Well I feel just a tiny bit disappointed, as today my blogging muse suggests:
Today’s assignment: edit your title and tagline, and flesh them out more in a widget.
wordpress I was hoping for just a little bit more! I have the greatest respect for you, but I’ve had quite a gruelling day at a funeral, and the last thing I want to think about is widgets. I know you want me to be a better blogger, but I need ideas! Inspiration! It simply won’t do. I hope you don’t mind, but today I’m going to set the challenge myself:
Today’s assignment: write about a time when you were made to dress up as a Christmas pudding.
Ah! That’s more like it. As we’ve just had Christmas, thoughts have been with Jesus (obviously) but also fancy dress parties. I hate them. When I go out I quite like dressing up, as opposed to say, wearing a smock (footnote: that was a bad night. I wanted to be Bathsheba Everdene but ended up as Gabriel Oak. I even had a blow-up sheep with a screwdriver sticking out of its stomach. I’m not absolutely sure where the idea of the screwdriver came from. I may have mis-remembered but I’m pretty sure this is what Gabriel did to one of his sheep when it blew up. I don’t even know why I thought sheep blew up but it was something to do with the wrong sort of grass. And I am not sure he used a screwdriver, but I think something like that happened. All I know for sure was that the theme of the evening was Thomas Hardy, and I should have stuck to my earlier plan for Far From The Madding Crow as I was having a goth phase. This mainly involved wearing lots of black and looking a bit surly).
No, the main reason for hating fancy dress is surely the humiliating day I was made to dress up as a Christmas pudding. My mother was thrilled with her idea. I can only assume that she had somehow acquired a crinoline and was wondering what on earth she could do with it.
Now, being a Christmas pudding per se is not such a bad thing. It was, after all, Christmas. But when you are eight years old and already roughly the shape of a Christmas pudding, the last thing you want is to draw attention to the fact. My friends of course, the ones from ballet, were tiny and lent themsleves perfectly to fairies and pixies and elves and Barbie (footnote: I say friends, but in reality they were the enemy. Life in a cul-de-sac was trecherous and a state of war existed pretty much all the time. The only survival technique was to ingratiate yourself with the popular girls and be beastly to Sophia Vincentelli. This was a good way of lying low, but when Sophia’s mum and dad got colour telly and she was allowed to invite three friends round to see it, I knew I was doomed. I made a last ditch attempt by swapping a signed Beatles photo and three Disprin for a Spirograph but we all knew I was out in the cold.)
So when the Sunday School Fancy Dress contest was announced my mother got to work on my costume. On reflection, it was a spectacular design: the crinoline was hung from my neck and swathed in brown paper on which mum had drawn currants (the shame: not even sultanas), and yellow crepe paper over my head with eye holes cut out, to represent custard. And on the top, a sprig of holly. She was thrilled. I was devestated. All I wanted was for my dad to pour brandy over me and set me alight.
This wasn’t the last time of course she embarrased me. Only last week she said, quite loudly, in a shoe shop that “people in wheelchairs are so lucky because they can wear any shoes they like”. But back in 1971 she couldn’t have known that the local paper was there to take pictures, and that I’d win first prize. It wasn’t her intention to throw me into the lion’s den, and she couldn’t have known that I’d be known forever (possibly a week) as Pudding Face.