Sunday, July 09, 2006

Nits As Pets

Whenever you move to a new country there's always lots to learn, but most of us think of language, culture, manners and other obvious things. Few think of little things like nits.

My girls had never heard of nits before. Norway's a cold country where they don't generally thrive, and while I'm not saying they don't exist, they're certainly not a problem. Whether or not that's just down to the cold I really couldn't say, but as it's not unusual for children to swap bobble hats, you'd think they'd spread like wild fire, wouldn't you?

Anyway, we were living in Eastbourne and everything was, as far as I knew, hunky dory. Until Lise complained of a sore at the back of her head.

Like mothers do, I had a look. What I discovered shocked the socks off me! She had nits! Lots of the buggers! I checked Linn Marie. She had nits, too! Paul? No... he'd escaped them.

"Why didn't you tell me you had nits?" I asked.

"Because we thought you'd make us get rid of them and we thought it was cool having them."

"Cool? COOL?"

"Yes. It was sort of like having pets living in our hair."

You have to hear a lot before your ears drop off but mine were on their way that day!


Monday, July 03, 2006

Big Bum Escaped on The High Peak!

The more I think about it, the more I realise I've probably spent more time than the average woman flashing my backside at all and sundry.

Until Charlene—a good friend of my daughter—reminded me, I'd actually forgotten about this particular incident. Strange really, because it isn't that long ago that it happened - about 6 or 7 years, at a guess.

It was a hot summer's day so we decided to pack a picnic and drive up to the High Peak. We chose a place in a beautiful corner of the North Pennines down by a beautiful stream known as the Westend River near The Derwent Valley Reservoir. The children could splash about in the water and Poppy and Bella, our dogs, could run free and we adults could relax in the shade of some old pine trees. Bella found a fish laying on the river bead—judging by the rip in its gullet, probably one that an angler had recently thrown back in but that hadn't made it—and had a rather nice time devouring it.

By the time we decided to head back to Partington, where we were living at the time, we'd all enjoyed a relaxing afternoon... relaxing until we started walking back to the car, that is.

I was wearing a pair of thin cotton shorts. Orange ones. I'd had them for years but you know what it can be like with clothes: you find something you really like and you wear it to death. And wear it to death I did. The seam had obviously lost a considerable amount of its strength, and as I climbed over a style, one leg mid-cock, I heard a very distinct ripping sound followed by a chorus of gasps, before a few seconds silence gave way to suppressed giggles. Yes, my shorts had ripped!

Not just a small rip, either. The seam had finally succumbed to the pressures of holding in a size 20 wobbling great arse, and had ripped from the crotch to the waistband. What's more, I wasn’t wearing and knickers!

Now, having my family see my bare bum isn't a crisis; it's not as if they haven't seen it before. Having Charlene—who was about 10 at the time—see my bare derriere wasn't too much to worry about, either. She was practically one of the family, after all. But having the backpackers who were on the path behind us see my naked backside staring at them, that was something else entirely!

I begged Bjørn—my partner at the time—to stand behind me in order to preserve at least some of my dignity, but he seemed to think having my arse on view served me right for not putting my knickers on.

Needless to say, my face was probably redder than a smacked backside that day! Not that anybody attempted to smack mine.

Will I ever learn? I think not.