Monday, 17 December 2012

Playing a sheep

I went down to Philippa's house today, trying to wrap presents for Deia and little Silver on the tube there, which turned out to be a profoundly bad idea. I'm rubbish at wrapping presents at the best of times, and could see the woman opposite chuckling to herself in a slightly horrified way as I ripped pieces of paper and stuck them together with the only tape I could find, which had pictures of skeletons on it! 

Two other girls on the tube annoyed me beyond words. They spoke with those sloanny "ya ya" accents and everything was "sooooo cool". One of them launched into some kind of monologue about how she was staying with family friends over the weekend, "they're like soooo crazy," she yawned, "they've all been like  expelled from Harrow for drugs. It's quite cool really." She was grotesque and I wanted to shake her. Readers of this blog will know that I have huge issues with privileged young people, particularly those who refuse to acknowledge how privileged they are, and as for thinking that being expelled from school for taking drugs is somehow cool? Absolute insanity. 

Problem is, you get a child taking drugs on an inner city estate and his life very quickly spins out of control. These wealthy kids get chance after chance after chance. They get put in expensive rehab. They learn that taking drugs is a way of getting attention. Mummy and Daddy bail them out repeatedly. In short, they're an absolute waste of everyone's time and energy and yet somehow you know they're destined to succeed.

I had a marvellous time with Philippa. Deia was poorly, but put a brave face on things, whilst Silver cooed and billowed quite happily to herself. She seems to particularly like the brightly-coloured letters stuck to the fridge doors. Easily pleased! 

We did craft at the table in the conservatory; Christmas cards and hand-made decorations from salt dough. Without wishing to sound too American, the run up to Christmas, as seen through the eyes of a child, is a very special thing. I may even try to get to Deia's nativity play on Friday. She's playing the sheep; a role she actually opted for. Ellie's daughter's playing Mary... Just saying! 

Of course the role we all want is that of the inn keeper. It's possible to change the course of religion and history simply by saying, "come in!"

Gaby, Rob, Nathan and Rob's partner, Fiona, joined us for the evening and we ate Thai food. So much of Philippa's life is focussed around her big conservatory table. It reminds me so much of my own upbringing, where the giant kitchen table from Habitat was the centre of life. It was where we ate, did homework, played games and chatted late into the night. It struck me this evening that I miss having a table... 

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