Tuesday, June 13, 2006

From ants to famous in my own breakfast time
(via a duck)
On Saturday evening we ate lemon meringue pie. I must have spilt some while I was serving it because I noticed some on the floor on Sunday morning. When I got down on my hands and knees to clean it up I could see that it was swarming with miniature red ants. We don’t get many red ants around here, only black ones. In fact when I told a local that where I grew up we only ever had red ants, they were amazed.

In the summer my sisters and I liked to sunbathe in the garden whenever we got the chance. This involved observance of the lawn for ant hills as we used to lie on an old blanket. Most of the time we managed to burn, er, tan without being stung. Later there was another menace. We had a pet duck called Jemima, who was very friendly and attracted by the slices of cucumber I used to put over my eyes to protect them from the sun. She would also go everywhere in a straight line and if you happened to be lying in her path, tough. Poor Jemima came to a sad end not long after she took to going for walks along the road. She couldn’t walk through a lorry.

When I left home, in the early 80’s, I used to listen to the breakfast show on BBC radio 1. Mike Read was the DJ at the time. He was great fun and even broadcast one of his shows from my old school in Pershore. If he read out a letter the writer was awarded with a ‘Tea Hee’ mug. I think a book had been written or something about real men eating quiche and there was quite a debate about what made a ‘real’ man. Somehow the idea of hugging a duck came up so I sent off my photo to Mike to see if he thought I was a real man. I liked quiche and I’d recently been plastering and decorating, I has hugging a duck (Jemima) in the photo. I was amazed when he read out the whole of my letter over the air and thrilled when he nicely said that he didn’t think I was anything like a real man!

I’ve still got my ‘Tea Hee’ mug. It’s in the bathroom and we use it to keep toothbrushes and toothpaste tidy. When the children were small and I used to be awake really early I listened to Mike again. He was on The World Service giving away replacement singles to people who had interesting stories on how they had lost their favourite singles. I nearly wrote to him again, I lost my beloved copy of ‘Waterloo Sunset’ by the Kinks…..

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