Tuesday, August 25, 2015

16 - How did that happen?

Seriously. How is it even possible?

16 years ago today little Molly Alice Bruton was born at Dudley Road Hospital, Birmingham.

Since then she's made the world a better place simply by being part of it, has amazed and confounded, surprised and delighted, entertained and thrilled all those she meets. But most of all, she's filled my life with happiness.

So Happy Birthday Molly Alice Bruton.

Enjoy your day. Love you. Even though you no longer look like this...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Molly Bruton - Proud, proud, proud, proud, proud.

GCSE results day today.

God, that was stress.

Because of various things. But at the end of the day. We are so spectacularly, incredibly, wonderfully, totally, utterly proud of Molly Alice Bruton. Exams all sorted, results great, and on to the whole next set of things to do brilliant at, namely A Levels; English Lit, Media Studies, Music Technology, Applied Science, General Studies (never underestimate the importance of a good General Studies A level. It got me to University, it got her Uncle David to University. And it's an easy, easy A Level.)

I try not to embarrass her too much on here (at least not anymore), but  let's just say we're so very, very, very PROUD of her. She turned out alright y'know.

One thing I have thought about today is that effectively, we're now utterly redundant. We've got her to (nearly) 16, alive, in one piece, pretty sorted for the future. In the old days this means we can quite cheerfully die now. But to be honest, I don't really fancy doing that. I've got A Levels to get through yet at least. Then there's University. Then life.... I plan to be around a fair bit yet.

But Molly Alice Bruton, SO VERY PROUD. OH SO VERY PROUD. Love You XXX

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Happy Birthday to Mrs B, Happy Birthday to Mrs B....

It's the birthday of Mrs B today. A very important birthday (but aren't they all). I could tell you what it is, but I might as well let Molly's fabulous cake do it for me... Bake Off has nothing on Molly...


And that was her haul. Not quite the complete thing, as we're off to see Duran Duran later in the year... a proper treat...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Growing old... the ONE advantage...

Growing old is a crap thing. A really, really crap thing. Anyone tells you otherwise obviously fucked up the whole youth thing. (Yeah, youth is wasted on the young and all that.)

However, the one really bloody great thing about getting old is the whole not giving one whit what anyone else thinks of you. The joy of walking into somewhere new and just not really caring about a reaction, about wearing what you want, being how you want, saying ... well, Jenny Joseph said it best...
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph

Thursday, August 13, 2015

How do you make a hardware store pretentious? Adventures on "Bishy Road"

Bedeck it in twee bunting, stick an old-fashioned market cart out the front. Pretend you don't actually sell nails. That sort of thing.

Anyway, I'm sitting here writing this looking out on a cafe patio watching two tables. The first is obviously a family, elderly mum and dad, just back from her morning gym session older daughter and VIth Form / just started at University son. Foppishly Boris Johnson-ish hair, thick rimmed black glasses, white shirt, blue velvet jacket, purple trousers, brown shoes, no chin.

The other table appear to be eating granola. In a plastic pot. With yoghurt to add. Which, yes, they're taking photographs of.

Next to me are a couple with identical white dreads, nose rings, ear extenders, all the best eco-friendly clothes mummy and daddy's money can buy. And behind me, there's a couple of recently graduated women having a business meeting with a bearded hipster type about their pop up wine thing they want to try. Thing is, they patently have NO idea about anything business. They just know they like wine.

Selected quotes...

"none of that fruity, heady sort of label nonsense that even Wetherspoons are doing now"

"before he started his own winery he managed a Danish thrash metal band. How marvellous."

Oh, yes. Welcome to the wonder that is "Bishy Road" in York. That's the last time I'll use the twee term the locals insist on using, with all the self-satisfied air of entitlement they can muster. It's Bishopgate Road. And it's hideous. (But at least the coffee's good). I'm here after dropping Louise in work and having never been here before but having heard Louise tell me how ridiculous it was, I figured I'd give it a go.

It's a scene no doubt replicated in cities around the country. The pop up "village" that isn't, the clever but oh so irritating rebranding of what was merely a few shops on the outskirts of the city in a sort of suburb. I've seen in with Harbourne and Moseley in Birmingham, no doubt you can add your own. Full of the identi-kit coffee shops. Where they display the identi-kit cakes on slates, serve the same sorts of meals... Eggs Benedict, Avocado on toast, Salmon, you can guess the rest. Where the noticeboards are full of mother and baby courses in French, yoga and choral singing.

Trouble is, the principle behind Bishopgate Road and your identi-kit "village" around the country is absolutely something to support. Of the shops, the majority of them are independent. The money goes into the local economy, it's definitely a good thing. But god, the people who patronise these villages are so damnably annoying.

And no, I did not wake up in a bad mood this morning at all. Why do you ask?