Winter Continued…

February 18, 2010

I haven’t mentioned the weather recently. There’s a reason I haven’t mentioned it. It doesn’t change. I think there was a day of misty fog back in December or something but, as a rule, the sky is clear and blue so as to con you when you first look out the window (‘What a beautiful day! Hoorah!’, etc) and then you look down and see not only snow, but, on the bits of ground someone has scraped snow off, what appears to be permafrost.  I haven’t been outside since the beginning of October, and even then I think it was -7. That’s not warm.

During this season of winter, a season that appears to last seven or eight months of the year, the people of the Prairies appear to do a lot of ‘Winter Sports’. Respect. This is an impressive way of distracting themselves from the fact that they are always cold. My Dad had suggested these to The Mushroom, but the overall consensus appears to be that my Dad and The Mushroom don’t do Winter Sports, even if The Baby was up for it.  They are, still, English, and winter for the English mostly involves Staying In and Eating Soup.

“Curling?” suggested my Dad, presumably not seriously.


“Downhill skiing?”





“I think it’s kind of malevolent.”

There is a lull in the conversation whilst my Dad considered this.

“What?” he eventually queried.

“The blacked out helmets. It’s a bit creepy. So no.”

My Dad braces himself to continue. “Toboganning?”


“Cross country skiing?”

“I could walk quicker.”

“Ice hockey?”

“Seriously, it’s not even a sport.”

“Ice fishing?”

The Mushroom just looked at him.

“Ice skating?”

“Ice skating hurts. It hurts my calves.”

My Dad sighed. “Well, The Baby’s too young for any of it anyway. Maybe next year.”

The Mushroom looked worried.

However, it’s half-term, so everyone else has gone ice fishing/skiing/snowboarding etc, including Enthusiastic Teacher, who has left his kitten, ‘Bijou’, from the same litter as Fluffy Usurper, in the trusty care of my Dad for the week. ‘Bijou’ is very small, and brown and cream and fluffy all over. And I can tell you this: Fluffy Usurper isn’t the Anti-Christ. His sister is. I have never known a more ridiculous name for a kitten that is blatantly Satan in a furry jumpsuit than ‘Bijou’, unless ‘Bijou’ is actually short for ‘Beelzebub’. Fluffy Usurper looks like someone has poured boiling water over his ears as a result of ‘Bijou’ beating the shite out of him for twelve hours without a break.  At least he’s left me alone, simply cos he’s too frigging knackered from protecting his head/torso/gonads to even contemplating jumping on my head. So I quite like ‘Bijou’, as it goes.

“How are you staying sane?” asked Dancer From Manchester on Skype, when she was told about the sheer longevity of Winter (you can’t tell on Skype that she’s a dancer – she doesn’t do a high kick mid sentence or anything – but I’ve met her before, and she is, and thus is called, at least in my head, Dancer From Manchester). There was a pause. The Baby looked quizzically at The Mushroom. Perhaps she doesn’t yet know the difference between sane and not, but a clue might lie in the fact that her mother has taken to singing nursery rhymes in the style of The Fine Young Cannibals and finishes each with jazz hands.

The Mushroom looked shifty. “I’m listening to a lot of music. I’m fine. Anyway, Spring will soon be here.”

Perhaps it’s just me, but directly quoting Phil Collins does not seem like a good sign. At least she’s not singing it. If she launched into a Phil Collins number everytime anyone mentioned that Spring, allegedly, will soon be here, she’d be singing from the Collins canon about seven times a day (she has form for this; when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister, everytime he was mentioned on the news she thought it would be funny to then sing, ‘Golden Brown’. It might have been funny once. She only stopped when my Dad said he’d stove her head in with a shovel if she didn’t). In any case, the statement is a load of utter bollocks. Spring will not, Mr Collins, soon be here. Spring will be here in May.

(She has, however, discovered ‘Wayne FM!’, better than ‘The Goat FM!’ in that they do not play Def Leppard or Miley Cyrus, but worse in many ways too. Wayne FM has three jingles: 1. ‘Wayne FM – playing all kinds of stuff!’,  2. ‘Wayne FM – we may not play your request immediately, but we’ll get round to it!’ and my personal favourite, 3. ‘What do you get when you mix an ipod with a load of amps? Your own radio station!’ I like number 3 because it is literally true. I fail to see how else they could play Men At Work and Dexy’s Midnight Runners every single day, without someone in middle management at Wayne FM having a word. One wouldn’t think there would be a huge posse of ex pat Australians living in Saskatchewan demanding ‘Land Down Under’ every day.)

The Mushroom has also started this week – it being Winter, and she being vaguely English –  her new hobby: the making of rustic soups.

“Hello!” calls my Dad on his return from the gym. He pauses in the task of taking off his many coats. “Why does the house smell of farts?”

“It doesn’t, it smells of leeks.” The Mushroom replied.

“Same thing, love. Why, then, does it smell of leeks?”

The Mushroom proudly presented a large tupperware dish of beigy mush. “I made leek and potato soup!”

He peered into the bowl. “What are those red bits?”

“Mashed kidney beans.”

“And those little ball things?”

“Chickpeas. The Baby loves it! She ate a whole bowl full for lunch!”

A little trumpetting sound was heard from The Baby, who was greeting my Dad with a leg hug.

“Sweetheart, you’ve just fed The Baby with a bowl full of pure wind.”

Whilst the soup may have had its repercussions, I think everybody was glad to see the back of the scones. Only Fluffy Usurper and The Baby liked them anyway, but Fluffy Usurper will eat anything (including, it would seem, crayons) and The Baby liked them cos they had half a pinch of sugar in them and that’s the nearest she’s allowed to a cake. Goodness knows what will happen when someone finally gives that child a hobnob. Her pupils will probably go all dilated and she’ll run around for three hours like she’s on speed.

One hopes that the eventual advent of Spring will put pay to a) The Mushroom’s cooking endeavours, b) her experimental delivery of nursery rhymes and c) Wayne frigging FM. It is simply wrong that a cat born in the 90’s should know all the words to ‘Come On Eileen’.

Spring will soon be here.


6 Responses to “Winter Continued…”

  1. Anne-Marie said

    Hmmm that Dancer from Manchester sounds like an interesting character. Witty, but with a compassion and depth which comes from her mature yet playful nature. She’s probably dead fit as well?? I think we should lots more about her…

  2. Anne-Marie said

    Meant to say ‘hear lots more about her…’. (she could be a tiny bit rubbish at writing too)

  3. face said

    OK, I got as far as “Beelzebub” and then lost it. Sniggering is really frowned upon in this office. Weird.

    Didn’t everyone sing Golden Brown when Gordy was made PM? Oh.

    Why are broadcasting station thingies named after blokes? Wayne FM. Dave TV. What? Why?

    So, Anne-Marie from Manchester who can dance. You do indeed sound interesting. Start blogging, girl.

    • Anne-Marie said

      Funnily enough Face, i actually did start a blog. But erased it, because a)it was rubbish b)everyone else’s was better.
      So i will have to continue to live (blog-wise) vicariously through a grumpy prairie cat. x

  4. Jennifer said

    Stay warm my witty writer.

  5. Milla said

    Had me laughing all the way, again!!!! Write more please Zeebs x

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