Lynne Mortimer - I blame Nick Knowles and DIY SOS for my grandsons obsession with knocking through walls
PUBLISHED: 13:53 27 June 2016 | UPDATED: 13:53 27 June 2016
Do you like your sausages well done? If so, how well done? asks Lynne Mortimer.
I was cleaning the bottom of the oven this week… a task to which I do not often address myself due to the difficulty I have getting up from the floor. I have to bottom-shuffle over to the washing machine and haul myself up.
This was a special occasion, however, so I grabbed hold of my Cif (the cleaning liquid formerly known as Jif) and a dishcloth and delved into the dark interior of the oven. The light bulb went some time ago, but it’s too dark in there to see how to replace it. Moreover, I can’t find the manual, moreover when we tried to access the instructions online it infected the computer with a virus.
I sprayed the interior and set to work with the cloth. What was this? Something was clonking about in there. I shepherded it to the front and behold, a sausage, or rather the charcoal representation of what was once a chipolata, appeared. It might have been a human finger, but a quick count of the digits on both hands showed none were missing. Phew, this was not an episode of Midsomer Murders.
“Look at this,” I said, holding out the offending item for my husband to see and racking my brains to try and recall when we last ate sausages. Surely not more than a week ago...
“You could write with that,” said my husband, inspecting the carbonised banger with interest.
I muttered that I was not about to use a sausage as a writing implement… but then, I considered, what if, after millennia have passed, 42nd century archaeologists find my sausage and wonder what it could have been used for. Was it used to create art or was it something the second Elizabethans used to cremate and inter alongside their departed – a sort of Sutton Hoo burial sausage? Or did a sausage tumble off the grill pan and spend a week being re-cooked every day?
There will be many things to perplex the social anthropologists of the future – a layer of wax in the earth’s crust created as a result of our current obsession with burning candles for decorative purposes, for example. They will probably conclude there was a period of time in the 21st Century when the western world was without light – which is not so far from the truth when I look at the paltry amount of light cast by energy-saving bulbs. The discarded, uneaten meals originally bought as a buy-one-get-one-free that became eat-one-throw-one-out.
Back to my small, blackened sausage. I bottom-shuffled over to the washing machine and scrambled to my feet. The oven had been cleaned in preparation for Father’s Day and I use the apostrophe advisedly because, in my house this was represented by three generations of dads: my own dad, my husband and my son. The next generation of men, George, three years and nine months and Wil, 16 months, were too busy playing with dinosaurs to appreciate the nuances.
It was a particularly busy day for George who had rediscovered his tool box. We heard a banging from upstairs and found him standing on his bed, hitting the stud wall with his toy hammer. I blame Nick Knowles and the DIY SOS team.
Having persuaded George not to knock through to the bathroom, he took his toolkit outside and, after making a few adjustments to the pergola with a wrench and a screwdriver, he chanced upon the brush we use to clean out the birdbath and decided to spruce up the patio.
We watched him scrubbing away at the paving slabs. It’s good, I think, for children to grow up with a range of practical skills. Next week he’s up the chimney.
Wil, as I later discovered, had found his way to the fruit bowl and, in a nod to Snow White, had taken a single bite out of each apple. Later, I found the lumps of apple he had bitten under furniture.
He now walks fairly confidently, but very much in the manner of a young orang-utan, arms and legs akimbo.
Sometimes his upper body moves faster than his lower half and he falls over, but George is usually on hand to help him up (he’s not heavy, he’s his brother).
• And in late breaking news: Wil has chicken pox. It was spotted at nursery and he has become increasingly spotty since.