Thursday, 28 June 2012

here comes the sun

It’s not just about the weather (though it is forecast to hit 30 this afternoon). Nor is it just about our latest Mediterranean jaunt,which saw us hitting the beach at 4pm each day to avoid the 42 degree heat.

But the title for this post is there because when I came to look at some notes I made with a view to writing it while we were away, it read like a song list. And it made me realise something about Snooks; He lives, as I do, with a soundtrack playing permanently in his head.

I have suffered this handicap for many years now and became known, when working in a crowded office, for my sudden outbursts of song. Embarrassingly, they often clearly related to what was going on around me. It was a kind of musical Tourette’s, which caused amusement and no doubt some offence wherever I worked. And I can say with my hand on my heart that I honestly did not know I was doing it. One canny editor used to detect which story I was working on by listening to my lyrics.
The syndrome was captured in the brilliant US show Ally McBeal (sorry, so 90s I know) where she eventually started to hallucinate Al Green’s very presence singing her life to her, and was prescribed Prozac for her trouble.

So I am interested to see Snooks has inherited or simply copied my tick and seems to sing aloud a least half his waking life. At the moment it is Crush, a song he picked up from an iPod play list which had him asking me what “raising my adrenalin” meant and will one day set some girl’s pulse racing if he continues singing it into his adolescence (though of course by then he will be mute until he hits 25). He did make a start on this kind of accidental wooing during our break when he asked a pneumatic bikini-clad, peroxide blonde he met on the beach if she was a “Moscow girl”.

“No,” she answered, confused and I would say a touch piqued. She was Greek. We were in Greece. Only the Engineer and I were to know that the question sprung from a discussion earlier where Snooks had asked me why Moscow girls made Lennon and McCartney “sing and shout” and I had explained ... to the best of my ability.

Then came the Great Mosquito Massacre carried out by my gallant swains (the Engineer and Snooks armed with rolled up towels) each night in our apartment before bedtime to the tune of Freefalling by Tom Petty. Followed by Jack Johnson’s Staple it Together and Call it Bad Weather which denoted my feelings about the dinner I was able to rustle up on the lethal two ring electric hob provided in our apartment which required little culinary talent but a good deal of spatial awareness, logistical planning and sheer courage.

In a different vein (or perhaps not), the many rounds of London’s Burning required to get me through the two mountain passes and five hairpin bends negotiated to reach some of the more remote and spectacular beaches on our faraway island, resulted in a fascination for 17th century England and the production of no less that seven drawings of the Great Fire of London at the kitchen table that evening.

The surprise celebration of Father’s Day at our favourite restaurant, the moment Snooks swam in the sea unaided (the catalyst, we found, to push past the plateau of swimming with armbands in the pool was to give him half a bowl of M&Ms and head for the beach) and the point when we realised we had driven our hired motor boat past the tip of the island and out of the safe water jurisdiction the very strict boat hire lady had laid out, were all times of such high emotion I am not sure any song could do them justice.

And then finally and contrarily (for it is he) the most played and frequently sung song of the whole holiday was Snow (Hey Oh) which Snooks requested for a family pre dinner dance each evening. Though something tells me the Red Hot Chilli Peppers were probably not singing about the weather either.

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