Tuesday 19 February 2013

Ztiff upper lip

I did go and look after Gus for the day.  He was better, but not right - temperature down but pale with shadows under his eyes.  Still, he was smiling and eating bread and Marmite when I arrived, so that was a big improvement on the day before.  Weeza had a very busy day at work, so it was a good job she went in - she works for someone who owns a great deal of land, including let cottages, farms and a business, and her job is managing the estate lettings etc. and being his PA - as it would have been very tricky for anyone else who didn't know the ropes.

There was quite a hard air frost this morning and the Sage cleared the windscreen of ice, then I did, then I had to stop halfway down the drive and clear it again as it froze as I drove.  It froze again in patches, but by sitting straight and tall I was able to look through a clear patch, and of course the de-mister sorted it out after a couple of miles.  Tall is a relative term of course, as you'll know if you've met me.  At least, with five grandchildren under 8 and Dora in the family (Dora is teeny as well as adorable), I'm no longer the shortest.

By lunchtime, Gus had perked up enough to eat a good helping of cucumber and red pepper while the pasta was cooking, which I served with pesto stirred in and grated cheese on top.  I know, darlings, the mark of the middle classes - indeed, I couldn't find the grater (turned out to be in the dishwasher) and so I shaved the cheese with the potato peeler, which is even worse.  Then he ate fromage frais and half a banana.  Which went further down the same route, but indicated he'd eaten a good lot overall,.  Then we went for a walk.  There's a nice little wood near their house, which I hadn't known about before.  Gus walked quite a long way, but if I held his hand he would suddenly pretend to stumble in a "Vic, I've fallen" way (which will only mean anything to you if you watched Vic Reeves' Big Night Out some 20 years ago.) and want to be stood up again, which was not amusing for me for quite as long as it was for him.  Eventually, I put him in his pushchair and in due course he fell asleep.  Sadly, he didn't stay asleep when I put him in his cot at home, but he was very good, only flagging for a bit at about 4.30.  I gave him bread and water, it seemed to do the trick.  I'd sung to him too, which he bore patiently.  I can hold a tune, though listeners sometimes mistake the tune I'm holding, but I'm no singer.  Nursery rhymes and music hall songs are mainly my repertoire, though I know quite a lot of tunes that I don't remember more words of than the first line.  Not only does it not interest me, but I can't hit the high notes, so am useless as there are gaps.*

He was a very good and loving little boy and, when I picked him up, he put his arms round me and hugged me tightly, making the hard carapace round my old and withered heart crack with love and almost soften.  So it's just as well that Weeza isn't working tomorrow, because I need to keep my defences up and two days could make me an emotional heap of affection.

*The alternative is singing alto.  'Nuff said.


Unknown said...

If it makes you feel any better, I am only at my best singing basso profundo, which as you know, in choral terms, is the lowest of the low.
But Ann sings soprano.

Wendy said...

Mmm. Ditto the alto singing-not that I do that terribly well. (But forget about high notes -talk about caterwauling). I don't even do nursery rhymes very well - Nathan used to ask me to "Please stop, Mummy".

Must be nice to look after a littly for a bit.

allotmentqueen said...

"the hard carapace round my old and withered heart" - I do not believe that.

Could you not have left him asleep in his pushchair, rather than putting him in his cot?

The only way that nursery rhymes and music hall songs will survive is if people sing them to youngsters. You are obviously a living archive! Well done to you.

Have you perfect pitch? Otherwise why don't you sing songs in a key that wouldn't defeat you on the high notes? A lot of tunes actually start on the tonic so if you pitch that right for your voice you will probably be good for the rest of the song.

And what is so very wrong with emotional heaps of affection?

Z said...

Perfect pitch - heh ... though I do sing at a comfortable level for me, that can be quite a growl. Singing Christmas carols with a tenor friend once, he remarked that my voice was deeper than his. Mind you, darling Gus enjoys my singing, though he's young yet. I know hundreds of nursery rhymes, it's my speciality.

Yes, I wish I had, AQ, but it was only a light buggy and not very comfortable, and the wheels were muddy and Weeza's hall very small.

PixieMum said...

Thankfully I am not the only Mum whose child has told her not to sing. Son under 2 said to me "Mummy don't" when I attempted to sing nursery rhymes to him.

Thankfully neither child has my singing talents, both of them were in choirs, Son involved with G & S at university; Daughter was a Bishop's chorister.

Only time I dare sing along to the radio is when I'm alone, either at home or in a car.

Missed out in the lottery of life as no sense of rhythm and the ability to copy a sound so poor at languages as well as singing.

Ah well, some one had to do the staff washing up at school instead of going to music lessons!

Sir Bruin said...

I am to singing as King Herod was to baby sitting.
I recall one music lesson many years ago when we were all singing, then the teacher stopped us. "Someone is singing a wrong note," he said. "It can't be Banks, he can't sing at all."

Might have had something to do with my decision to take up playing the drums.

Z said...

I'm feeling better about my voice by the minute, even if just in comparison with you lot!