It’s summer in North Devon. The swifts and swallows have arrived, as have approximately 9 million caravans and wankers with weekend surfboards. All the roads are blocked, there’s rubbish (and even worse, people) all over the beach and everything suddenly gets more expensive. Fortunately it’s the most beautiful place … in North Devon, and I’m still near mum ….
I like art, I really like old art, and I really like silly jokes. Mum also likes all these things …
Me: Go on ‘classical art memes’ ….
Mum: What is a meme?
Me: I don’t really know … it’s just a meme.
Mum: “It’s just a meme.” Even I know it’s a meme. I still don’t know what it is.
Me: Well it turns out I don’t know either.
Mum: I’ve got memes, I’ve a cloud, I’ve got blue teeth …
It’s summer in North Devon and if you’re not 6th generation Devon or a friend of ours, mum doesn’t want you here.
Me: How was your day?
Mum: Swimming pool full of tossers
I have a tendency to leave electric cables to my appliances behind, so do other people, all people younger than mum apparently ..
“You young people always leaving your wires behind, wankers.”
I’ve gone round to mums and am enjoying a nice glass of wine as I watch the seagulls fly past the window in the late-evening light. Then I notice something strange on the windowsill …
Me: Mum, why is there an enormous knife here?
Mum: I don’t know.
Writing is a constant battle with my brain. If I spend too long looking at words, I become unsure how they could possibly be spelled like they are. The newest in this collection of words is ‘blood’ …
Me: Blood, it’s not said how it’s spelled at all .. “blud it’s bloooood…”
Mum: YES, bloed … sounds Dutch …I should’ve known that from all my Scandy-noirs
Me: All that bloed
Mum: Lots of bloed.
We’re watching a video where dead bodies get turned into rocks – mum is a sucker for all new carbon-neutral ways of disposing of herself ….
Narrator: Then put them in liquid nitrogen to distract …
Mum: … Your victim
I watch on horrified as a human is turned into ice-dirt and then compressed into a block …
Mum: Looks expensive.
They’re now being ground up into a brown-orange powder …
Narrator: … freeze dried …
Mum: Then they put you in a curry.
Mum wants to do something complicated with her television and I’m not in the mood to do it.
Mum: Well, you need useful boys for things like these anyway.
Me: I’m pretty useful for a girl …
Mum: Yes, sure, yes, no you are quite.
It’s early august and it’s pissing with rain ….
Mum: Moody weather …
Me: Yeah take that tourists.
Mum: They don’t care they’ll go back and fiddle with their tablets … hopefully one day they can just come here virtually.
Night tubes going and it’s the hottest story I’ve got hold of that day ..
Me: First night tube in London ..
Mum: Oh … right … in London …
Me: Yes. Not a huge event but does make a big difference.
Mum: Yes some where for the homeless to sleep, poor bastards I bet they’re relived.
Mum’s an Aquarius in the world of horoscopes, and vehemently believes in all their (positive) traits. This information will be important in a second …
Mum: Full moon yesterday …
There have been quite a lot of full moons recently it seems and I don’t react.
Mum: … In Aquarius.
I see now this one’s important.
Me: Oh right …
Mum: Probably why I’m so tired.
Me: Yeah that must’ve taken it out of you .
Mum is not enjoying getting old, there is way less partying and way more hip replacements than she’d envisaged …
Mum: Getting old is so boring.
Me: Well you’re going to have to find ways to preoccupy yourself.
Mum: No it’s not that it’s that your body stops working.
Me: Well Steven Hawkings hasn’t had the privilege of a fully-functioning body for the majority of his life – don’t hear him complaining he’s bored.
Mum: Well, I’m sorry I’m not Steven Hawkings!!
We’re observing the woman who’s supposed to have a shit-tonne of testosterone, she’s about to race or has just raced maybe. Either way, she’s standing around looking powerful …
Mum: I wouldn’t take her on would you?
Me: Yeah, I would. I’m scrappy .
Mum: Yes … You’ve got to get that under control.
I work quite hard, not that hard, but quite hard. Mum thinks this deserves a reward when I see her, it’s wine and I’m not in the mood but have struggled through one heavy glass of red …
Me: Why did you give me more wine?
Mum: Because it’s you’re day off
Me: It’s not my day off.
Mum: Well, have another anyway. You’re a laugh when you’re drunk.
(I drink the second and am a right laugh.)
Mum’s showing me some pictures of Evelyn Waugh or someone like that in the buff …
Me: Oh yes right …
Mum: During his gay period.
Me: Nice shining bottom.
Mum: It is isn’t it. Everyone at Oxford in the ‘30s was gay … And a communist.
We’re watching the gymnastics. I am in tears at the magnificence of it. Mum says …
“They look like little fairies but they’ve got thighs like truck drivers – so bloody strong ..”
It’s later on in the evening of gymnastics and I’m now drunk floor watching a routine …
Me: I could do that
Mum: Yeah right. Competitive or what!
I watch a pathetic double-backflip-quadruple-somersault-tummy-tuck-splits …
Me: No probs.
Commentator: Not the most difficult routine we’ll see tonight.
Mum: No jade could do it.
It’s dessert time, I’ve given up sugar because I have a tendency to eat enormous bars of chocolate daily, and there’s no one to tell me not to; but now I am my own parent. Mum brandishes something from the fridge …
Mum: 0% fat yoghurt.
Me: I don’t care about fat it’s sugar in supposed to not be eating.
Me: Well, it’s got absolutely nothing in it, do you want it or not? I’d get it while you can.
There are an awful lot of people in the village I live in, thousands of them, all with thousands of miniature versions of themselves …
“There’s too much breeding going on, too many kids. About 1 or two kids, great, but why do you want all these extraneous ones? The earth’s resources are not infinite.”
It’s later on in the Evelyn Waugh evening and mum’s driving me home. I’ve recently found out after 20 years of thinking I was too tall to be a jockey, that actually, I’m not.
Me: Lexxi’s boyfriend said I’m the right height … Grampa said I was too tall but I’m exactly the right height.
Mum: I’m surprised Grandpa didn’t say it was because you were a woman.
Me: Oh maybe that’s what he was saying .
Mum: I think he might’ve just generally been horrified you wanted to be a jockey.
A few minutes later ….
Me: Wasn’t Grandpa at Oxford in the ’30s?
Mum: Yes he was …