Bringing Home the Brioche

Saturday morning. Glasgow. Again. The kids and R are still in France along with just about every other middle class family I know. As I tap away they are probably arguing over the last hunk of brioche before slipping into the pool and complaining about the heat. Butterflies and dragonflies will dance above their heads while the crickets set up their orchestra in the grass. The cows will wander up the neighbouring field and stare idly from under their fly-studded lashes. Later the kids will disagree about whether to go to the outdoor pool in town or the lake where they sell better chips. R will cook them a delicious dinner – quail flambé, saucisson cassoulet, moules mariniere. They will race up and down the lane taking it in turns on the rickety old bike, steal ice creams from the freezer, embark on long improvs based on One Born Every Minute where S will adopt a stereotypically northern working class accent and keep screaming about how her ‘bair-bair’ is coming. At around 10 R will have necked a bottle of wine in the garden and, having had enough of them for one day, will herd them into creaky beds then gaze at the shooting stars in the black sky.
Bloody bastards. They don’t know they’re born. School holidays were not like this in ’70’s Harlow. We smashed each other’s heads against the wall and waited for our mum to come home from cleaning old ladies’ bottoms. For 6 weeks. The only kid’s TV was a programme called Why Don’t You…? which, although hosted by kids with regional accents, was far too poncy for us, touting outdoor fresh faced fun with nature and craft projects which involved rendering scale models of Windsor castle in lolly sticks. Lolly sticks? We’d have had to pick them from between the pavement cracks. We didn’t have lollies. We’d never heard of Windsor Castle. We didn’t have glue. Or even jam. Dad had sugar on his bread before work. I wish we could say we were poor but happy in those long summer holidays. Mostly we were just poor. September and the new term was a blessed relief.
Outside my window the M8 roars by, the traditional Scottish summertime wind and rain lash the 11th floor where I sit, still in bed, cobbling a breakfast from old Ryvita and Reese’s peanut butter cups. I am looking forward to a cheese crusty roll from Greggs. Two shows today. This is my life. Bringing home the brioche.



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