This blogging business is terribly pressurised isn’t it?
After grandly announcing last week that my shiny new blog would be a heart-warming compendium of anecdotes about my dotty West African family, they have all resolutely failed to do anything interesting. They have just been getting on with their little lives, aiming to make this crappy world just a tiny bit better for everyone else. We’re like that – professional salt of the earth folk; social workers, nurses, teachers, refugee support workers – If Mike Leigh wants to shine his lens on a black northern family to warm hearts and bring home the BAFTAs, he should definitely choose us. I know one day on ITV2, Carol Vorderman is going to stick some kind of rosette on me for something worthy (known in the industry as an ‘Underclass OBE’).
My dad has gone to ground entirely. Last time he was this quiet it was because he was obsessively emailing a nun in Vatican City. I don’t know if they still speak. Their correspondence was really quite touching and I imagined the ageing Sicilian Sister Teresa sat on a golden bench, overlooking her overripe fruit trees, her serenity only disturbed by receiving numerous photos of my 9 year old dad dressed as an altar boy in Nigeria. If he isn’t troubling holy women again then I have no clue as to what is keeping him occupied. He laughed a few weeks ago that I was too old for an arranged marriage now, he wasn’t going to waste his energy and that my best chance of matrimony would be via my shiny UK passport. Apparently even I could find and marry a man desperate to live in the UK. Hard-core honest parenting.
I thought of him tonight whilst laughing at the UKIP idiocy and the UKIP idiot Godfrey Bloom who called the female group of activists in his party ‘sluts’ To be honest, if a group of women were stood in front of me as self-identified UKIP activists, I would call them far worse.
What really hit home though were ice cold memories of THAT word and my dad.
He walked into our living room one summer’s day as I was desperately trying to prolong the visit of *Official Coolest Girl* from my school, whose mother had popped round to borrow something from my mum. I had tried to hook her in with my (unerringly accurate) Bill Hicks impressions – she didn’t even crack a smile. My 4 minute Bobby Brown ‘My Prerogative’ dance showstopper had also failed and I was wondering if I could just pay her cash to tell people at school that we were proper friends and she genuinely liked me.
Dad walked in, amiable, smiling, looking entirely like a normal parent. Surveying the messy room and seeing us sat there he simply said:
-Well. You two look like a real pair of sluts.
And he turned and walked out of the room.
Leaving THAT hanging in the air.
To two 13 year old girls. One of whom was *Official Coolest Girl* in the school.
It took 3 years and a school change for the healing process to begin.
Of course he meant Sluts: a dirty, untidy, or slovenly woman. (Wikipedia corroborates that my dad is not a total sociopath and if he is, he is an articulate and well-read sociopath)
My dad and the poor misunderstood jolly UKIP Man. Upholders of the last bastion of Middle English vocabulary.