Sunday, 13 December 2009

... Well, I have been busy!

I know, I know! All of my resolutions about keeping this blog up to date! I thought it was a few weeks since my last entry and Jane kindly pointed out last night that it was October that I last made an entry. Oh, dear! I know what my New Year's resolution is going to have to be. This just won't do!

So, let me fill in what's been happening....


Our main news is that Matthew has gone overseas to serve with H.M. Forces. Before he left, he had just over a week at home and during that time we had a few days through in Carnoustie at the Links Hotel. We had a great time.
We booked a room which turned out to be a suite. Very nice. There was a double bedroom and a lounge. A bathroom with separate shower and bath and an additional toilet. Susie and I had the double room and Matthew had a very comfortable folding down bed which he dragged into the lounge part and made that into his bedroom. There was a small kitchen area as well and Matthew and me had many a cup of tea. I've put a

picture here of Susie and Matthew in the room. It was a nice and relaxing time, but, I must put in a couple of funny things that happened.
The first was a simple but amusing affair. On leaving the room, we found ourselves in a long corridor stretching to right and left. We turned to the right and walked through a set of swing doors and then along another bit of corridor
toward another set of glass swing

doors. Spontaneously, Susie began to ballet dance (for no reason we can think of other than her spontaneous fun-loving nature). With arms swinging and graceful movement of the limbs she tra-la-la'd her way along a bit of corridor. She went through the glass door and turned to hold the door open for Matthew and me. To her horror, she found that it wasn't us behind her, but a totally unknown man who took advantage of the door being opened for him and passed on through. Susie was mortified! She couldn't believe that a total stranger had witnessed her pirouettes and the rest. Gasping in horror, with hands over her mouth, she asked "How long had he been there?" The truth was that we weren't very sure, because we hadn't taken particular notice of him, or of Susie's antics. We did have a laugh, though! The other incident was really funny. Poor Susie! We are not laughing at you - we promise, sort of. Susie has been on a health and fitness drive recently. We also must congratulate her on losing about a stone and a half in weight - and she's not quite finished there. She's got a small amount left to go. Matthew and I are very proud of her for her achievement.

Well, this story is good! As part of her health and diet drive, Susie has been going swimming regularly. It's not uncommon for her to pop into the pool on the way home from work and do 30 - 50 lengths. And so, with the Links Hotel having its own  pool it was too good a chance to miss for her to get a few extra lengths in and for Matthew and me to splash about a bit. So, picture the scene: Susie is powering away doing length upon length of the pool; Matthew and I have done a few lengths and now loitering at one end of the pool chatting and generally doing nothing. Matthew was trying to totally relax, let himself be supported by the water and hold his breath (with his head under the water) for as long as he could. After a few tries at this, Susie arrived at our end of the pool having completed another length. Matthew had an idea: "Mum. I'll hold my breath and see how many lengths you can do before I have to come up for air." "Are you sure?" said Susie, "What if you pass out under water? Will you be OK?" "I'll not pass out under water, Mum, all I've got to do is stand up and take a breath if I run out of air!" "Anyway, Dad's right beside me to keep an eye on me anyway." So, without further ado, Matthew gently sank under water and Susie powered away to complete as many lengths as fast as she could. Now, it's a shorter pool that the usual sports centre size, but still reasonable in length. I stood beside Matthew to alert him to the number of lengths that Susie had completed. As she returned to our end, finishing the sixth length, Matthew emerged from the water to take a breath. Not bad - six lengths. So, after a moment's recovery, Matthew said, "OK, mum. Let's do it again - but, this time go for eight lengths!" "Are you sure?"
"Yes, Mum, let's try it!"
So, again with arms and legs powering away in the breast stroke Susie began length number one. All was going well until Susie had just turned at our end to begin length number five. Half-way through this length (as Susie was swimming away from us and therefore, couldn't see us) Matthew popped his head out of the water, took a breath and said, "I really can't be bothered doing this again," So, he stood with me as we watched Susie approaching the far end of the pool.
I think we had the idea at the exact same moment! We looked at each other with mutual understanding and Matthew gasped in a deep breath and disappeared under the water again. Susie turned onto length number six. She ate up the yards of the pool and turned quickly onto length number seven. When she was about a third of the way towards the other end I tapped Matthew on the shoulder and he popped up out of the water and continued his chat with me until Susie approached the far end again. As before, he took a deep breath and sank under the water. This time as, Susie reached our end, Matthew was opening and closing his hands and wringing his hair in the manner of someone who can't hold on much longer. Susie gasped "Is he Okay?"
"Quick!" I said, "Get another length done!" So, away swam Susie with renewed vigour and determination. Again, when she was part-way down the pool I tapped Matthew on the shoulder and up he came for another chat, until Susie approached the other end and then, with practiced ease, he took a breath and slipped silently back into the water.
I think it was on lenght number fourteen that Susie began to get really anxious for her boy's wellbeing. However, with my encouragement she lashed the water to begin length number fifteen. This time, when she was part way down the pool, Matthew sprung out of the water, out of the pool and headed for the changing room. When Susie turned, this time, I was standing over the part of the water where Matthew had been and was saying "Matthew? Matthew? Where are you?" While I tried to part the water with my hands in pretence of searching for him! Susie stood up where she was and yelled out "Is he Okay? Where is he?" We couldn't let her be anxious and worried for more than a second or two. At that moment a smiling Matthew appeared from the changing room and confessed his sins: that for the last ten lengths he had been taking a breather and was really quite relaxed! Susie said, "So, you both have let me do all those lengths - and I was doing them as fast as I could!"
"Och!" replied Matthew, "Look at all the good it will have done you!"
I think Susie has forgiven us, but actually, I'm not sure."

Another activity that Matthew and I have done throughout his teens, is arm wrestling. I've always had strong arms and, althoug he put up a good fight, I've always won. So, as in the photo, you can see that we replayed the event, this time with me a little older and him a lot stronger and fitter (he is in the army!). Well surprise, surprise. He thrashed me! I didn't stand a chance. Mind you, we do want our soldiers strong, don't we?


  1. weren't the two of them so mean to me?? But I did say I would get the last laugh when I am a svelt size 10......

  2. That is hilarious, but very very mean! I could picture it all happening :-)


  3. I thought you'd like it Rosalind! I enjoyed writing it!