We survived Latitude. No arguments over putting up the tent, which we remembered. We had a spot of bother hammering in the pegs, because we forgot a mallet. We didn’t forget a child though, which is the main thing.
True to form, our kids wore themselves out doing arts and crafts and tree climbing all day and then cried just as the bands we wanted to see came on. We tried to ignore them and explain it was ‘our time’ but it’s like telling your cat not to scratch your furniture. It does it all the more. How can you pretend to be 15 again as you sing along to Sleeper, when you have a screaming child hanging off each leg, pulling down your shorts?
Children don’t care about ‘adult time’. I told them next time they are having a nice time, I’m going to start crying as loudly as I can and hang off their legs. The eldest said ‘Mum, you are, like, so weird.’ But I will get them back for this. Sometimes revenge is the only thing that keeps me going. When they are old enough to drive I’m going to sit in the back and kick their chair, remove and lose my shoes and tell them the traffic lights are green, when they are not, which they do to me.
When they want to go to a gig, I’m going to be there, and I’m going to tell them I need them to take me to the loo when the song they wanted to hear comes on.
When they cook me the dinner I’ve asked for, and loved before, I’m going to clutch my stomach, act as if I’ve been poisoned and roll round on the floor.
I am aware this is not the best attitude to start the almost seven-week summer holiday with. Like most years, I’m all full of projects we are going to do together, lessons I’m going to plan. I’ve bought diaries they are going to write in each night to help their handwriting. We are going to read classic books together and do still life drawings of bowls of fruit. We’ll visit museums and learn about other cultures.
When I told the husband this he told me I was ‘mental’. You know that Mickey Flannagan sketch where an ambitious classmate from his local comprehensive school told the careers advisor he wanted to drive a van, and Mickey and all his mates told him he was dreamer. He was never going to drive a van. Their school produced the people who carried the stuff to the van.
I’m the kid who wants to drive the van. There is more chance of me becoming a hip hop artist than there is of me doing any learning with my kids over the summer.
I know this, and yet I make plans anyway. I told the husband ‘You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope one day, you’ll join me, and the world will live in the sun.’ He begged me to stop singing and told me I’d got the lyrics to Imagine wrong.
We often argue about lyrics. I maintain Kasabian sing ‘I’ve got piles’ instead of ‘I’m on fire’.
He tried to tell me It’s Coming Home goes ‘Jules remit still gleaming’ instead of ‘Jewels remain still gleaming’. He said ‘Do you honestly think they have a bedazzled cup covered in sapphires and rubies? ‘Yes’, I said. ‘Yes, I do, and a dear old lady called Betty polishes it each week and it gives us all hope.’
He went on to tell me some cock and bull story about the small and unadorned cup being stolen and found by a dog called Pickles. ‘I may be a dreamer’ I told him, ‘but I’m not bloody stupid. Next, you’ll be telling me that gherkins are just tiny cucumbers.’
He thinks Jefferson Starship built their city on sausage rolls, not rock and roll. I think Hot Chocolate’s ‘I believe in miracles’ could also be interpreted as ‘I remove umbilical’s, you sexy thing.’
He reckons Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ is the ‘legend of the penis, not ‘the legend of the pheonix’.
I think Kings of Leon might actually be singing ‘Ooooh, dyslexics on fire’ but I hope not. It’s very mean. There in no need to kill someone just because they have trouble spelling.
I also like to sing ‘These ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind.’ Listen and tell me I’m wrong. Did Bryan Adams get his first real six string in summer of ‘69, or his first real sex dream? You decide. And was Robert Palmer singing ‘you might as well face it, you’re addicted to love” or was he singing ‘might as well face it, you’re a dick with a glove?’