Friday, 26 October 2012

The modern day Hero

This is us at my graduation. His leg gave out. Apparently.
I realise that so far I have only touched on my Dad being spontaneous, weird and… well yeah, just weird really. There is always more to a person than their crazy exterior. Dave IS weird and spontaneous of course, you’ve probably came to the same conclusion yourselves. He walks straight through bushes and hedges instead of going around them, leaving people gawping at him, thinking he is a mad man. He doesn’t do well under pressure, so ‘holidays’ when I was younger were always a bit tense until we got there and set up. My parents love the great outdoors; their holidays consist of either going to the same holiday cottage every single year on the Isle of Wight OR setting off with their caravan to sit in a field for a week. These holidays were always amazing when me and my brothers were younger, but we grew out of it eventually. My parents, however, did not and still have the same enthusiasm about the New Forest as they did thirty years ago. Anyway, as I was saying, the packing and setting off is always the stressful part isn’t it? I will never forget the time we pulled out the caravan, had everything packed and ready, set off…and left the caravan behind. The ‘clunk’ luckily gave this away pretty quickly and Dave got out ranting and stormed to the shed to get something that may help, but he couldn’t find the key. This resulted in him smashing down the shed door in a complete frenzy, him rejoicing when he got in the shed and then the realisation that he now had to rebuild the shed door before we could leave. One of the more awkward starts to our holidays.

My Dad may impersonate me on a daily basis, for some reason, sometimes as soon as he steps in the door but he also has a massive heart. When I had my heart broken by my first real love he came back on his lunch break just to see how I was, he didn’t find me sobbing and struggling to breathe awkward, instead he put on the kettle and cried with me. He is the one that rescued me from climbing frames and trees when I was younger and felt brave, before freezing when I realised I wasn’t brave at all. He was also the one that brushed my teeth every night when I was little, and made me and my brother’s shields and swords. When I was about seven I noticed that I had a tick on my stomach, from one of those fun camping holidays I can only assume. Dave listened patiently to me and managed not to laugh in my face when I voiced my concerns that I was turning into a cat.

Then of course there was the rough and tumble Dave, the one that made a game of swinging us from the bannisters by our hands…it sounds like child abuse when I write that and read that back, but it really was fun and obviously we trusted him not to drop us…although when I was old enough to realise he COULD drop us I did stop playing. He used to let us sit on his lap and ‘drive’ around Sainsbury’s car park, again something I did enjoy doing until a police car arrived in the car park for a completely unrelated incident and Dave told me they were here to arrest me. Again, I stopped playing after that.

For my Mum I imagine that it was like having four young children instead of three because he joined in on our games and found ways to really annoy her. We formulated a game which involves my Mum on the phone for hours and us seeking her attention, so we asked her random questions, taking it in turns and following her around the house when she tried to avoid us. Questions would involve things like this,

“Muuuum? Do you love me more than anyone else?” “Yes, of course”.

“Muuuuum? Am I your favourite?” “No…no…god no”.

Dave found it probably even more hilarious than we did, but probably because he was involved and we weren’t against him.

I remember in school we had a homework assignment where we had to write about our hero. I panicked. I really didn’t consider the spice girls my heroes, and as much as I enjoyed the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air he wasn’t worthy either. I was always a goody two shoes and I wanted to do well and get a good mark, so I wrote about my Dad. As predicted the teacher loved it, it was cute and I got a good mark. I didn’t want to admit that he was a substitute because I didn’t have anyone else to write about, but maybe subconsciously the nine year old me had it all figured out.

Sunday, 21 October 2012


Custom made.

I haven’t written a post in ages, so sorry about that, it won’t happen again! My brother is now back from America and we’ve been busy. Luckily that means I have plenty of Dave material…

Dave would not be able to be described as a fashionable, if he has nice clothes then they were a present. I gave him a lovely black jumper for Christmas once; it was reasonably pricey, well-fitting and cosy…it lasted two days. The dog ate it. Now we just stick to buying him Toblerone’s, but that in itself causes problems due to weight gain.
The problem is he is impatient and if he purchases some jeans he will not try them on in the shop, he will wait until he gets home and they will inevitably not fit. He will refuse to take them back and just alter them to give him the hillbilly look. For example, if they are too long he will just trim around the bottom of the legs, giving them a frayed look and then the wait begins, as they slowly roll their way up towards his ankles.
Growing up with him as my Dad I have had to forget the embarrassment about being seen out in public with him…although last summer when he custom made some denim shorts by hacking his jeans up that definitely tested me.
Of course he doesn’t just specialise in denim, he also does t-shirts. There was his tie dye shirt and even more unique his ‘tyre’ shirt. He found a spare tyre and rolled it over his t-shirt giving the impression that he had been run over, “I wore it to work a few times, it was very unique”, he informs me with a massive grin on his face. I can only assume that this look was achieved by paint, otherwise that would mean he never washed that shirt…Let’s hope hey?
I just realised that my statement that all his nice clothes were presents is untrue. Once whilst having lunch in Wetherspoons there was a rather fetching man’s coat thrown over the back of his chair. He waited for the duration of his visit and when no one returned he simply put it on and left. Smart and casual.

The other day I was just sitting down minding my own business when Dave walks in and said;

“I looked in the mirror and said out loud ‘people are used to my face"

…I wouldn’t be so sure about that. These are the weird thoughts that we have and choose to keep to ourselves so that people don’t think we are weird. I guess he has nothing to lose; we are already past that stage.

My mum is currently going through a stage of thinking dachshunds are adorable. This includes pausing the television whenever one appears on the screen. It was cute at first but now it is becoming increasingly annoying. Even my birthday card from my parents had Dachshunds on it… Apparently she is going to get one and call him Sidney Sausage dog. Whilst pausing the ‘Mattessons Fridge Raiders’ advert for the hundredth time Dave informed my mum as to why she loves him so much.
“I used to pretend I was a sausage dog when I was younger and I used to sit by the dog repeating the words ‘Sausage can’t open the door’ in a deep voice until my Mum opened it”.
It appears patience must skip a generation…hopefully the same can’t be said for insanity.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Love and marriage; what do we REALLY sign into?

I imagine this is the reaction I will get when he reads this blog. If he ever does. However, this is actually him trying to listen to his music on his laptop... I guess he hasnt heard of headphones.
The most patient influence in my life is without a doubt my Mum. Anyone who has put up with Dave for as long as she has, and even contracted herself into being ‘the better half’ deserves much more than a strong handshake.
My parents have spent the past two weeks decorating my brother’s bedrooms, and decorating always tests a marriage. Dave switches from the ‘Light hearted Dave’ who spends ten minutes standing on a swivel chair to attach a light onto the ceiling, waiting for himself to spin back round to make adjustments, and for some reason, impersonating Pikachu… to ‘Ridiculous Dave’. Ridiculous Dave is repetitive, gets annoyed that everything isn’t tidy, and says everything is ‘ridiculous’. He forgets where he puts things and then blames me. Just me, exclusively, as though he thinks I am a secret hoarder with a collection of screws, drills and his keys. Basically he seems under the impression that, much like a magpie, I am drawn in by shiny objects and must have them. Mum can always tell Dave where he has left absolutely anything, even the most obscure places, and a skill that must have been acquired over the course of their marriage.
My parents don’t seem to argue, usually what happens is that Dave has a bit of a breakdown and instead of even attempting to keep the peace my Mum becomes extremely sarcastic to further aggravate him and then swans out the house leaving her poor children to babysit him. What makes it even more awkward is that the majority of the time Dave doesn’t get the sarcasm…

I imagine in many marriages you gain pet names for each other, my Mum was discussing this topic with her friends and hearing the usual ‘Darling’, ‘Love’ and ‘Sweetheart’, when there was a silence, and several pairs of eyes looked expectantly at her. My poor Mum had to admit that her pet name was…Horse. I should firstly say that I imagine many of you are now expecting my Mum to have the horse-like features that some unfortunate humans do have. She doesn’t. There is no real reason for her to be compared to a horse.

The following conversation just occurred between me and Dave;
“Dad? Why DO you call Mum horse?”
“It’s a term of endearment.”
“But what is endearing about being called a horse?”
“Well. It’s better than being called a pig.”


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sometimes its hard to be an animal lover...

Mollie the Collie- 'should have gone to Specsavers'.
Please note:
Half the time me and my brothers refer to my dad as Dave and the rest of the time as Dad, so I have chosen to continue writing my blog and referring to him as Dave as you all will do.

A usual evening; coffee, television and Mollie the Collie barking and fighting Dave as he pretends to be a Great Dane…

Dave has always had animals and through great misfortune these pets were either somehow err…mentally challenged or just filled with hatred for Dave.  A great example of this comes in the form of Sister Lettuce the rabbit that spent her life growling at him and chasing him up the stairs as he tried to escape her. Immediately I find myself pitying Sister Lettuce for her ridiculous name rather than sympathising with Dave for owning this possessed pet.  There have been many animals that have taken a dislike to him. Like Dapper and Dammit the Dalmatians that Dave and his sister occasionally looked after for a neighbour when they were teenagers. Dapper and Dammit used to chase after Dave and even pin him up against a wall to bark continuously in his face until they freed their prisoner. They literally hounded him to the extent that he began to hide in cupboards to escape them.
Of course not all of his pets have bullied him; some have just been weird or have chosen to go to great lengths to avoid living with him. Such as Griff the dog who attempted to chew off his own feet after stepping on some stinging nettles, “there was blood everywhere”. Or Shed Cat, known as Shed Cat because his real name is long forgotten. There was a house move and then the usual cat disappearance, usually they return to their previous homes. Shed Cat, as you may have guessed simply moved into the garden and decided to live under a shed for a month undiscovered until his angry meow one day gave away his secret location.
Then there have been the ill pets…The Wet Gerbil who had flu and as the name suggests was always wet for an unknown reason. Not to mention Purdy the cat who was renamed ‘Sid Snot’ because she was diagnosed with having grass seed up her nose and was constantly sneezing.
Dave’s bad luck with animals seems to have filtered out a bit and Mollie the Collie is as challenging as a mental born- Irish rescue dog is expected to be. Our old dog Tess HATED humans and Mollie HATES dogs. One day we might get it right…