Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Taking Off The Foxgloves

A decent bottle of Bordeaux, a device which decanters wine prior to its onward journey into the glass, along with a hardback book titled ‘Grumpy Old Git’s Guide to Life’. Tokens of love bequeathed by my two adult children, showing their appreciation for the unconditional love I’ve bestowed upon them for almost three decades.

Yesterday’s Father’s Day gifts, not only indicative of my offspring’s gratitude towards the secure, warm, loving environment I provided in their formative years, but just maybe also a hint they deem pater to be an addled old misery!

These three gifts delivered by their own fair hands at my mum’s Wakefield home, where I’d been residing over the weekend. These tokens of appreciation presented to me prior to a splendid roast dinner mater and me cooked for Rachel, Jonny and his fiancee Jenny.

This presentation a low key affair, bereft of pomp and circumstance apart from a kilt clad lone piper who kicked the ‘ceremony’ off with a lament so out of tune it led to my mother telling Jonny and Rach “What a bleeding racket!!….. Hurry up and give your dad his presents and then we can get the Jock out of my house!……. By the way, I hope he’s wearing undies under that tartan skirt!

Consequently, my offspring all but threw their gifts at yours truly. Not the most affectionate delivery of trinkets I’d ever received. However, I’m told it’s the thought that matters and I was grateful of my Father’s Day haul.

The wine, decanter and book far more appreciated by GJ Strachan than last years offerings, one of which was a dreadfully dull aerial photograph of my car***. The set of gifts also including a factually incorrect globe showing New Zealand just off the coast of Skegness and a Australasian country called Kylie Minogueland.

*** – At least I think it was my car. The photograph so blurred it might’ve been a Sherman tank parked on the driveway of my humble East Leeds abode!

I’ve got to say the roast beef dinner my mother and I prepared was top notch. Unlike some of the ludicrous banter while chopping veg to accompany the meal. One verbal interaction along the following lines of:-

Scene – Me looking out of the kitchen window at the achromatic view bestowed by the garden. My mum stood a few feet away washing pots as I butchered two broccolis ready for steaming.

Me (proud of my part in the aesthetic beauty of casa Strachan senior’s garden) – “Those foxgloves I put in last year have come out nice this year, mum.”

Mrs S (not wanting to give me too much credit)“They’re ok….. Foxgloves are poisonous though, aren’t they?!”

Me (put out at the maternal ingratitude)“Well, yeah they’re poisonous if you ingest them….. Just don’t flaming eat them and you’ll be reet!”

Mrs S senior (ungrateful to the last) – “But you’ve gotta be careful the kids don’t eat them!”

Me (bemused)“Well you haven’t got young kids, so that shouldn’t be an issue!”

Mrs S – “I don’t know if I’m happy having plants in my garden that are poisonous!”

Me (trying to reassure my idiosyncratic mater)“But surely it’s only the same s having Domestos bleach in you cupboard. If you drink that you’ll likely poison yourself, but you’re sensible enough to never do that. Follow the same health and safety strategy with the foxglove and you’ll be fine!”

Mrs S“Yes but Domestos has a label on it!! ……. The foxglove hasn’t as you put it in from a cutting!”

Me (despairingly)“But you already know foxgloves are potentially venomous, you don’t need a warning label!”

Mrs S (still not appreciating my point of view)“Yep, but what if I get dementia and forget the foxgloves are dangerous to ingest?”

Me (growing ever more disenchanted with the stupidity of the conversation)“Do you anticipate dementia will trigger an urge to start eating the shrubs in the back garden?!”

Mrs S (sheepishly)“Probably not, no!”

Me (agitatedly)“Well you’ve nothing to worry about then have you!….. You silly sod!”

Mrs S (still not wanting to let the discussion drop)“Yes!…… What if the dog eats the foxglove leaves?!”

Me (exasperated)“You haven’t got a bloody dog, mum!!”

Mrs S (still arguing her corner)“What if I get one, Gary?”

Me (in utter despair)“You hate dogs, mum!…. You’ve never had a dog in the 79 years you’ve lived on this planet!”

Mrs S (idiotically)“Never say never!……. Madge Crabtree was 91 when she got her first Staffordshire terrier!”

Me (losing the will to live)“The was a terracotta garden ornament, mum!….. That was as likely to eat foxglove leaves as you!”

Mrs S (at last changing the subject)“Now you’ve finished chopping the veg, will you make me a cuppa, Gary?”

Me“What do you want, mum?…… Tea, coffee or Domestos?!”

Categories: Blogs, family, humour, parody

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