

Can't have been under the bed then.

The only things that will wake him is me giving him a gentle call up the stairs, yanking the bed clothes off of him, whispering in his ear that there is an e-mail from his agent (that's the best one) or the smell of a cooked breakfast (minus the bacon) wafting up the stairs.

I might throw a spanner in the works this morning and maybe tell him it's Christmas....

Darling Daughter has just let her mates in who live next door.

One of them is starting high school this time. Interesting exchange going on;

'Untuck your shirt'


'Because no one tucks their shirt in'.

'But it's my first day, and i'll get told off'.

'No you won't. The teachers never say anything'.

Oh yes they do, but their threats are about as effective as mine.

I gave up telling Darling Daughter to tuck her shirt in, do her top button up and make her skirt a respectable length several terms ago.

Still, parents evening is always something to look forward to.

A great evening out.

For a start, three of us go- Sy is Darling Daughters step-dad, and her real dad is very prominant in her life.

Which means the school never has enough chairs for us when we appear (they always expect two parents, never an extended family) and with three of us firing questions the teachers' look like they are under attack from a Mafia family.

I always, always ask why Darling Daughter's work isn't marked on a regular basis (sometimes not for two months at a time!)

Sy wants to know why the the history teacher doesn't teach real history, and why the English teacher doesn't take his comments about Shakespeare in Darling Daughter's homework diary into account and her dad wants to know when the school is going to start a kickboxing club.

These have been regular questions over the last couple of years, an i'm half expecting the school to ask us this time, why, with my obsession with marking, Sy's humungus knowledge on all subjects and her dad's interest in sports, we don't home school her.

Mind you, my grasp on anything to do with what they teach in schools is so limited, Sy would end up doing the marking too.

I tell Darling Daughter on a regular basis, the only reason i married Sy was so that she would have someone to help her with her homework.

So i'm not sure what i will do with him when she leaves school.

Till next time,

Shakespeare's Housekeeper xx

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