Friday, December 5, 2008

Private Dancer

After a frantic week, in which I became the first person to successfully appeal against an appeal and Grandad became the first person to be voted out of the allotment, I had another Saturday of my touchline ban to serve. The man at the house of the Terminally bewildered that serves the Football authority, bemused at my request for my appeal to be thrown out but eventually succumbing to female charm and wit and reinstating my touchline ban.
Sanctimonious Sid - Husband is still peeved. Tarnished the good name of the club and all that. But hey! I’ve got some seriously steamy treatments booked. Where football is concerned I am full of disrepute and I deserve my ban.

So, it's out the door with the farcical footballers and off to the shops with teenage daughter. Flip Flops, towel, swimsuit and goggles packed and off to the Spa.

Ginny picked me up along with Maya and Georgie and we entered the sanctuary of a football free environment. Off with the clothes and the outside world and on with the flip-flops, robes and our first scented candle of the day…. Heaven I’m in Heaven.

The morning schedule was fairly relaxed, with no treatments booked until the afternoon. Heading for the pool and a swim and a chat, lots of cane furniture, off white cushions and plenty of greenery, magazines to read, and two well-positioned and well-proportioned young members of staff on hand to ensure our safety and tend our every need. If the Olympics ever introduced the combined event of swimming and chatting we would have it in the bag, both individual medals and relay. After a swim it was off to the shed to sit under various coloured bulbs that promise to improve skin tone, well being and wealth, I don’t get this bit and am never quite sure as to whether we have turned the thing on.

Lunch followed, with a nice bit of fish and a glass of white Rioja, before we split up for our individual treatments. Georgie and Maya were having powdered Octopus beak rubbed into their eyelids for that sparkly eyed “I live under the sea” look, Ginny was due to go out to a party that evening so had opted for the complete clams’ liver facial. I was due to be “de knotted “ in the massage room. After the stress of the previous month I had opted for the “rough and ready” option and prepared to be pummelled.

The room was empty when I entered; I removed my robe and lay down on my front on the soft massage table. A little zizzy from lunch I momentarily drifted off, to be awoken by the click of the door as the man with the hands entered. Starting in the middle of my back he worked his magic up and down my spine. Firmly and with some urgency he melted the knots sitting in my upper back gently working his way down over my Gluteus very maximus to my thighs and calves; up and down, round and round, practiced actions to melt the stiffest of sinews.

But there was something about these hands. Hands that I had felt before. The touch, the grip, the easy action. I raised my head and turned to complement my Mark Anthony and…


We stared for a second before…

“What are you doing? This is not dancing, Stephanie…… wha”

Guido stepped forward and handed me my robe, I swung round onto the side of the table. He and Stephanie had been cleared of the allegations of lewd behaviour on a package tour yacht excursion and had returned home. Unable to restart their dance class after the publicity, they were keeping their heads down and pursuing other interests until the dust settled and they could return to their life long passion – dance. I didn’t remark that they seemed to have a few other sordid life long passions as the image of husband in a Jacuzzi with Brandi and Stephanie popped into my head. But instead assured him that I would love to attend any classes they put on in the future, the dancing had been fantastic.

Over my shock at the identity of my touchy tormentor and with my session still twenty minutes short of closing I suddenly came over all strong and empowered, maybe I was a little too relaxed, maybe the massage a little too good but I beckoned Guido to the table, I was the customer, he was there to serve, tossing back my head, I leaned back on the table..

“So, Mr nimble feet….do you do any extras?”

Guido spluttered,


“Not that Numb Nuts, Dance! ………..I want to dance!”

And so we did, an unusual fandango in flip-flops and a restricted space, but dance it was, relaxed, steamy sensual and passionate. I left the room in a state of ecstasy, greeting the girls who unaware of my massage room exertions commented on how well I looked and vowed to book a massage on our next trip. Another hour of reading magazines on chairs that wobble before it was time to go, and so with a whiff of Clam in the air we returned home, the car followed by seagulls for much of the journey home and a reintroduction to life, as we know it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I'm a Liability get me out of Here

Thanks to my two-week touchline ban, a football free Saturday void of footballers and teenage daughter who was encouraged to overnight at her friends’ house. An early departure for the car crash of a football team to an away game near the coast, so a leisurely breakfast with the papers and an episode of Quantum Leap on UK Gold, I could get used to this “bringing the game into disrepute” lark.

But what to do with the rest of the day?.

To Iron or not to Iron?

To Dust or no to dust? …you must be joking.

Today I have some much needed retail therapy to catch up on, and next Saturday a full day session at a spa where I shall be massaged with exotic oils by a toned young man in tight shorts, read magazines in wooden cubicles under different types of lights, swim without the interference of boisterous/drowning children or the latest round of bombathons, dine lightly on food drizzled with the same exotic oils that were rubbed into my body and wash it all down with a large glass of something dry bubbly and white. But that is for next week, this day is for shopping.

After a quick shower the phone rang, it was Ginny. Ginny has no male offspring, only two young girls and Tom, an organic husband who spends most of his time on his allotment where he grows misshapen vegetables that Ginny struggles to peel, subsequently they eat out a lot.

After ten minutes of chat and an agreement to meet in town for lunch Ginny remembered the initial reason for the phone call. Tom had been at the allotment the previous evening and had witnessed a disturbance on Grandad’s patch involving Grandma and a group of boys did I know what it was about?

I didn’t but would check on my way shopping.

Grandma was home alone when I knocked, and after a brief round of pleasantries she came to the reason for the disturbance. During a brief discussion between the two silver scrappers about the current line up for "‘m a Celebrity get me out of here", Grandma had expressed disappointment about the absence of the lovely Jason Donovan, who had done so well in one of the series past and would be her choice of Tarzan should she happen to be stuck in a jungle. Grandad, irked at the thought of being cuckolded by the antipodean Joseph hit the roof. A tirade about the youth of today ensued, the show was filmed in the car park of a hotel, and during his time in Malaya with the army, Witchety grubs were for high days and holidays.

Grandma responded with a challenge to Grandad; if it was so easy why didn’t he go on the show, which led to a lot of harrumphing and snorting and an agreement to start training by living in his shed on the allotment for a period, surviving off his small area of land. Grandma would stay at home, fill in the forms and visit him once in the morning and once in the evening. Unfortunately after last night’s visit which was Grandad’s third night in the jungle/allotment a group of local youths had got wind of what was going on ( no doubt from Grandma) and were issuing Grandad with challenges to consume various plates of creatures dragged out from his compost heap, which he did, with a

“you young buggers don’t know you’re born”

A little concerned at Grandad’s sojourn in the jungle/allotment I agreed to accompany Grandma on that morning’s visit where the local youths or Grandma had daubed his shed with the slogan “I’m a liability get me out of here” Grandma hurried down the path and Grandad emerged from his shed.

“Hi love, you’re doing really well, they have agreed to include your time here as part of this year’s programme. Cameras have been placed in some of the trees around here, and last night everyone voted to keep you in, keep it up, I will be along this evening to tell you if it is your turn to leave the jungle”

Grandma grabbed my elbow and ushered me away,

“Not a word to anyone, if he wants to play silly buggers I’m going to teach him a lesson. He will be home on Sunday.”

Dumbfounded I dropped Grandma off, is this what husband and I had to look forward to in later life? A prolonged battle between the inhabitants of Venus and Mars.

I shopped and lunched with Ginny before returning home, stopping off at Grandad’s allotment on the way. The local youths had slung a rope over a branch of a tree that bordered Grandad’s allotment and were lowering a half eaten bag of chips down to him, stopping with the bag just out of his reach.

Yo Grandad Mears, If you want to earn more meals for the camp you’ll have to finish off them snails”

They taunted

Grandad reaching up to try and grab the chips with his hoe.

I chased the youths away, and handed Grandad some sandwiches I had bought from the garage.

“You can’t give me those love, I’ll be off the show, they pick all sorts up on the cameras and microphones.”

As he handed them back to me.I left for home, hoping that Grandma would have him home soon.

I was met at home by a buoyant father and son and a sleeping teenage daughter.

“Hey Mum, Dad copied you and you’re coaching methods and we won one nil”

Husband and son’s team had taken the lead through an own goal late in the first half. At half time son and his mates had suggested to Dad that he speak to Brandi and her Floaters who happened to be at the game. The Floaters had performed at a seventies revival night the previous evening at the nearby holiday camp, Brandi happening along for the ride. Aware of the proximity of today’s game to the previous night’s “gig” the Floaters had agreed to return the favour and come and support Brandi’s cheer leading.
Husband said that he thought this particular coach may be immune to Brandi’s charms but he would ask Randy if he would run the line for the second half, which he did.
The opposition striker straying off side continually, leading to

“Hi, Randy, Aquarius, and I like my football played onside”

accompanied by a side stepping finger clicking routine by the remaining Floaters and a falsetto

“He’s offside…….offside, offside”

mmmmmMMMMM….see ma flag, its in the air cos you’re offside”

Replied Randy with the red flag.

With no rule in the book about adding time for routines performed by seventies R&B bands, each offside incident took upwards of a minute out of the game. Husband and son’s team triumphing by a goal to nil, and the Floaters selling several tickets for that night’s performance.

“There’s mileage in these distraction tactics I tell you”

said husband opening the mail and reading an official looking letter.

“Fantastic, your appeal has been upheld and your touchline ban rescinded, common sense at last”


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yes Your Honour

After the match day madness of the other week, I naturally assumed that my brief time in the glare of football’s spotlight would be over. Alan and 606 had moved on, husband was back at the helm of his floundering ship of football and I had retreated back into the shadows of match days content to ignore the game, chat with friends, listen to my ipod, admire any eye candy that may be refereeing the game and get through the ninety minutes of tedium as best as I can albeit with a hundred percent success rate in football management.

Three weeks passed before one morning I received an official looking envelope by registered delivery. On opening the expensive envelope I discovered that I was to be charged with bringing the game into disrepute;

Result! recognition at last! Somebody on the same wavelength as me with an equal disregard for all things football.

Reading on down the letter, to discover where I was to pick up this award and whether it merited a new outfit it became apparent that this was not some like minded individual but someone who couldn’t be further from my train of thought. I had been in charge of a football team and knowingly fielded more than eleven players on the field at the same time. Despite my well-intentioned motive of “giving everyone a go” the lecherous cove who had been transfixed by Brandi and her gang had reported the team to his local Football Authority who had taken it upon themselves to send me this letter; I was to attend a hearing in two weeks at the county Football Authority headquarters.

Now I found it laughable and was not the slightest bit concerned by the apparent gravitas of the situation. Husband was all of a dither over the future of his club, while son prepared placards for his friends to carry to the hearing. I convinced Captain Ditherspaz that the occasion merited a new outfit and was granted leave from one match day to go and choose an appropriate outfit, which I did along with a selection of matching shoes, accessories and lunch.

On the way home I saw Brandi for the first time since the match in question, she was entering her cottage’s garden, dressed in trademark plastic stilettos, tight t-shirt and short shorts accompanied by a group of four African American gentlemen, who my son would term as “dudes”.

I stopped the car; I had felt a need to make some kind of peace with the ageing high kicker since I had used her charms so mercilessly in my football management career.

“Brandi I just wanted to sa……”

“Squeeeeeellll…….honey you have just come at the right time, these guys are old friends of mine from the seventies, come and meet the Floaters, they had a hit and used to warm up some soccer matches with my girls”

Brandi ushered me towards the quartet in white suits and shades, who had worn very well if they had indeed had a hit in the seventies.

“Hi, Randy, Aquarius, and I like a lady who’s good in the kitchen”

“Float, Float on…”

Sang the other three, while clicking fingers and stepping from one foot to the other

“Hi, Larry, Libra, and I like a lady who knows what she wants“

“Float, float on….”

“Hi Felix, Sagittarius and I like a lady who takes it silky slow”

“mmmmmmmmmMMMMM…….. Take my hand, and come with me to wonder land”

Sang Brandi before dissolving into fits of shrieking laughter,

“You Guys,….. Sorry honey they do that little gag every time, seeya round”

And with that she was off into the house with her Floaters.

Perplexed I drove home and dug out my old Top of the Pops albums to try and find a picture of the Floaters and ascertain if it was they who I had just met. My search briefly terminated by husband’s anguish at discovering the sheaf of receipts in my bags from my day at the shops.
A quick google of “Floaters” revealed an extensive range of self-contained sewage treatment devices so I called off the inquiry, and set about assembling my outfit for the following day’s appearance in “Crown Court”

The next morning Husband was up with the lark, and bringing me breakfast in bed.

“It may be your last meal for a while, not sure what the food is like in prison, although Jeffrey Archer didn’t look bad on it”

He was quickly followed by daughter, who had not seen this time of day since primary school; if I was not coming home could she have my new boots. At the very least she expected me to be wearing some kind of tag around my ankle which would prevent the wearing of said boots, and by the time I was released/untagged the boots would be out of fashion so it would be best for everyone if I just gave her the boots now…..

“NNNNOOOOO……. I will be coming home at the end of the day after we have got through this latest football induced charade and I will be wearing my boots!!!”

Up and dressed for my morning in the dock, and on with the power clothes, not the ones that I had purchased the previous day, they were for casual, social and everyday wear. I already had my outfit for today hung in the wardrobe; pencil skirt with jacket in light charcoal, plain white blouse with top two buttons undone, sheer tights and medium heels, hair up and glasses in pocket, minimal accessories and briefcase rather than handbag, A vision of powerful femininity that screamed, don’t mess with me.

Husband and son accompanied me to the house of the terminally mad and bewildered, which housed the Football court. My briefcase was checked on the way in for weaponry and we were escorted through to a waiting room. We were second up in front of the beak, after a throng of eight year old boys and girls who had received a similar charge as myself, after they discussed some of their recent under eight football matches with their parents when they got home, The Football authorities apparently having banned all reporting of some junior matches lest anyone should find out if they were doing well or not.

Children suitably rebuked and escorted crying from the court we were on, three men behind a desk, all of a similar age and all attired in what must pass for Football authority smart casual. Blue Nylon blazer with gold buttons, white shirt, blue tie with football on, cream staypress action slacks and well polished but reasonably cheap shoes. Bits of paper in front of them, five minutes of drone, with stern and grave looks over glasses before being asked to stand and issue my reply which I did,

“Guilty as charged throw the book at me”

Which they did, and boy did they feel good doing it, not in a misogynistic way but in a “don’t muck around with the boys in blazers, football is a serious game kind of a way”

I rose, thanked them profusely for their time and wise counsel and left the room.

Husband and Son met me outside.

“Your out……….. No fine? no tag?, no punishment?”

“No, no fine, no tag, just a two week touchline ban, I did ask for four weeks but they declined, a football free fortnight….bliss”

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's a game of two halves Alan

Football management, is not as easy as it would appear. The common misjudgement frequently made by the uninterested observer, reality striking when shoved into the pool on which they have thrown some scorn. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a “Yes brother I have seen the light, I am healed” moment that would befit some religious satellite channel from across the pond. No, I am happy to concede that football management was harder than I thought it was going to be and that is all the ground that I am prepared to concede.

It started on the morning of the match in which husband and I were due to “take the team”. Unfortunately on the previous night husband, filled with amorous ideas, had made a clumsy pass with some dodgy oysters and a distinctly disturbing Dutch film, the main theme of which seemed to involve a great deal of soft focus naked cycling around tulip fields, culminating in a rather stilted romp among some rosy red round cheeses. Anyway I wouldn’t touch the Oysters and stuck to Liquorice allsorts as Mr & Mrs Humpentulipbang went about their business. Husband scoffed the whole lot of Oysters and subsequently spent the night in the loo throwing up.

Unable to take his place on the touchline I was left in sole charge of Match Day. Son was up with the lark, loading up with carbs and bananas and requesting a programme of warm ups, which I provided with a ten minute work out of picking things up off his bedroom floor and a pile of clean washing to put away. Warm ups complete we packed the car and headed for the ground.

Grandad currently home alone after Grandma’s latest bid for freedom was to meet us at the ground. Grandma had not been seen for over a week after going to Homebase with Sheila to return a carpet cleaner they had hired for the weekend. After a ten minute discussion on the downfalls of living with Grandad they had apparently just “kept on driving” It wasn’t the first time. Two years ago she had gone out to the Ice Cream van full of anti Grandad ire, purchased her 99 mit flake, made old Carllucio an offer he couldn’t refuse and embarked on a two month tour of Europe selling Ice cream all the way to Croatia, eventually ringing Grandad a fortnight later from the nearby service station after hitching her way back to Blighty with a Slovenian trucker. This time Grandad wasn’t too worried, the Rug Doctor Satellite was tracking their every move and had put a crack team on their tail to repatriate the errant carpet cleaner and ageing Thelma and Louise.

Nets were up lines painted, all I had to do was get the balls out of the bag and do the “front of house” bit, touch up the make up before glad handing and meeting and greeting the opposition. The boys came through the gate to be followed by a slightly oily looking coach, who shook my hand firmly made a crass comment about women and balls, winked and slapped my behind as he went on past to the dressing room; What a lech!

Gathering my charges I made them run round in circles as I had seen my husband do on several occasions, got them to do a few flappy things with their arms and some forward rolls before giving them a ball to kick at the goal but without hurting the goalkeeper’s hands. The referee called the boys together,the team assembled a whistle was blown and the game kicked off. Job done, easy this football, the Lecherous coach and his cronies positioned themselves on the far part of the pitch and started issuing what must have been technical advice as they kicked the ball at our keeper who dived and caught the ball,

“What a save from our boy Dave,
He’s a dish and he’s our fave
He’s so cute with those gloves on
Come on Dave lets have some fun! YEEEEEAAAAH!”

Brandi! What the bloody hell is she doing?

And there she was gold shorts, gold trainers, gold vest and gold pom poms with Bingo wings Beryl and a brace of Brandettes by her side, three different sizes and shape of the female form kicking and shaking to varying degrees their way along the touchline.
David, our shy Goalkeeper, couldn’t kick the ball away fast enough.

I tried to match the Lecherous coaches advice with some shouts of Come On, Well Done and Bad Luck but his organising and advice appeared to be making the difference, as they eventually scored a goal.

“Woe is me, and what bad luck,
Now our side is really stuck,
The ball is in the back of the net,
Come on boys there’s still time yet”

Good Grief!

The half time whistle blew and Grandad came with me to gee the boys up and dish out the drinks, which after a few minutes caused the boys to spit and splutter,

“Grandad, what the hell is this? “

Son cried out,

“ Meal in a cup lad…. Pork Dripping Smoothie, made em last Sunday. Just what you need, they’ll all be drinking them soon”

He said proudly,

“Good Grief Grandad, what next? Ships biscuits and hard tack, here boys have some water, and just do your best”

The boys plodding back to their positions with the taste of salted Pork fresh on their lips to continue the game. As the oily opposition coach walked over to make some patronising comments about “doing my best” I had a flash of inspiration. Brandi and her gang had been entertaining the crowd at half time with a corner flag twirling routine in the centre of the pitch. The two self conscious linesman had been encouraged to join in with their flags and the merry band were just marching their way back to our side of the pitch. I hailed Brandi and suggested to her that it would be only fair to spread the Brandi experience amongst the whole crowd and would she consider moving to the other side of the pitch to entertain the opposition crowd.

“Gee Honey, you are so right, it is just give give give with you all the way down the line, come on girls”

And off they went high kicking their way around the pitch to the other side.

Within five minutes the flow of technical advice from the coach had ceased altogether, stuff the football, Brandi was the one who needed the coaching, as the lech of a coach joined in several of their routines, slapping backs, squeezing thighs lost in the haze of a gilded pneumatic middle aged cheerleader. I found three spare players on the sideline who I encouraged to go and join in, our extra numbers making a difference as we scored three goals and won the match, If the Lecherous coach hadn’t been so distracted maybe he would have done the same, the referee didn’t seem to mind, he too was distracted by all things Brandi who rounded off the match with a centre circle victory performance and chant,

“Well done Boys you did the Job
You are definitely Top Knobs.
You won the match with skill and guile
We’ll all remember this one for a while”

I think this was one of Beryl’s,

The opposition left the field bemused at the sight of the Brandettes kicking and twirling their way from the field with their coach as fifth member in only his boxers and vest, using his tracksuit top and bottoms as Pom Poms.

I’m not convinced the distraction ploy will work the next time the team play, but as my husband said from behind the bathroom door,

“Three points is three points, but I’m not sure what Alan will make of your tactics when I ring him later”

“That’s great son you must be delighted, let’s hope she’s learnt her lesson and that football is a serious game not to be taken lightly, thanks for calling 606 with a happy story for once, now its over to Len on line 2 who was at the Spurs game today, Len…… ”

Yes Alan?????

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I am Strong, I am Invincible I am Woman!

After my brief foray into the world of the online auction, all hell has let loose. Husband was recognised by several people during his appearance on 606 that developed into Samaritans at six. He has been overwhelmed with messages of support from the footballing community; I however have now become a figure of hate to several people around the village, and have received several items of unsavoury mail. My husband receiving advice from various quarters, the most bizarre coming via text

“Yo ho man is dissin yo man, smack dat ho up!”

Husband taking it to be an early yuletide greeting.

Husband has actually behaved rather well over the past few days. Taking the view that most people had overreacted to my actions on ebay, All’s well that ends well, and if some striker from a tribe of monopeds is set on the road to soccer stardom, well husband can take satisfaction from the fact that he did it in one of his old boots.
The incident has again been discussed on the midweek 606. Alan Green remains outraged, but then that is his resting state. Several callers questioned a woman’s role on the touchline, seeking a male only environment, where cigars can be smoked and pegs taken without the need for social niceties towards the fairer sex, as it was in the days of Clive of India, When men were men etc etc……... There have been predictable comments about sticking to cooking and staying in the kitchen from the usual dinosaurs although one particularly feisty lady called in to say that fans should be made to sit boy/girl/boy/girl like she had done in school, the atmosphere would be much improved and a little enforced contact between the sexes may actually narrow the divide that exists between them over the game of football. To my surprise husband rang the programme and was put straight through to Alan; after the boost to the ratings following Saturday’s performance, our phone number was marked out as one to watch out for. He agreed with the previous lady’s comments and suggested that the way forward was to increase the involvement of ladies in the game of football to further their understanding of the game and its nuances.
Initial feelings of pride, at husband’s conciliatory tone and peace keeping efforts, were dismissed by the realisation of what he was actually saying, leading me to shout

“ Hey Mr Boutros Boutros Ghali! Put the bloody phone down, its less football I need, not more!”

A shout that was picked up on the programme and broadcast to the nation, leading Alan to resume his agitated state, picking the scab from the scar created by my auctioning off of husbands football gear, and opening new wounds with countrywide accusations about my unabashed unapologetic stance over my actions.

And so, to placate my long list of recently made enemies, and to draw a line under this whole affair, I have agreed to become more involved in husband and son’s football team. For one week only I shall stand on the touchline facing the pitch and fill the role of assistant manager. I will wear a tracksuit, trainers and baseball cap replete with sponsor’s logo. Husband will then ring through to Alan Green in the evening with reports of my epiphany, Alan unable to show any interest in a happy heart warming tale, will then direct his outrage elsewhere, and we will return to where we were three weeks ago.

Initial feelings of admonishment and being taught a lesson were soon dispelled by a few glasses of Sauvignon Blanc. If I am to do this football management thing I will do it my way, stamp my personality on the team for this one game. Show some of these cavemen who have had a one week licence to verbally abuse my very being, that I won’t be cowed.

I am Strong………………………………………strong

I am Invincible…………………………………….invincible

I am Woman………………………………………womaaaaaaaan!

I then went on to pick a team of like-minded women who have railed against a male dominated world over the past few years.

In goal I would select Emily Pankhurst. Suffragette and Derby disrupter, particularly adept at diving at the feet of fast oncoming objects. At right back I would have Pocahontas who kept some sailors from taking over her island while dealing with a particularly loved up John Smith. Left back would be Linda Carter as Wonderwoman, with a brace of broads with balls - Madonna and Grace Jones in the centre of defence. In a four woman midfield I would have the girls from Sex and the City, with Maid of Orleans and hopefully the 18 yard box Joan of Arc, in attack alongside Boudicea – on loan from Norwich. Margaret Thatcher would manage the team, as I doubt she would settle for the post of assistant, with Florence Nightingale as team Physio and Mother Theresa of Calcutta as Director of Football.

Go Girls!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bid Now

After the Dubeck debacle in Birmingham, I have resolved to rid this house of all things football, well not everything but most of the football clutter that we have acquired over the past years. Cleansing our living space and inspired by repeats of Cash in the Attic and Dejunk your life can only help free my mind completely of the round ball game and prevent my thoughts being invaded by Football rubbish at vital moments in my life. So while my Dancing career is on hold I have embraced the world of ebay and am quietly putting a whole load of husband’s football memorabilia up for auction. Any money raised going towards our next course of dance classes or a weekend away as far as possible from a football pitch.

Well, let me tell you, this ebay thing is addictive. So far I have new friends in Japan, Finland and Uzbekistan all asking me questions about various bits of rubbish that husband had under the bed in the spare room. I have embellished the description ever so slightly on some items to guarantee a sale; I have had daily contact with a Mr Takaido from Japan who eventually bought my Husband’s England shirt with David Beckham’s name on the back for well over three figures. I got the impression that he thought it may have been a genuine shirt from Golden Balls, and not a replica worn by Wooden Balls to fly the flag on our French Holidays.
Mr Takaido was also keen to purchase other items of Beckham’s clothing much of which was lost in translation, plus a request for scented pants which I can only take to mean a house plant of some sort, possibly an Orchid that I believe they value quite highly in the East. He seemed very pleased with his purchase and sent me a thank you E mail which read as follows:

“HI! Your Pole arrived this morning, that is very wonderful condition!!!!!
I appreciate it very carefully very much.

I will use that for housework carefully
However I say maximum thanks to your honest serious correspondence

And, it is the condition which dealings with ebay cannot be evalauted as.

From your Japanese friend


Mr Takaido “

The universal language of ebay, who said the Internet has made the world a smaller place? He left positive feedback with the comment “High ebayer” which was nice.

This past week I have sold a comedy Alan Sunderland wig to a lady from the Lebanon, and a Paul Gascgoine rubber facemask to a man in New Zealand. There has been great interest in the many football programmes that I have put on the site, and the half a dozen signed replica shirts that I have advertised as “buy it now” items were snapped up for £5 a piece. I have also managed to clear the house of seven pairs of football boots, with, although I may say so myself, a stunning piece of marketing. Advertising the football boots singularly, forces the prospective buyer into looking through the other items you have for sale for the matching boot, thus exposing the prospective buyer to further bidding opportunities and increasing the possibility of sales. The same ruse worked well with a pair of goalkeeping gloves.

On Saturday afternoon I was glued to my computer, tea and cake readily to hand. I had several items coming to their conclusion, a comedy Jimmy Hill vampire outfit going through the roof with some bidders from Eastern Europe and two bidders called Spearson9 and greenhofbros slugging it out over a pair of Rosettes from the 1978 Cup final.
Husband was in a ditherspaz over son’s game the following morning. Even though he only runs up and down the line waving his arms, my husband likes to wear his football boots, to enhance the appearance of genuine football knowledge. He could only find one, and was turning the cupboard out in his efforts to find the missing boot. A sudden thought entered my head and I clicked hastily onto my “items to sell list” There was only one boot left to sell, a click on the item revealed it to be the boot my husband was looking for, I had been thrown by the one legged footballer from Ethiopia who only required a left boot. I had checked the number of boots for sale found it to be even, and forgotten about the African Monopode. My check of an even number of boots for sale had let me down. At that moment husband appeared at my shoulder and saw the boot,

“Why have you got a picture of my boot?” he asked,

“Look it’s a long story that involves a lot of issues and a footballer from a one legged tribe in Africa, the bottom line is that your beloved boot is up for auction it has five minutes remaining, I am not prepared to affect my feedback score so am unable to withdraw it, if you really need it you will have to get some one to bid for you ”
I blurted out

Silence………… then

“My brother”

And he dashed into the kitchen to ring his brother. With a minute remaining the bids for the boot started to come in, I recognised my brother inlaw’s ebay moniker and followed the bidding carnage that followed. The Monopode from Ethiopia was obviously cock of the walk, or cock of the hop, in his new boot and my husband was having to bid frantically to stave off further African interest, finally winning the item with a bid of £43.55 plus postage, which I was happy to waive as he was able to pick up the item in person.
Husband returned to the room, I handed him his boot that I had fetched from my secret ebay stash and he handed me a cheque. He left the room shut the door and I could hear him picking up the phone. Several minutes later my son came charging down the stairs with a radio in his hands

“Mum, Mum Dad is on the radio”

And there he was, on national radio, Five Live’s 606 programme, the evening phone in where disgruntled fans phone in to discuss their team’s travails. This call was different, more like listening to a call to the Samaritans,

Husband: “Alan, its not my team I want to talk about today, I just need someone to talk to”

, And he explained the events of the last half hour

The usually outraged and indignant Alan had softened his tone.

“That’s outrageous son, but thanks for talking, we will always be here for you when you need to talk again”

The remainder of the show was filled with phone calls from downtrodden football fans, all with their own tale to tell and empathising with my husband’s plight. The usual two-hour rant about referees, players and managers had turned into a radio version of Trisha.

I think I may have gone too far this time and have torn up his cheque.

Friday, September 19, 2008

An evening with Anton

Hallelujah, Match postponed; apparently the opposition could not raise a team (this game is dying a death I tell you) Sergeant Bonkers and his junior assistant have had to seek new areas of entertainment and inspired by all things CERN and scientific are attempting to build their own Hadron Collider in the garden. Some flexible two-inch pipe has been arranged in a circle around the garden with two hair dryers attached to slots cut in the side. A large chart on the wall of our Kitchen indicates that they are to attempt to accelerate two ping-pong balls in opposite directions around the collider by turning the hairdryers to no less than 5. At a critical juncture, over which it seems to me they have no control, they will bump the two ping pong balls into each other and as if by magic a third ping pong ball will be created. If the experiment can be made to work with ping pong balls the whole shebang will be scaled up to provide a ready supply of Footballs for their team.

At the moment they seem to be on some scientific team building exercise which involves Sergeant Bonkers pushing son and heir around in his old baby stroller wearing a Cyberman voice simulator pretending to be Steven Hawking; Looking to me for laughs when husband handed the faux Hawking some leaves from the herb garden and asked him for a brief history of Thyme.

I did laugh, but only because I am escaping Bonkers Central for the night. A few friends and I have tickets to see an “evening with Anton” The Dreamboat Dubeck plus guests in the bright lights of Birmingham. We are staying overnight at the finest Novotel Brum can provide, and will be returning at our leisure the following day, when I will be called upon to clear up the mess made at home from husband and son’s attempts to create a new universe, or at the very least another ping-pong ball.

Ginny picked me up and we set off north, two hours of irreverent chit chat about nothing in particular to some background music provided by Abba. The Novotel was located, thanks to the nice man in the Sat Nav, and we headed to our rooms to prepare ourselves for Anton. I was to share with Ginny who produced a bottle of fizz as a “livener” for the four of us before we hit the town. Fizz consumed we headed for an Italian Restaurant near the hotel, a delicately flavoured dish of pasta, some perky Pinot Grigio and some even perkier Italian/ Brummie waiters were followed by a bucket of Ice Cream and a Taxi to theatre land. On getting out of the taxi a large black car drew up outside the theatre with the number plate DAN53 1, the occupant of the back seat emerged and there he was.

“Its Anton!”

Squealed Ginny,

Resplendent in Cape, Cravat, Cane and Fedora, flashing his smile in our direction at Ginny’s reaction, he shuffled his feet and was away sweeping into the theatre. Weakened at the knees by our encounter with the man of our dreams, we wobbled into the auditorioum and settled down for two hours of dance heaven.
It started with Anton running through a ten minute dance routine with various partners, a little bit of Paso, Rumba and Samba before putting on his jacket for a little tango, mostly Latin dances which is brave in itself as he is known for his expertise in the rise and fall and all things ballroom. A half hour of chat, jokes and questions followed, as he just sat on a stool and sparkled. His early life doing tap, his preference for dance over sport (Yes!), how flattered he was to have become a Gay Icon, denying rumours that Bruce Forsyth was his natural father, and revealing an ambition to become the next James Bond, or at the very least the man in the Milk Tray advert. A short interval and then he was back. A beautiful tuxedo and slicked back hair it was Ballroom time, First a quickstep, and boy was it quick, from the waist up it was all elegance and poise, from the waist down - a blur. Next a Waltz in unison with seven other couples, technically superb and no one got hurt, as they did when we tried it in our dance class.

And then it was just Anton, on his own, walking among the audience, looking for a partner to help him with a foxtrot,

And then he was there,

Right in front of me

Asking me,

Yes me.

OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD (as my daughter would say)

He took my hand led me to the stage and then it was just the two of us, the audience didn’t exist, he had me in his arms, I could smell his honeyed breath, see his chiselled chin, gaze into his sparkling eyes as he led, yes led not hauled, me around the floor, rising and falling, our bodies moving in time in what for me was a life changing moment, until I felt the sudden urge to speak.
With a brain turned to mush from grape juice and the power of Anton’s prescence the only thing I could come up with was

“ Who, who, who who do you support?”

NOOOOOO bloody football has invaded my brain and is making me ask stupid questions.

Anton bought the dance to a close and led me back to my seat whispering from the corner of his mouth to me as we went

“ Look love, we don’t talk when we’re dancing, Tits and Teeth that’s all you had to do, and didn’t you listen earlier in the show when I said I didn’t like sport”

Chastened by my encounter the remainder of the show was a haze, we got back to the hotel where a Giggling Ginny kept stroking my arm and saying that I smelt of Anton, and I climbed into bed reflecting on the fact that Football had penetrated deeper into my psyche than I thought. I could have asked him about shoes, clothes, toothpaste, but in my moment of fuzziness football pushed its way to the front and made me look stupid in front of my soft shoed superstar.
The journey home passed without incident, bar several stops for a hungover Ginny. The house was a tip when I returned, no ping pong balls had been produced or black holes created, my Coldplay CD had been worn out after repeat playing of “The Scientist” and husband and son were settled down in front of the midday match still in their lab coats but all out of scientific theories. Such is the power of football to distract the mind at possible life changing moments. If Einstein had been a Watford fan we would never have had any relativity and if Eddison had been a keen follower of Exeter we would never have had any light bulbs, or was it lighthouses? I don’t know I’m going to bed.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Here I go again

Summer time has past and gone, and here I go again on my own, going down the only road I’ve ever known, like a victim I was born to walk alone, but I’ve made up my mind, Bloody hell David Coverdale and Whitesnake where did that come from? Husband has some sensational photos of himself in his perm, headband and spandex trousers phase during his late teens, and he wonders why he never even held a girl’s hand until he was nineteen.
Well I can empathise with David’s wise words as I travel down what feels like the only road that I have ever known at this time of the year, the start of the chuffing football season. We only had a couple of weeks away from the dreaded game, but husband and son have renewed vim and vigour for the round ball rubbish that will occupy their every waking thought for the next nine months. Several fantasy teams have been selected, new boots and kit have been purchased, that will need replacing in three months as the superstar who eats us out of house and home grows another foot, (not a third foot but a foot in height) Football will completely dominate the television, eclipsing new series of ER, House and Medium.
Goodness knows why but husband and son’s team have actually managed to attract some new players this season - don’t they know? There should at least be some new mums to chat to.

One unwelcome presence on the touchline will be Brandi who has managed to ingratiate herself with all and sundry (I wonder how) First it was an attempt to start a gun club in the village with a poster in the shop window showing Brandi in Gold bikini, foot up on a style with a shot gun over her shoulder under the title “Come Shoot with Brandi” this aroused great interest amongst the beaters and shooters of the village before the local policeman dissuaded Xena Warrior princess with some guff about appropriate dress and gun ownership going hand in hand in this country.
Not to be deterred she has persuaded a couple of like minded mums to form a cheerleader troupe who have threatened to perform pitchside during selected games. Several boys horrified at the thought of their mothers shaking their thing “States style” left the club, forcing Brandi to recruit from outside the footballing sphere, Bingo Wings Beryl from the over 60s a particular cause for concern to the few who turned up to watch rehearsals.
My own avenue of release from the game has currently been denied me, The Dance classes that we so studiously attended last year have been postponed until further notice, Guido and Stephanie having been detained in Guido’s native Italy after reports of lewd behaviour on a yacht in the Bay of Naples. Apparently the three masted schooner that was taking them and a crowd of fifty or more on a day trip, offered countless opportunities for Stephanie’s pole work, Guido joining in by tearing open the back of Stephanie’s Blouse to improvise some flogging with a cat of nine tails, finishing the display with some spectacular flag work in the rigging that bought the house down. Unfortunately the whole display has since featured on youtube and the Schooner owner, upset at the adverse publicity, pressed charges against the Hornpipe hoofers, so we await their return. I will however need some non footballing activity to get me through the next few weeks so am currently on the look out for anything that will occupy husband and I for one or more nights a week that has nothing to do with sport.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Plage Olympiad

So here I am again, stuck on my own in France while Husband and son set about their next global sporting challenge. Its not so bad sat here by the sea with something dry and white next to a huge dish rippling with muscles. Not Daniel Craig but a bucket of “Moules al a crème” and half a bottle of Muscadet, succour to a lone female who can quietly contemplate the French life that passes before her while husband and son prepare at their Spartan training camp at the other end of the beach for the final event of their Campsite Olympiad.
I am constantly comparing the French female with my own sisters from the hood back in Blighty. Madame exudes style, is well dressed for all occasions and can walk elegantly in heels on cobbles. Faced with a Saturday morning on the touchline, Madame would glide through the match with sustained indifference, a gallic shrug at defeat, a brief bravo at victory, encourage their young charges to exchange kisses with the opposition then meet up with the opposition coach for an adult afternoon assignation.
Pharmacies are prominent wherever you go in Gaul, all display a flashing green cross outside and are open all hours; no drugs or painkillers of any consequence are available, although an extensive range of expensive skin creams and double strength hair dyes can be obtained in emergencies. Now that may sound a little catty, there are many aspects of the French soccermom that I envy and admire, I just keep a few thoughts in my head to strike back when they look condescendingly at me in last season’s flip flops and my superdrug sunglasses – Vive le difference!

So back to my current plight by the beach with wine and shellfish, this is the last day of our sojourn and we will be lucky to leave this camp site alive. On our first evening in the bar we were treated to the thunderbolt and his Jamaican buddies winning the gold medal in the relay, this made for a convivial atmosphere among the international gathering in the bar. A “blinged up” Russian family particularly ecstatic that the Americans had lost the relay, Brits hooped and hollered, French “bravoed”, Dutch cheered and then fell out, a Belgium family smoked pipes while a German family drank beer from large glasses. Post race my husband and son bonded with like-minded sporting types and drew up a schedule for a Campsite Olympics, Father and son teams competing in various events.
First up was the two man Luge, fastest pair down the swimming pool slide. The Germans were first down setting a competitive time, the Russians followed it up with a quicker time, before my husband and son made their way up to the start. The French pair stepped forward and objected to their attire; baggy short type trunks were not allowed in this pool, they would have to change or concede the event. After much mutterings about “cheap French tricks” a light switched on in husband’s head, asking for five minutes he returned to the athletes village – our mobile home, emerging a minute later with my son, towels wrapped around both their waists.
As they passed me I whispered sternly” you’ll have us deported if you do this naked, please tell me you’ve got something on under there” He assured me he had, before climbing the steps and removing his towel, to reveal a comedy posing pouch with elephant trunk that he always bought on holiday- “just in case”. My son had on some boxer shorts with the bum cheeks cut away, a trickle of blood on my husband’s left buttock suggested that he had also hastily shaved for the occassion. Off they went and as my Husband later explained after taking maximum points for the two man Luge, with the drag coefficient reduced to zero, nobody stood a chance!Velodrome next, a slow bicycle race around the camp site followed by a sprint around the perimeter. Despite the plucky Brits wearing their cycling helmets the wrong way around to increase drag during the slow bicycle race, they were pushed into third behind the Belgians and French. The Dutch won the sprint as they predicted, the senior member having the biggest pair of thighs I have ever seen on a man, and all painted orange for the occasion. Back to the pool where my husbands aerodynamic swimming helmet of conical candle and rubber glove failed to live up to expectation, although some children, poolside, did tick off “narwhal” in their Eye spy book. A late entry by the Swiss took the archery before we moved to the beach for the final event the two-man soccer. The Russians and Germans played off for the Bronze medal, with the French and English competing for Gold. It’s a tiny pitch, a tiny ball and a short game played by tiny minds. Husband has rallied as many Brits as he can to come out and support, the French on home soil have a huge advantage. Watching from a distance I can see that they have scored two goals each, my son, closing in on goal, is felled by the French father. Cries of “Foul” from the travelling supporters, and with a minute remaining my husband has a chance to win the game for Good old Albion. Pushing my son away he strikes the mini ball around the French wall through the goal and hits a Frenchman giving donkey rides on the beach. Husband ecstatic at the Gold medal strike runs away arms aloft cheering, only to be stopped by the French donkey man’s roar. Husband having devoured every book about Wellington’s campaign while lying by the pool (just to stir it up a little) went into infantry mode“ Form a square, form a square” my husband impeached the watching support, “French Cavalry, see how they shape, fine fellows these!” as the puce donkey walker and his asses plodded up the beach. Husband produced a pair of Wellingtons, Cape and Bi Corn hat fashioned from newspaper and began the opening lines of “Waterloo” before the Cavalry Major drew himself up to his full height, delivered a torrent of Gallic vitriol before departing with a loud “Pah!” Husband and son embarking on a lap of honour of the beach, I think it will be Cornwall next year.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Old Chinese Proverb Say

This year's display of the full gamut of the human form clothed in some of the tightest and lightest fabrics known to man is to be held in China. The Olympic Games, a welcome respite from the round ball game, and one that I look forward to with relish. I have some affinity with China having dabbled in Chinese medicine in my twenties when I undertook acupuncture in order to rid myself of a thirty a day habit that was spiralling out of control.
The whole Chinese philosophy towards not only medicine, but also everyday life, differs greatly from the Western World. From memory, where we in the West will identify a problem, look for a causative agent and then attack that causative agent. Chinese medicine relies on an overview of the condition, not a particular symptom. Your Chi, Blood, Jing, Shen and several other bodily fluids must be in harmony, problems arise when this happy medium goes out of kilter; too much ying and not enough yang. Most problems can be cured through the penetration of needles or a quick dip into a vast encyclopaedia of herbal medicine, follow this up with a brief consultation with a man who lives on a mountain and hey presto! Vim and Vigor restored.
Now call me an old cynic but until the mid seventies the Chinese had not won a Gold Medal, this week alone they have won seventeen. Having accepted Modern medical science and realising that there is no future in Herbs they have upped their performance and shot up the medal table. Nobody rushed off for a mortar and pestle to grind a few leaves when the Chinese Gymnast fell from the pommel horse, and I can’t think that any one will rush on with any needles if the star Chinese hurdler falls at the first; although a Chinese Javelin thrower may have been detailed to throw wildly at him if such an event does occur.
We in the West have our own dalliances with alternative types of medicine, chief among them Homeopathy. Fortunately we were quick to realise that this particular brand of witch-craft had no place in sport. The theory goes that, a low dose of what is giving you grief will make you better. After brief trials where Footballers who had been felled by a tackle were kicked again but not quite as hard, and cricketers who had been felled by a ball to the head where asked to “head” a cricket ball a few times, the experiment with alternative medicine was abandoned.
This year’s games have, so far, been stunning. Once the Birds Nest and Water Cube were Fung Shui-ed into position a breathtaking opening ceremony began, although the questions surrounding the Chinese record on human rights resurfaced with the spectacle of hundreds of scantily clad ladies being required to clap and high kick for a full three hours as the procession of teams entered the stadium.
The first week for those who view the Olympics as merely an Athletic Contest can be a little disappointing. I myself am agog at the adonai afloat in the rowing competition, Greek gods to a man, Six-foot plus, dressed in tight fabric and with a slightly sweaty dishevelled post-event look, it has been a joy to wake up with them every day this week, as the heats of the rowing are screened at breakfast.
This Olympiad, the male swimmers have been a little disappointing the vast majority of them covering up in the latest full length super-fast swimwear, (imagine how many more medals David Wilkie could have won if he’d ditched the moustache and shaved his chest!) although the synchronised divers, in particular the Australians in some sensationally skimpy “budgie smugglers” definitely drew the eye. The Chinese took the synchronised medal, although, with over a billion to choose from it cannot have been too hard to find a pair who look the same and can fall off a board at the same time.
I will be up again early tomorrow with husband and son, lapping up each and every event. Husband and son have not mentioned the dreaded “F word” allweek, concentrating instead on our impending week away at a French camp-site where they will feel duty bound to out compete several other nations in various events. Synchronised Bombing is in the bag, while my husband has developed a new kind of swimming hat inspired by the streamlined cycling helmets worn in the Velodrome, that will enable him to cut through the water and reduce his profile. In reality it is a large rubber glove that fits over his head and a six-inch conical candle that fits flush to his forehead, but to him it is the difference between winning and losing his “Campsite Olympics”I will let you know how they get on.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Transfer Talk

One week until the Charity Shield of Doom that heralds another season of flipping football. My husband and son’s excitement levels are building slowly towards the weekend. The last few weeks talk around the table has been mainly about weather Ronald will go to Real or Eto will go to Exeter – I think that was what they said. To be honest I have developed what I call my late summer haze, a fixed half smiling expression on my face behind which I can hide emerging to give a “yes dear” or a “ Gosh how exciting” during conversations laden with transfer speculation and football gossip. The sums of money that trip off my son’s tongue are fantasy figures, twenty million pounds, thirty million pounds one hundred and twenty thousand pounds a week. My husband will reply authoritatively that such and such is “worth it” or “they should be paying him more if they want to keep him” To me it seems that this transfer malarkey is all a big scam cooked up by agents who get their slice each time a player moves. I am not sure that I would notice the difference between earning fifty thousand a week and sixty thousand a week, you’re already filling your trolley with the Tesco Finest range and using the softest toilet roll known to man so why the move? Money can no longer be a motivator to the individual player so it must be other factors that drive a player to move. A love of clothes, fashion and shoes then it has to be Milan or Northampton, A fisherman may be attracted by a move to Grimsby or Hull, a keen sailor to Portsmouth or Plymouth. A love of the outdoor life and all things “small holding” may pull a player towards Cardiff, Ipswich or Norwich, while a love of the Hills and a bit of a ramble would draw a player to Carlisle for the Lakes, York for the Dales or Exeter for the Moors. Surf dudes and beach lovers would I am sure look for a move to Scarborough or Southend; Brighton would hold a particular appeal for a few, while the high rollers and glitzy would, I am sure, head for Blackpool or possible Rhyl. I cannot for the life of me comprehend why someone would choose Liverpool, Manchester or Birmingham over the beautifully situated Yeovil or Chesterfield, or the convenience of the shops to Fulham. I believe that Milton Keynes have a newly formed team, well good look to them in finding a bunch of footballers with a fetish for roundabouts.
Of course many of today’s professionals, inspired by Posh and Becks will claim to make a decision after consultation with their partner. Once the fifty thousand a week level is reached there must surely be some consideration by a level headed WAG to the area in which they are to move. I would advise Ashley Cole’s wife to push for somewhere away from the bright lights and temptations of the City, perhaps Gillingham, Peterborough or to really emphasise your point Aberdeen or Inverness. Any WAG looking to update their husbands image and move him on through the mullet/perm phase would do well to push him towards some of the more stylish inner city clubs or for guaranteed results a move abroad preferably to a French, Italian or Spanish club. If Leather is your thing well it has to be German or Austria, a bit of a bookworm? Then push for a move to Hereford. Need some new cutlery? Then try for a short-term loan spell at a Sheffield club. You could sample the delights of the elderly and retirement with a spell at Bournemouth or Torquay, or cruise away while he stays to play with a term at Southampton. There has to be more to consider when changing club than a slight increase in an already astronomical wage or a longer contract. Pretty much the same clubs seem to win the cups and leagues each year so if I were a WAG I’d be in my husband’s ear about the clubs I would like him to move to and the ones that he should discount at all costs, give the subject some serious thought because when the agent comes calling he will have only one thing on his mind and it won’t be the activities of the player’s partner or the quality of the shopping in the nearby area.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Could it be Magic

I don’t know how, but husband actually talked me into going through with this charade of a performance at God’s waiting Room. I balked at the sequined leotard, Diamonique tiara and Vaudevillian peacock feathers sticking out from my behind. Agreeing to instead wear black trousers white blouse, glittery top hat and occasionally wave my hands in his direction at certain junctures, implement applause when necessary and generally look amazed and agog at the miracles being played out before my very eyes.
Husband had worked his act around several card tricks, a comedy saw and a finale in which a white dove would be produced from under my top hat, the bird would then be placed in a magical “bird box” that husband had recently purchased on Ebay, with its head protruding from the hole. Husband would then chop the bird’s head off with a cheese wire, except it would not really chop its head off and the bird would live to fly another day, or so we hoped.
Much practice over the preceding few days as I and the unfortunate bird acquainted ourselves with the nuances of the act, that the programme promised to Astound, Rouse, Stupefy and Excite, the capital letter of each word aptly picked out in Gold underneath my husband’s magical moniker “The Great Bonzonov”
And so the day dawned, we were to perform at 3.00pm. All of the incumbents of God’s Waiting Room would be awake then and keen to be entertained before Deal or No Deal. After parking the car and struggling into the reception area we were greeted by the last person I would choose to see me shake my thing on stage, Brandi. Dressed in what can only be described as a thigh length white lab coat with not enough buttons, she was arm in arm with a male octogenarian who could not believe his luck.
“Just doin my bit for the old guys”
She exclaimed,
“Actually its just like bein back at Hef’s, randy old dudes in dressing gowns in the afternoon with ideas way beyond their station”
She whispered to us as she dragged the slavering gent into the lounge for his half hour of magic.

After a brief warm up by the Camp Commandant we were on. Husband diving straight into his card and gentle comedy routine that had them rolling in the aisles. Three ladies at the front, who were the Beverly sisters in appearance but the antithesis in mind, disgruntled at the use of cards for trickery when they could have been having a game of Whist or Newmarket. Card tricks complete we moved onto the sawing of off limbs routine. Volunteer number 1 proved to be a bit of handful, husband going for his leg and the sprightly man pulled away saying,
“You don’t need a saw for that one lad, it screws off”
As he lay back against the table, screwed off his prosthetic limb and waved it in the air. The Bad mood Beverleys muttering about the one legged comedian always showing off with his bloody leg.
Volunteer number two couldn’t get her leg up on the Black and Decker Work Mate, so my husband abandoned the comedy saw routine and moved on to the finale. Dave the Dove was in position A under my hat, and after a few alacazams from The Great Bonzonov his whereabouts were revealed. Drawing gasps from the Sour faced sisters at the front,
“Enid………………… that’s Enid that is!”

It became apparent that old friend Enid had died recently and on her descent into the earth a white Dove had landed on Enid’s tombstone and remained for several minutes, the spirit of Enid lived on through this Dove or so the three witches told everyone Dave the Dove who had just been removed from my head and placed on the Great Arse-enov’s arm was proclaimed by the 3 soothsayers to be the spirit of Enid.
Husband was visibly affected by the tortured trio, to him it was Dave the Dove and if the act went wrong bring on Dave II, but now it was personal.
The finale music began,
“Spirit move me, high up on a hillside, whirling like a Cyclone in my mind”
Crikey! Barry Manilow, Could it be Magic, the disco version, this brings back some memories; abandoning my series of magical-assistant poses for some freestyle salsa to distract the crowd from Enid’s possible demise. Hips swaying and arms rocking the eyes that were open were on me; even drawing a “Go Girlfriend” from Brandi perched on the lap of a dozing veteran. Husband was also agog, and I gave him the eyes to keep his mind on the task in hand.
Dave was now in the box with his head protruding from the hole, I upped the ante and threw some Rumba shapes. The Bad Mood Beverleys distressed at Enid’s parlous position clung to each other for comfort. The Cheese wire came down; I completed a few quick Chasses and the Witches screamed!
Enid/Dave was slumped in his box head down, a pool of blood was forming on the magical tablecloth and The Great Bonzonov looked aghast.
“He’s done for Enid……………. that bloody pillock has finished off all we had left of Enid”
Much intense wailing followed for thirty seconds before my husband, obviously distressed held up his thumb,
“I’ve cut me bloody thumb, Eni.. I mean the Dove is not dead!”
Prodding the avian entertainer with his wand.
“See, See………. he’s asleep”
Dave, who obviously had a feel for comedy, opened an eye
“I gave him a pill from a tray at reception, the security man said they were general issue and kept most situations under control around here, I thought it would make him behave while he was under that hat, he’s alright, and he’s not Enid”
The tremulous trio, composure regained, shuffled out of the room, muttering
“That were never Enid, you could never wake her up in the afternoon when she’d had one of her pills

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Marriage failure averted/postponed Husband and I thought a short period of intense communication was needed to talk through a few things. So we sat down one evening, just the two of us a bottle of wine and a Barry Manilow CD and actually talked. Husband explained that he got a lot out of his sporting life and appreciated the fact that I supported him and our son in their sporting efforts, although my acerbic comments at inopportune moments were hard to bear at times. I told him that I occasionally enjoyed a day watching football, and was more than happy to go to cricket matches. I would appreciate it if he would make more of an effort with the dance classes, didn’t go round to see Guido and Stephanie at home and kept a bit of distance between himself and Brandi, which he was more than happy to do, with the caveat that he was a man and that as he grew older he had a duty to be more curmudgeonly with each passing year, it is what men do, a form of mid life” enlightenment” not quite an epiphany but a slow realisation that some things in day to day life are a load of rubbish and don’t do what they say on the packet.
Anyway the evening progressed with talk of how we used to be and what we had dreamt of doing. I had always hoped that I would one day read the News at Ten or write a television series. He admitted that he still had dreams of playing professional football although it was now more likely to be in some senior saga league screened on Dave+1 and would involve payment being made in Sanatogen and Ginseng.
He also confessed to an early interest in magic and how he had harboured dreams of being a magician. With a head fugged by cheap South African White Wine I suggested that there was nothing to stop him having a go at magic, it was never too late, I would support him as his assistant if he would let me read the news, thinking that it was something that we could keep to ourselves in the comfort of our own home, why I could even finish the news off with some Angela Rippon high kicks and see where the evening takes us. Emboldened by the prospect of magical high jinks husband retired to his chambers to practice waving his wand.
A hectic week passed without me giving so much as a thought towards our agreement. Husband was a changed man, attentive, chatty and understanding before he dropped his bombshell at the weekend. He had been practicing a few tricks and had put an advert in the local paper:

The Great Bonzonov and his glamorous assistant Kratchia
An hour of dazzling magic and entertainment
No room or audience too large or small
Not suitable for those allergic to pigeons

He had received a booking for next week at the local old peoples home and we needed to work on “our” act. He was still trying to work some news reading into the show, but as an alternative would I consider doing some freestyle Salsa off to one side to distract the audience from his sleight of hand at critical points during the performance.
With disbelief etched deep in my face I blew my top, What the hell had he done this for, he just didn’t get it, and what the hell would a Russian magician and his Siberian assistant be doing Salsa dancing. We would be a laughing stock. To which he replied meekly that he thought it would be something that we could both work towards together, and anyway the oldies were really looking forward to the performance.
I couldn’t believe it and had to resort to my old safety valve of picking a football team consisting of the main point of my anger, magicians.
In goal I would have David Blain hung in a glass box from the cross bar, in the hope that strikers would be tempted to kick balls at him rather than into the goal. Harry Corbett would operate a back four alongside Sooty, Sweep and Sue. Paul Daniels and Debbie Mcghee would trundle up and down the flanks, while Harry Houdini would tie up the midfield alongside Tommy Cooper directing operations in front of the back four. Jonathon Creek solving the problem of who to play up front alongside The Great Soprendo. The entire cast of Harry Potter would provide tricks on the bench under the management of Mohammed Ali, who I believe is a boxer but can also do a few card tricks.

And that’s bloody magic!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mr & Mrs

My hedonistic husband’s shed dwelling existence continues, he comes in for meals and is always up and in the house before the kids get up to give the appearance of normality. He has a camp bed, clothes and a water butt for washing in. Ginny popped round this morning and mentioned that she had bumped into husband in the local DIY store, he had been looking at sheds and had asked the assistant if any came with fitted wardrobes and a sky dish. I assured Ginny that he must have been having one of his jolly joshes with the sales assistant who no doubt was particularly young and nubile, to which she replied that it had been one of the older saga assistants who at one point had appeared to be offering words of comfort to him over something, she then moved on to remind me that it was the village fete this weekend and that husband and I were entered in the Mr and Mrs contest along with four other couples. Her money was on husband and I, but the New Age couple in the new build “eco” house seemed particularly well bonded in a humus kind of way, and would no doubt give us a run for our money.
Struck cold by the prospect of having our troubles aired in the middle of the fete, I tried in vain to come up with a plausible excuse that would spare us this fete worse than death, and went out to speak to himself. He was busy cleaning the windows of his larch-lap lair, something he had never done to our house made of brick and mortar. Surprisingly we both agreed that we would fulfil this long standing agreement, any questions asked by the stand in Derek Batey would be met with a straight bat, there would be no public point scoring or airing of our current situation.
This shared goal, brought us closer together in the days preceding the fete. I agreed that the Lawnmower could be moved from the shed into the garage, and he agreed to take down his home made shower, which comprised a watering can hung from a tree, and a very low wind break that preserved very little of his modesty.
On the morning of the fete we were both too busy helping out with the preparations for the day to worry about the competition. The first reminder of the quiz of doom came when a rather eccentric small holder who liked to collect all sorts of odd objects arrived. He was towing a six foot high fibreglass orange on wheels, it had been used for various Orangina promotions, and had been snapped up by our very own Mr Steptoe who had planned to convert it into a horse drawn carriage in the shape of a pumpkin for Mrs Steptoe to ride in; They both enjoyed various types of role-play and this would prove perfect for one of their Cinderella days. Unfortunately Mrs Steptoe had passed away recently during a particularly strenuous few hours running into town in the Flintstones’ car. On seeing a use for his mobile “Orange” Mr Steptoe declared that nothing would have made Mrs Steptoe happier than to make a contribution to a contest that couples could only win by demonstrating the closeness and strength of their relationship, particularly as the Steptoes’ relationship had been such a happy one.

And so the day progressed, A weatherman from one of the shopping channels was produced to declare the day open. Tombolas started turning and red cheeked children charged around eager to win their tenth coconut or purposely stick the tail on the wrong part of the donkey. Husband took his turn on the plant stall while I pushed raffle tickets on anyone who passed by.
At 4pm the call came for contestants to assemble near “The Booth of Love” as was now writ in large letters over the Orangina logo. Each contestant was to be asked 3 questions by the QVC weather man while their partner sat blindfolded in the Orange listening to the “ipod of Love”. The roles were then reversed, with a possible six points on offer, we were to go last.
First up where the oldest couple in the contest who had just appeared in the local paper on their diamond wedding, the longevity of which they attributed entirely to “a bit of give and take”. On scoring zero points of six, Mr Longevity seemed to be all out of “give and take” and was heard to say “Sixty bloody years and you still think I like Garibaldi biscuits”
Next up were Mr and Mrs Mouse, both of whom seemed reluctant to emerge from the Booth, but manage to squeak their way to 3 points out of six.
Rather than listen to “the ipod of love” in the “Booth of Love” Mr and Mrs New Age from the Eco house produced their own panpipes to play, instigating a series of wild throws from the coconut shy, which were only stopped by the Vicar’s hurried intervention.
Fourth up were another elderly couple who struggled to 2 points, and then it was us with 4 to beat. Several years ago the prospect of such competition would have seen the two of us revising and preparing for battle. The competitive streak would have been aired and woe betide any one who came between us and the prize; today it was just a matter of getting through. Climbing into the Booth, which was filling up with smoke from the New Agers dropped Jos Stick, I donned the blindfold, put on the Ipod and settled down to life in a Satsuma with Billy Ray Sirus singing Achy Breaky Heart. After a few minutes I nodded off to be woken up by QVC weatherman banging on the orange asking me to come out, Husband had been handed a can of beer and was led blindfolded and grim faced into the orange. I was then asked to give the answers to the questions that husband had been asked, if they matched up we would get a point. I would then be asked 3 questions about husband, who would then emerge from his citric vault to answer the same questions. An easy game that Mr QVC weather managed to make look very difficult. First question, an easy point: neither of us brought the other a cup of tea in bed in the morning. Second question, another banker: neither of us ran each other a bath after a hard day so had no idea as to the preferred combination of scented candles and bath oil, needless to say the only other couple to score points on this question were Mr and Mrs New Age. Third question, and although the answers had not reflected well on our marriage at least we were still in the hunt for a prize. “We asked your husband if you would remember where you liked to go most often for a night out when you were courting” The Older two couples had plumped for various air raid shelters and dances, Mousy couple the library, and New Age couple the compost heap on the Allotment where they had first met. I racked my brain, it was a toss up between Anfield and a decidedly cheesy night club called “Nico’s” where after several hours of jerky movements on the dance floor I had decided that he was the one for me, he had even proposed that night, although he later said that I had misheard, and that he had said “Will you carry me?” after a drunken fall over the kerb outside the club” Tentatively I replied “Nico’s night club” feeling sure that my husband had plumped for Anfield. The fixed grimace from Mr QVC weather remained unchanged as he congratulated us on a score of 3 out of 3.
Now for the questions about husband: First up “Would he still forego a day at the races/football/snooker for a lunch date with you?” Easy, he never has done, or is ever likely to – guaranteed 4 points, tying for the lead. Fifth question “ You and your husband go out for a day at the beach. You are the first to arrive and after setting up camp several people arrive, settle down next to you and take off their clothes it is a nudist beach and they are Naturists, would he,”

A: Just ignore them, suggest that you stay, but keep your clothes on, you have set up camp and it would take ages to move,

B: Suggest that you both strip off also and give it a go, but put the dogs in the car first.

C: Pack up and move to another beach.

D: another answer.

Last week I would have been confident about plumping for C, neither of us were particularly “body confident” until husband’s “Walk on the Wild side” at Guido and Stephanie’s. Would he now go for B? What message would that send out to the people of the village who were now waiting for my answer? How much did I want to win this competition?

"C" I replied hesitantly.

Above the murmur of the watching crowd, there was a sound coming from the Orange,

“Quittin just aint my stick, Yeah
Not the way I feel about ya,
Girl I just can’t live without ya

Whatever, Whatever girl you got it

After a beer free week in the shed Husband had developed a low tolerance to alcohol, responding to the can thrust into his hand with some intra-orange Karaoke; Barry White and his Love Unlimited Orchestra’s “Never ever gonna give you up” was obviously on the "ipod of love" One of our favourites from our nights at Nico’s. Unfortunately Husband’s Ray Charles/Stevie Wonder vigorous and sightless rocking from side to side had set the Orange in motion. Picking up momentum and rolling down the field, the crowd parting to allow the blindfolded Walrus of Love in a Citrus fruit on wheels to take out the Cake stall. The “Booth of Love” then crossed the lane bordering the field before sliding into the village pond. Rushing across the field to fish the fool in a fruit from the pond, I was struck by an overwhelming sense of goodwill towards my husband. QVC man was first on the scene, and unbelievably proceeded to fire questions at my husband, the competition needed “closure” and he needed to be away to have his photo taken with a diabetic donkey.
Husband scored a fourth point and followed it up with a fifth when he confirmed that he would leave the beach. I flung my arms around him and carried him home, moved him back into the house and gave Mr Steptoe £50 for his mobile Orange, with a view to turning it into a garden feature with piped Barry White music and a funky place to store a Lawn Mower.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hubble Bubble

I just don’t get it. After accepting Stephanie’s offer of some hydrotherapy for my stiff knees, Madam has gone off on one. I have tried to explain that the shoes I am required to dance in have very little cushion in the sole. I feel the impact in my knee joints particularly during the Rumba. As I am not allowed to dance in my Reeboks I have made an attempt to address the problem. Stephanie kindly offered to treat us both one evening to some hydrotherapy, an invitation that Madam has chosen to decline. Fortunately while we were having this discussion Brandi dropped round for her morning coffee, I explained my knee problem and Stephanie’s suggested course of treatment, and she kindly offered to accompany me to Guido’s and Stephanie’s for the evening as she had twinges across her back. Madam rudely remarking behind Brandi’s back that it was down to carrying two silicon footballs around on her chest all day, which set us off again. I explained in hushed tones that Brandi obviously had body issues, and was only being friendly. As my own wife was unwilling to come along for treatment I would take Brandi and introduce her to some more people, she was still a newcomer to the village after all. Madam snorted, and said that Brandi had already introduced herself to a large proportion of the village, and that if I went through with this ridiculous charade of hydrotherapy I would be sleeping in the shed.

I picked Brandi up the following evening at seven; she had obviously been practicing some new cheerleader routine as she had on her gold shorts and t-shirt with some funky plastic high heeled shoes. She explained that she was looking forward to some physio on her back, to which I concurred, explaining that my knees were particularly stiff today, startling me as she gave my knee a gentle squeeze “ Honey I just know this bit of physio is going to get your knees back in swell shape”
Arriving at Guido and Stephanie’s terraced house, Guido met us at the door still in his dancing gear, Stephanie showed us through to the garden where there was a cedar clad hydrotherapy pool. Brandi climbed in hot pants and all; I changed into my trunks and lowered myself into the far corner. The relief was instant, the warm bubbles gently caressed my aching knees, Stephanie appeared in a fetching two-piece swimsuit with a bottle of fizz. Popping the cork she climbed in beside Brandi and I. Brandi was thoroughly relaxed popping up from the bubbles to say “ We’re all friends here, anyone mind if I take a few of my duds off, it is so liberating and helps me deal with body issues” at which she flung her gold shorts and top into the nearest Japonica, a little surprised at this display, I put her behaviour down to her deep state of relaxation. Guido returned and climbed in beside us, Stephanie inquired as to the state of my knees as she topped up my glass. I replied that the hydrotherapy treatment was working a treat, thirty years of football, and two knee operations had turned my cartilage to dust. “Did you know that Guido had been a footballer, he had been on the books at Napoli for two years before being released to a life of dancing” Stephanie remarked. Honoured to be in the same bubbles as someone who had played to such a high level I pressed Guido about his career. He had been at Napoli at the same time as Maradona, and had played chiefly in the reserves featuring ten times in the first team line up before being released from his contract. Fascinated by his story I pressed him further and commented that just because a football career ends it doesn’t mean that you couldn’t find success in another field just look at Gordon Ramsey, at which point Stephanie who had been busy massaging my aching knees remarked “and Rio Ferdinand, I here he’s got a cook book out called Rio’s Sunday Roast, its full of good recipes would anyone like to try one?” I corrected Brandi saying that I was sure it was some other celebrity chef who had a book of the same title, and I was sure that Guido could be more successful in the dance world than he had been on the football field. Stephanie stopped rubbing my knees and turned her attention to Brandi’s back, Guido leapt out of the treatment area, he would love to try one of Rio’s recipes, would I like to see some mementos of his time at Napoli, while he took Stephanie and Brandi upstairs to search for Rio’s cook book. Unable to believe my good fortune and not wanting to press the point about Rio not being an author I sat down at the garden table and leafed through two years worth of a professional footballer’s life at Napoli. Guido, Stephanie and Brandi searched for Rio’s cook book upstairs for over an hour, the banging and crashing as they moved furniture in search of the non existent tome drew cries from the neighbours; the trio returning to the garden a little dishevelled but in good humour after their fruitless search.

Driving home thoroughly relaxed after our hydrotherapy treatment, I remarked to Brandi that I hoped she hadn’t hurt her back again moving furniture at Guido’s and Stephanie’s Brandi assured me that her back had never been better and that she hadn’t had treatment like that since her weekend at Hef’s place, which I can only assume is some Californian physiotherapy clinic. Returning home, I did, as expected spend the night in the shed, a night that passed better than expected after my delve through the life of an ex professional Latin footballer.

They think its all over

Sorry, bit pre-menstrual so prepare for a rant. No! Why the hell should I apologise, we are slaves to our bloody hormones, something you idle Oestrogen free prehistoric footballing males don’t seem to understand. If we feel a need to let fly every four or five weeks - live with it! And don’t you dare try and be understanding, because that’s just it, you don’t! Understand that is, now what was I going to write about?

For two weeks now we have been bombarded with the group stages of the European Chumpionship. Two games a day, between teams from all parts of Europe bar the British Isles, 3 hours of inane commentary on inconsequential football blasted from our Television and Radio. Of course we have not missed a game. Even when out we have had the car radio tuned in, or Himself has been linked up to his earpiece. While shopping in the Supermarket one evening my “tuned in" husband picked up an unusually shaped courgette with a bulbous end just as Spain, one of the smallest sides in the tournament scored. Leading him to exclaim loudly, “ Yes! Get in there! These little buggers are great at getting round the back of the stoutest defence, they really are a few steps on from stuffed donkeys and sombreros” Aisle cleared we continued to shop, with occasional loud comment from husband startling several shoppers. We arrived at the meat counter, just as Turkey scored a late winner leading husband to cry out “No, not Turkey, not bloody Turkey, that’s just awful” Led from the supermarket we returned to our car, husband putting on the radio for the latest phone in, oblivious to the fact that we were now barred from one of three supermarkets in town, with two weeks of competition remaining it may be prudent to take lessons in self sufficiency.

Now here’s the real pre-menstrual beef, just occasionally some of this tournament football can be nearly exciting; a close finish, extra time in Mediterranean heat. Sweat soaked Latin bodies, the tension of the penalty shoot out, the passion of the winners, the broken men who lose, the damaged men who are sent from the field, the white knight goal scoring champion; all add to the occasion, and provide points of interest for the female viewer. It is at times of such tension that we are treated to the modern day curse of televised football, the inane commentator. TV and Radio both are pretty much the same. If it’s the radio, then its Alan Groanie, an Irishman whose brogue is in desperate need of resoling and reheeling. The man wavers between being on the edge of disaster or completely disinterested in what is going on in front of him, with no middle ground. There may be twenty two footballers out on the pitch trying their best for the country Groanie ignores their efforts and becomes preoccupied with the performance of the man in black. One of my favourite ways to kill an afternoon is to watch Test match cricket on the TV with the radio commentary on. Try this with football and Groanie and it is unclear as to whether he is watching the same match. Alan is always accompanied by an expert summariser; King of them all Chrissy Waddle, a man who spends his whole life living in the past tense. “ He’s came round the back to score” “He’s went and put the ball in the back of the net” He’d be a sure-fire hit on any show dealing with all things past –such as The Antiques Road Show, Time Team, or a DJ on Gold FM.
On the TV we are graced with not only the inane commentary but also the studio panel and presenter, with two channels showing games, each channel trying to outdo the other. On BBC we have the Lounge Lizard Lineker, coupled with Football’s Trinny and Sussanah, Hansen and Lawrenson. Good old British bulldog Alan Shearer, and the intellectual Irishman (Groanie take note) Martin O’Neil. Now this lot I can live with for fifteen minutes of half time, all have nice shirts have dispensed with ties and generally jolly each other along with 19th hole style joshing and chat. Its a mans’ world, that turns a blind eye to Alan Hansen’s extraordinary eye make up and his eye brows that a Brazilian ladyboy would die for; a myth enhanced by the fact that we never see his shoes. Over on the other channel the matters are given far more gravitas. Presenters wear ties and they have desks and pens, the estuarine chat of Andy Townsend “He’s done him early doors” coupled with the Oliver Reed of Football analysis Sam Allardyce, reveal little about the game. The shows creators have even gone as far as to slip Allardyce into Reed’s suit replete with genuine 1983 sambuka stains.
Cricket radio commentary is fantastic and knocks football's efforts at painting a picture for six; rarely is anyone allowed to get too full of themselves and rain or shine the day jollies along. TV commentary used to be the same, dear old Peter West, fresh in from a night out presenting Come Dancing, dozing on the sofa. Tony Lewis and Jim Laker prodding him awake to hand over to Richie Benaud and the scorer whose name bought sniggers to many a young cricket watcher Wendy Winbush. Richie didn’t say a lot, didn’t need to if he couldn’t add to the picture. Oh for the days of Slick Dickie Davis, Gerald Sinstadt, Brian Moore, the wonderfully cheesy ice commentary of Alan Weekes, the simply bonkers Murray Walker, or the all round exotic sporting knowledge of Frank Bough.

Friday, June 13, 2008

And so we dance on

And so the dance continues, like two turkeys making out in the yard, he wobbling his wattle while I shake my tail feathers. Dances portraying tales of youthful ardour and lust, played out by a couple of middle aged hoofers stomping around the dance floor in their weekly attempt to rekindle a spark to a fire that is in grave danger of being doused.
We are still the oldest and wobbliest couple on the floor, Guido and Stephanie patience personified in their efforts to get us to glide rather than shuffle. But still we return, I for Guido’s firm grip, and he for Stephanie’s flirty manner. Laughing at his weak jokes and listening intently to all he has to stay, warning bells ring out loud to a spouse when ladies like Stephanie are in town. Warning bells that are soon drowned out by the soft whispered Latin instruction from Guido; like a Mediterranean Barry White, his tone like honey drizzled on my eardrum.
To date we have perfected the Paso – Ha! And moved onto the Jive. Lots of bouncing around kicking and flicking with the odd spin and throw. The knees of the forty year old professional footballer in waiting, a little short on spring and bounce, the creaking audible to all on the floor. Of course I am full of spring and bounce, it would take a Kevlar bra to keep these knockers under control, Guido particularly keen for me to practice my alternate flick kicks, while throwing the opposite arm back in turn.
On repatriation with husband we attempted the same manoeuvre to a faster beat, my husband struggling to keep the tempo felled a neighbouring dancer with his flying arm, the unfortunate lady falling to the floor blood pouring from her nose. Guido stopping the music as the stricken dance duo were led from the room for medical attention. Mortified by my husband’s inability to carry a tune, I let fly. Why did he always have to ruin anything I enjoyed doing? Why must he have such ungainly arms? What the hell was he doing with Stephanie in the pasodoble? Guido intervened, waving on the caretaker to mop the blood from the floor, and restarting the music for another attempt at the Jive. Husband and I were separated, he with the vivacious Stephanie I with the understanding Guido. Safely returned to the Latin Octopus, I hastily apologised for me husband’s behaviour, he obviously needed wing mirrors while negotiating the dance steps, he was a footballer not a dancer and was the same around the house. Guido suddenly emboldened with Latin thrust, informed me that he and Stephanie sensed that there were problems at home through the way we danced, the music reveals all, the dance cannot lie. Stephanie held classes on another night if I were interested, teaching the magic of the pole and the lure of the lap. Guido himself was happy to provide further instruction on a “ménage a trios” basis He and Stephanie could do alternate weeks if necessary. Stephanie and he had embraced the idea of an open marriage and were currently involved in something called “The lifestyle” which involved sexual relations in a hall of some sort in front of an audience to swing music? Or at least that’s how it sounded. I explained to Guido that while husband and I may be experiencing some difficulties, it was not something that would be solved by some group community sex project; we may be going through a rocky patch, but it was something that could easily be sorted out with a little more understanding from both sides, a move from the jive to the salsa and a few popped footballs.
Guido handed me back to husband, who full of the joys of the Jive informed me that, blood injuries are quite a common occurrence during the jive and that Stephanie had invited us both around to join her and Guido for an evening in the hot tub, apparently its great for creaky knees and could bring a whole load of bounce and drive back to our dance. With the memory of Guido’s invitation still fresh in my ear, and the vision of what Guido, Stephanie et al, may get up to in their hot tub clear in my mind. I grabbed husband with renewed vigour and verve, jiving his ass off for the rest of the session; a sensational display of dancing that sent a clear message to those who could read it, that there was still a little life left in this relationship for these champions of monogamy,