Boots, Jacket and Rellies

Ma greets the news that I am a soon-to-be-published-novelist with a variety of pigeon noises. I know she’s thrilled, but it’s just not the done thing for her to say anything that would make me or the Kid, too big for our boots. Her mother was the same; as soon as the news broke that I’d passed my eleven plus I got summoned before Nan and Grandad and warned about the perils of becoming a snob. Same again when I was offered a place at university. No lectures about sex, drugs or sausage rolls, just ‘don’t be a snob’.

Thinking about it, it was Dad who usually tackled the tricky stuff, like before my very first date assuring me that if I became pregnant I wouldn’t be turned out the house, but I ought to reflect on how it would ruin my life. Sheesh! Mind you, his tactic worked; for years I got a bit nervous if a boy so much as put his arm round me in case something flew down his sleeve and impregnated me.

Although Dad could deliver some dire warnings, he was always chuffed to bits when any of us had good news; his face would light up and he’d get a tad watery-eyed which always brought a lump to my throat too. My lovely daughters placed a star on one of the Royal Marsden's Christmas trees again, to celebrate his life - but I do miss him.

Whilst Nan would be pleased to know I haven’t outgrown my boots, I have had a really exciting week watching the progress of Turning the Tide. Funnily enough it was seeing the blurb that really thrilled me; I suppose it was the first step along the route of the book having an existence of its own. Next step, jacket design... hmm, I might have to watch my boots that day.

And finally...
We’re gearing up for the relly round; six whistle-stop days of non-stop food, drink and making merry. Whilst it’s lovely to catch up with everyone, it is a bit of a marathon – only with less running. Still, we do get a few days grace before Christmas when the girls and their boyfs arrive – and then we can all start again!

Painting is 'The Tomb of St Basil' by Tom Tomos


her at home said…
My mother always said if I was ever foolish enough to get pregnant she woudl bring the child up !!That threat was better birth control than anything else I know !!
Debs said…
I love the sound of your family, mine sound very similar.

I cant wait to read TTT especially now I've read the blurb, it sounds wonderful.

Enjoy your touring from relative to relative.

Loving that painting.
LittleBrownDog said…
Love the sound of your Ma making pigeon noises. Yes, mine too seemed to think life's greatest peril was getting too big for one's boots - that, or showing off. Or pushing yourself forwards. I don't think it occurred to her that a boy would ever dare get close enough for impregnating purposes. Good luck with the relly round - I've still got to get my head round organising ours. (Absolutely adore that painting, by the way. You're such a talented pair.)
Lane said…
Bless your dad.

Stomp around in those boots for a while Chris. They're a perfect fit.
As I clicked and the page flew up I went 'oooooooooooo love that pic' its gorgeous and nothing like Basil's tomb - its like a couple in a smoochy dance.
Yep - had the same wise words thrust upon me as you did - pride goes before a fall and all that clap trap.
Just go with the flow and enjoy every minute of it and that goes for Xmas relly dash as well
Fennie said…
I think I had a variation on the above in that I'm not sure that my parents ever really noticed good news, just went on chuntering away about the price of eggs and why hadn't I seen to the chickens.
But you celebrate like mad and we'll be celebrating with you as well.

Incidentally, does your book have a sub-title? EG: 'Turning the Tide' OR The Absorbing Mystery of the Plantagenet Parakeet. As if the first were something on a brown paper wrapper while the second was what was on the book itself.

Oh, and by the way - I won't turn down the watch if you have already bought it. I know it must be hard getting rid of all that literary wealth so I'll do what I can to help!
JJ Beattie said…
Okay, I'm making notes on how to threaten my children sufficiently...

"if a boy so much as put his arm round me in case something flew down his sleeve and impregnated me." Still chuckling.
Pondside said…
Our mothers went to the same mothering class. I spent my teens in terror because my mother told me about a cousin who became pregnant 'just by getting too close to her boyfriend'. Now, I'd read all the birds and bees books and knew the facts, but my mother was a nurse, for heaven's sake, and if she said it was possible to have this misfortune befall, then who was I to take a chance?
ChrisH said…
Hah - good one!

Debs, I really like that painting, too - I've been 'saving' it!

LBD, oh yes showing off, another crime! Or being shy; 'Nobody's looking at YOU!'

Lane, I might have a teeny little stomp when no one's looking!

SBS, I can see what you mean now I've had another look. I don't suppose Basil will mind!

Fennie, not too hard actually. JK doesn't have to worry for quite a while! But I'm very grateful that someone likes my writing.

JJ, you'll scar them for life - although they will, I can assure you, get over it!

Pondside, so even when mother's are nurses they still be mothers first! Priceless!!
DOT said…
Oh for goodness sake, be a snob! Everyone loves a snob. Gives them someone to look up to. Especially a snob in shiny riding boots, snapping a riding whip against her tightly jodhpured thigh. (Damn, slipped into Jilly Cooper mode again.)
Flowerpot said…
Enjoy the relly round Chris and longing to read TTT - how very exciting!
elizabethm said…
Oh yes, my mother did a very gentle version of your dad's approach - huge exciting future ahead of you,don't blow it. Worked wonderfully. Showing off was the thing in our house, very firmly sat upon.
I am sure your mother is very proud. Love that pic too, one of my favourites.
Sallys Chateau said…
You sound so thrilled and upbeat its wonderful, have a very happy Christmas xx
Cait O'Connor said…
Lovely positive post and I am so happy for you Chris.
CC Devine said…
That's so funny. I never had such a chat from my dad thank goodness but my Mum did manage to successfully put the fear of God into me.
Liane Spicer said…
Your Ma sounds an awful lot like mine. If m'lady was at all impressed when I told her my book had been sold she didn't show it for a sec.

Your dad's dating advice is the best! :D
ChrisH said…
Trouble is, DOT, I'm just not posh enough!

FP, thank you very much.

Elizabethm - seems there was a lot of it about, judging from everyone's reactions!

Sally, it's beginning to feel very exciting so yes, upbeat is the word!

Cait, thank you.

CC, I wonder what we'd have done without the chats?!

Liane, so glad it's not just mine!
I love the picture in my head of your Ma making pidgeon noises. She must be so proud. I am very pleased for you Chris and can't wait to see TTT in print.

Have a wonderful Christmas all of you - you have a busy 2010 ahead.

Much love to you and yours

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