Hiawatha and the reservation. (Holiday reservation).

25 09 2016


Hi Leonid, Blackbowtie, NaiNa and other kind friends. Thank you for following me. I’m on holiday now and only have a “Dum phone.”  So it’s difficult to keep up unless I use smoke signals. But I will be back. :0)

PS. Have borrowed an office computer to send this. :0) All the best. Busy Bee. I’m off to dance with wolves.

Your majesty … Your Highness. :0)

23 09 2016


Gone to visit the Queen. (Mother). Back in a couple of weeks. :0)


Mother. (Episode 16).

9 08 2016

Things I didn't know about my mother. (Part 11)Communication or rather miscommunication seem to be a running problem between mother and myself these days, and modern technology doesn’t seem to be improving things much. In fact it just seems to be making things even more complicated. Only recently I received, to my surprise and delight, a Facebook notification from Mother. There was a picture of her with a message stating ‘A picture of me in Spain’. Delighted that mother was now on Facebook I sent an email message back thanking her for her Facebook message and to let her know that I had left a reply on her wall. Within minutes I received an email reply stating, ’Facebook message? I don’t even know how to use Facebook.’ I then sent a message back saying how concerned I was if mother hadn’t sent the message as it may mean that someone had hacked into her account and that the Facebook notification was possibly a hoax. Mother promptly sent a message back asking me why I would think the message was hoax. Didn’t I recognise the photograph? After all it was me who had taken it when we went on holiday together last year. When I reminded her that it was her who had stated that she didn’t know how to use Facebook, I received the following reply. ‘Have just cottoned on to what you were saying about the message being a hoax because I said I didn’t know how to log on to Facebook. Believe it or not I got onto Facebook by trial and error, not sure how I did it though Ha ha’.
And mother has been at it with the telephones again. She checked her phone messages yesterday and noticed that someone had rung her at 2am, and that the call was from a mobile number. She puzzled for ages about who could have called her so she rang her best friend thinking that she may have been ill during the night, but it wasn’t her. It then dawned on mother that it was her who had called herself. She had woken up at 2am, realised that that she hadn’t put her portable handset back in its holder, went looking for it, couldn’t find it, and then decided to ring her home number from her mobile phone. Help! I’ve just received another email from mother which reads as follows: ‘Just went down to make my Ovaltine, and had another fit of laughter thinking about all the things I’ve done in the past few days. I had to rest my head on the kitchen cabinet unit as I couldn’t stop giggling. It comes to something when you have to do funny things to make yourself laugh, but at least I can laugh at myself’.
Which only goes to prove that the facts, real life, really are more hilarious than fiction.

Things I didn’t know about mother. (Part 25)

29 09 2012

I knew even before we took off that this was going to be an eventful flight. The omens were there from the minute mother tried to fasten half a seat belt from a vacant seat into half of her seat belt – veins bulging, eyes popping, as mother nearly succeeded in bending metal until a late arriving passenger pointed out her mistake. Any effort on my part to keep a low profile was seriously impaired when mother showered at least three passengers with peanuts fired off from a snack size bag burst completely down the middle. It’s very difficult to clean up peanuts in economy class unless of course you are a contortionist, so we didn’t try. Unfortunately this caused one of the cabin crew to skate from first class down to the rear end of the aircraft in record time, causing one of the passengers to ask if there was an emergency. With apologies made and earphones purchased I shrank back into my undersized seat and tried to immerse myself into  ‘Mr Poppers Penguins’, shown on a screen tilted towards me by the passenger in front of us. It wasn’t long before mother was tapping me on the shoulder mouthing that she couldn’t hear anything. Leaning across I followed mothers head phone lead down to her arm rest and discovered that she had pushed the connector into a random crevice. Anyway once mother had been properly connected I managed to enjoy almost twenty minutes of movie watching in relative peace. That is until mother starting laughing. The first time I remember mother laughing in public was in a cinema showing ‘What’s Up Doc?’ Mother would laugh, and less than half a second later the whole audience would laugh, and so it continued throughout the entire film. I could never quite figure out if it was because mother saw the joke coming before every body else did, or whether every one else was laughing at mother laughing. She does after all have a very infectious laugh. Anyway this time the only person laughing was mother, not sure about what, who became so hot and bothered that she decided to switch the air vents on, pressing the ‘Service’ button instead. Within seconds cabin crew arrived with a moist towel in a pair of tongs, one waving it in front of mothers nose as if in an attempt to calm her down by hypnotising her, while the other one tried to flatten it across mothers scarlet face. By this time the passenger to the right of mother had left his seat, we assumed to go to the toilet, but he never did return. I nervously eyed up all the emergency escape exits to see if any had been opened, while mother took advantage of the situation and pocketed the missing passengers unopened bag of Penn State pretzels. “They’ll help to keep my energy levels up while we wait to go through customs”. “A good idea” I said, “But this time I’m opening the bag”.



Things I didn’t know about my mother. (Part 22)

12 09 2012

Sometimes I’ll receive short sharp emails from mother. For Example ‘Rob Brydon on tonight, BBC2, 10 pm, Love Mum xx’. The problem is that by the time I’ve read the email the programme is long finished. But her intentions are good, guiding me towards what she thinks I will enjoy, and in return I try to do the same. ‘Mrs Biggs, 9pm, ITV one, love son xxxx’. One of the things I have learnt over the years though is never to call mother while Coronation Street is on – any other programme fine, just not this one. She simply won’t answer the phone. It could be urgent, but nothing is more urgent than catching up on what is going on in the street. No need for me to send her an email reminding her that it’s on. With regards TV updates via email I remember one Christmas I received an email insisting that I watch a programme about all the shows shown through out the years. I never received an answer as to why, so didn’t dare miss it just in case mother had been a member of the audience. (She is well known for being a member of the audience for some of her favourite shows). Anyway if I’m honest I found the programme quite boring and checked back with mother after it had finished to find out why she thought I should have watched it. It turned out she had recommended the wrong show. But what we both will miss are the emails back and forth about the Olympics and the Paralympics. Like many others we have both been inspired by the determination of all the athletes, the joy, the tears – the living proof that if you want something bad enough and are willing to work hard enough for it you can achieve it, whoever you are. As a result I’m now walking into town instead of taking the car and mother is now heavily committed to mobility exercises. I’ve just sent her an email informing her that a new pair of joggers is in the post. I’ve also enclosed a message stating ‘It’s never too late to be what you might have been’.

Things I didn’t know about my mother. (Part 12)

6 08 2012

If anyone should find a cushion on a seat in a restaurant its probably my mothers. Mother has lost countless cushions over the years. The reason she takes them with her? Most seats are too low in relation to the table and a cushion elevates mother to the height she deems necessary if she is to sit and eat correctly. Well that’s her theory any way. The problem is that when it comes to leaving the restaurant we are so busy gathering up walking sticks, spectacles,bags and umbrella’s mothers cushion is often over looked. Calls back to the eating establishment we have just departed from to find out whether they have found a stray cushion are invariably met with a ‘No… sorry’. Either the waiter has assumed the cushion is an odd tipping custom or else the staff just can’t be bothered to look for them. I suspect the latter. On three separate occasions we have revisited restaurants, one after a three month interval, only to find mothers cushions there where she’d left them, a bit flatter maybe but still there for all and sundry to see. We have toyed with the idea of sticking labels onto the cushions ‘If found please return to mother’ along with her telephone number but the idea hasn’t gone down very well. The problem is mother is very sensitive about her ability to remember things and even though I have assured her that we can all forget, she is still not convinced. But what she is convinced about is the fact that she cannot afford to keep on buying cushions. If the day ever comes when restaurants install height adjustable chairs then perhaps she won’t have to.

Things I didn’t know about my mother. (Part 6).

24 07 2012

The truth is I don’t see my mother often enough, but when I do visit I tend to stay over. Its what I refer to as quality time. Unhurried conversation, a bit of gardening, the car emptied of last weeks shopping,food thrown away that is long past its sell by date. Towards the end of the evening mother will dose, wake up with a start, then pronounce that she is off to bed, her departure allowing me time to explore the unknown territory of late night television. ‘This week’ anybody? Within an hour (mostly due to the heat) I start to feel drowsy myself and decide to follow in my mothers footsteps. The problem is that she has a very noisy house – my attempts not to wake her thwarted by creaking stairs, a whining bannister, and the innocent looking teddy bear slouched on the top landing. Its extremely sensitive, the merest touch prompting it to perform a distorted rendition of ‘Tomorrow’ from the musical ‘Annie’. The problem is I’ve yet to find a way to switch it off. I’ve tried strangulation,choking,shoving it up my shirt, but all to no avail. Somehow it always manages to complete five choruses before gurgling to a halt, by which time a door has groaned open, and my mother has emerged from it, all fluffy slippers and a Marks and Spencer dressing gown. Puffy eyes or not, she still manages to convey scorn in a Hitchcock leading lady kind of way, the power of a prolonged silence exercised to its absolute best effect before she retreats, the ultimate revenge inflicted upon me seconds after she has closed the bedroom door. ‘Talk Back’ radio at full blast.

Things I didn’t know about my mother. (Part Four).

22 07 2012

Whenever I visit my mother random photographs appear. She doesn’t present them to me directly. I’ll find them lying on the mantelpiece next to the clock,beside the computer, or on the coffee table next to a coaster. I’ll glance at them briefly, feel a little bit sad, then pretend that I haven’t seen them. Inevitably my mother will ask me whether I’ve seen such and such a photograph. I’ll acknowledge that I have and then change the conversation. I find this habit unnerving.I’m not keen on photographs of myself, although the ones depicting a younger version of me aren’t that bad. The even suntan,the blue eyes,long sandy hair. These diluted colour photographs seem to portray some one reasonably healthy, fairly happy, and more importantly young. The sadness bit comes from having to acknowledge the ravages of time, the wrinkles,thinning hair,bags under the eyes and the wobbly neck. All a far cry from the smooth skinned glowing face smiling out from a a colourful Chinese kite back drop. I wasn’t afraid to show my teeth back then. But perhaps the picture that moved me most was the one my mother had placed on the mantel piece last week. Its a photograph made into a coaster depicting me leaning into my toddler son, his face alive with the child like wonderment of being photographed and having to say ‘Cheese’ to a camera with a noisy zoom lens. I’m still not sure why my mother places old photographs in random places around the house. I just wish she wouldn’t. To me they are just a stark reminder that all things must pass – and do.

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