In lockdown my brother Ian and adult son Jonathon, the brood’s musicians, have both picked up their acoustic guitars for the first time in years.

My son didn’t actually play his instrument on picked it up, it was raised from it’s stand to undertake a heavy handed flattening of a spider on his spare room carpet. This over the top Pete Townsend-esque arachnid homicide rendering his guitar unplayable.

Quite clearly, my son’s alleged actions are figments of my overactive imagination…… It was actually our Ian who undertook this ridiculously over the top spider slaying. Bizarrely for our kid, who possesses the habitual tic of accidentally breaking crockery, this show of instrument force barely rendered a scratch on his guitar.

The only subsequent collateral damage manifesting from this episode a flattened arachnid. Along with the sight of his fiancee enrolling him on an anger management course.

Seriously, though, as someone who embraces creativity and the arts, I was pleased to hear my younger sibling and his 29 year old nephew had returned to string plucking. Yesterday, during conversations with the familial duo, I excitedly enquired if either/both fancied embarking on a COVID-19 lockdown project of writing melodic accompaniments for my poetry. Without hesitation, both took no time to unequivocally responding with a resounding “No!”

I was hurt by this rejection of my brother and son (who I think of as a brother). Them not sharing my vision of becoming a latter-day Tim Rice to their Andrew Lloyd-Webber, my aspirations of adding another creative string to my artistic bow were as flat as the aforementioned spider.

Jonathon qualifying his rejection with a feeble “I can’t write tunes!”

“Well you wrote some as part of your music production degree!” I pointed out to my son and heir.

Yeah, but the ones I composed were s***e!” my son retorted with candour.

“Well as they say, ‘One man’s s***e is another man’s gold’!” yours truly pointed out in a half-assed endeavour to get Jonny to reconsider his earlier rebuttal.

“Is that even a proper adage, dad?!” my offspring queried, indicating I’d just made up the cajoling comment.

“Errrrr……. yeah!” I sheepishly lied, uncertain if it was genuine or if I’d just imagined the philosophical proffering.

After a brief pause of words during our video call, Jonny piped up knowingly “I’ve just googled it, dad….. The saying is ‘One man’s trash is another man’s gold’!”

“Trash, s***e. It’s the same thing!” I barked at my son, put out at his pedantry.

No it’s not!” my son argued.

How?!” I quizzed, annoyed at Jonny’s uncharacteristic pernickety behaviour.

“Well, you don’t announce ‘I’m going for a trash!’ when you plan a visit to the bathroom!” my offspring pointed out.

“True…. I don’t announce anything. I just go upstairs to the toilet!” I proffered.

“Not always!” Jonny suggested, clearly enjoying how much he was irking me.

“I always, always remain silent prior to wandering upstairs to the bathroom!…. Why would I announce to anyone about an impending bowel movement?!” I snapped.

“Sometimes you use the downstairs toilet. Therefore, saying you always go upstairs to the bathroom was factually incorrect!” Jonny observed with sadistic relish.

“What the hell does that matter, you pedantic get!” I raged at my son, whose visage now bore a pleased with himself grin.

“I like people who, when feeling moved to engage with me, have the dignity to afford me the facts as they stand!….. Not a litany of half truths!” My boy continued, now in clover with how much he’d antagonised me.

“For gods sake, Jonny!…… Are you going to write a melody to accompany my poetry?!” yours truly ranted at my wind up merchant of a son.

“I’ve told you, no!” he re-affirmed with grin still in situ.

“Why?….. You wrote music at uni…… You’ve the creative wherewithal to undertake the project!” I countered indignantly.

“Yeah, I know that……. But I’m not gonna do it cos your poetry’s s***e!” Jonny wounded me ever deeper.

“Well as they say, ‘One man’s s***e is another man’s gold’!” I re-affirmed.

My comment the catalyst to the video screen turning black. My son, now clearly bored with antagonising me, cutting the call short!

To close, I just wandered if there’s anyone out there wanting to put a melody to my poetry…… No?!….. God, sometimes I just don’t know why I bother!!