Thursday, 18 December 2008

The force that through the green fuse...

An excited but mercifully clothed No Good Boyo waved The Sunday Times at me in the afternoon.

He'd got round to reading a review of ageing actress Carrie Fisher's new book "Wishful Drinking" - a title designed not only to catch but firmly restrain his attention.

Boyo has admired Ms Fisher's work since being loaned a video tape of "The Return of the Jedi", a children's adventure film in which she sports a brass bikini and chain. As I recall he fast-forwarded to the relevant scene, watched it three times, then wrote Ms Fisher the letter that still has him debarred from entering the United States under his real name.

"Carrie done a course on electroconvulsive therapy, so I'll do the same!" he declared. "It's time I studied a science. I'll see you when I finished. Ciao for now!"

And off he went. As the daughter of an officially-sanctioned mad scientist I could only applaud his enthusiasm.

Intrigued, I flicked through the review of Ms Fisher's book. "Ah, a course of electroconvulsive therapy," I noted, reminding myself to check the back-up generator before retiring for a peaceful night.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

One Step Forwards, Two Steps Back

To mark the anniversary of the dispersal of the Russian Constituent Assembly by weary but armed proletarians in 1918, No Good Boyo and I like to exchange gifts as a sign of our reciprocal respect for me.

Each year we take turns in presenting a gift to our daughter Arianrhod. Two years ago I left Boyo to his own devices, and have rued doing so with every blast on the little mite's specially-adapted Alpenhorn.

This year I suggested the distance-adoption of an animal. This would sidestep looming demands for a neglected pet of our own, and go a little way to overcome my regret at not applying for that job running donkey sanctuaries in one of the more inbred parts of England.

Imagine my delight when Boyo announced that he had adopted a Bengal tiger on Arianrhod's behalf, via the admirably unsentimental World Wildlife Fund.

With much less effort one can also imagine my reaction when Boyo wrote to the Fund asking whether for an extra "tenner" Arianrhod would have "first crack" at the said tiger when she reached "blooding age".

"A rug! A rug!" squealed my daughter on receipt of a photographic print of the beast.

The Sun may have set on the British Empire, but the occasional shadow still flits across my conservatory.