Tag Archives: daughters

Graduation is the Beginning of the Rest of Your life

Tomorrow Daughter #2 graduates with a History degree from Birmingham University.

blue skies ahead (mortar.com)
blue skies ahead (mentalfloss.com)

She feels her life is over, such a time did she have in the last three years but really it is just beginning. She’s only 21 after all and the world, as they say, is her oyster. It’s a very pricy oyster nowadays but it is all hers.

Tomorrow we leave Casa Carmichael at the crack of dawn to drive to Birmingham, collect mortarboard and gown (light blue reverse), enjoy the ceremony and lunch with a coterie of other grads and their proud parents. We shall take lots of photos.

After that, university is really truly over and the job hunt begins. Seriously and in earnest because it’s hard to be a girl-about-town with no pecunia in one’s pocket book.

She needs dedication, application and a pinch of luck, all of which I know she can channel if she sets her mind to it.


back to the future (mrscarmichael)
back to the future (mrscarmichael)

Enjoy tomorrow, Darling. It’s the beginning of the rest of your life.



Weekly Photo Challenge (Selfie)

Well, this is a difficult one for me as I’m positioned by others and never with a self serving camera. Yet. So I’m taking the liberty of posting a daughter’s selfie and allowing myself to do this because she took it on my camera.

happiness is a new dressing gown (mrscarmichael's daughter)
happiness is a new dressing gown (mrscarmichael’s daughter)

Please don’t tell her I’ve posted this.

Christmas Dress Code, A Festive Saga (Part the First)

candy kitsch (mrscarmichael)
candy kitsch (mrscarmichael)

It’s Christmas time again. We must deck the halls, dress the tree, hang the wreath and spend, spend, spend in true Carmichaely fashion. We must eat, drink and be merry.

A number of the above are done (tree, wreath), are partially done (halls) are in the process of being done (halls), are ongoing (eating, drinking, merriment) and some haven’t been started (the spending). That is if we don’t count the broken microwave and dishwasher (and in real time Daughter #2’s unbacked up dissertation PC) that need replacing pre festivities and Casa Carmichael filling up.

bare middrift unacceptable (mrscarmichael)
bare middrift unacceptable (mrscarmichael)

The tree was not without incident but the choosing, up-putting and decoration went without hitch. As opposed to previous Carmichael Christmases (see footnotes).

The lighting was somewhat problematic, injurious and argument inducing. And had to be spread over two days.

My dreams last night were peppered with broken lightbulbs, elves and crumbly pine cones. My sleep restless.

However and with only a brief frisson of fight, Mr C charged to the rescue and sorted the illuminations. Thank you Baby Jesus. I really didn’t want to throw more coinage at the outage.

the tree is dressed (mrscarmichael)
the tree is dressed (mrscarmichael)

We are, this year, voyaging into unchartered waters vis a vis Christmas stockings. I, Mrs Carmichael, have put my delicately shod metaphorical foot down and instigated a new plan. The micro stocking.

Yes, of course I have had to sweeten the pill. Three MAC makeup products per micro fishnet. Not cheap but nor is the shit I end up stuffing into the oversized originals.

There have been stipulations. On both sides.

“I get to choose the three,” says Daughter #1.

“Yes, within reason,” say I realising that MAC will have some top ‘o the range bank breaking offering which cannot be countenanced. Especially when one takes into account the cost of microwaves, dishwashers and Apple PC’s.

“I still want a chocolate orange,” texts Daughter #2. “I can’t wait from breakfast to dinner without sweet stuff.”

“We can have a shared Christmas candy basket,” I offer knowing they’ll have to be fleet of hand and foot to beat my husband to its contents.

“Can I have a micro pig in my micro stocking?” asks Daughter #3.


“I don’t wear makeup,” declares Daughter #4. “I want a proper stocking.”

“Ok,” I concede, kindness personified.

New rules established I’m sorta’ (and somewhat oddly) looking forward to the week ahead and the shopping therein.

Now I just have to source those micro stockings whilst steering clear of the diamante encrusted offerings.


A) Yes, Victoria I know my bow is not as good as your bow…………


B) Compulsory reading for the full sensurround Carmichael Crimble Experience.

Carmichael Christmas tree disasters – Me, Thee or the Tree

A must read for all those lucky enough to avoid enduring my tree raising last year and memories of Xmas past.

Complete Carmichael Christmas tree  – And Here it is…..Casa Carmichael’s Christmas Tree #2

Carmichael Christmas stockings – It’s a New Look for the Carmichael 2012 Christmas Stocking

There’s a Muntjac in My Garden.

He’s eating the leaves and weeds that currently grow unfettered. The unfetteredness is because 1) Mr C, although recovering mightily well from his knee op, is not yet up to hard labour and hard labour is what is needed in the Carmichael compound and 2) the weather has been so utterly inclement to date that I have not seen the need or urgency of hiring a hard core labourer, yet. The first sunny day……… now that’s a whole different game of gardeners.

hello cutie (mrscarmichael)
hello cutie (mrscarmichael)

The muntjac is getting close to the open bifold doors. He eschews the Rhodo flowers, preferring the two tone white and green leaves of the bush next door. He is cute, looks healthy and is prepared to let me take photographs as he eats.

It wouldn’t have always been this way.

in an Carmichael country garden (mrscarmichael)
in a Carmichael country garden (mrscarmichael)

Thirteen or so years ago when summers were still summers in England’s fair isle I had a fluffy haired toddler in the pool with me down the end of the garden. The day was beautiful, the dogs relaxing nearby and most of the rest of the Carmichael clan glued to the television watching sport (Mr Carmichael) and Disney movies (daughters various).

patch of shade (mrscarmichael)
patch of shade (mrscarmichael)

I got Bertie (left) when Mr C was on a business trip to Chicago. Sometimes it’s best to follow your gut instinct in these things and carpe diem. My husband would probably have said, “No!” and then where would we have been?

He’d been returned to the breeder (Bertie that is) because of an overdose of miscreant proclivities that lasted him a long and crime filled lifetime. His first owners couldn’t cope and that was our luck. Making ‘Naughty Dog’ a Life’s Work puts flesh on the bones of his story.


I paid £400.00 for the puppy and £2000.00 for the fencing to keep him in. It’s one of Mr C’s favourite dinner table stories…….now.

And I promise that the relevance of this sidebar will soon reveal itself.

So, there I was in the pool bouncing a baby when my eye was caught by actions off. My dogs were running, nay hurtling with purpose from one side of the garden to another and back again. Silently, save for the pounding paw falls. All three of them.

But I didn’t have three dogs.

Baby chortled as they veered towards us but this was not a chortling matter because my boys were hunting and appeared in grave danger of catching their prey, a terrified muntjac, ably assisted by the dog proofed fencing.

Terrified myself I screamed. The daughter stopped chortling and joined the scream as we exited the water and ran, dripping, up the grass, sidestepping the canine posse.

“Close the doors,” I shouted imagining the carnage if the three of them gained ingress to Casa Carmichael. “Shut the doors!” I can still see my family’s startled faces. Mr C, tearing his eyes from the, whatever, grand prix began to argue but then noticed the silent movie occurring outside.

I threw baby at an older daughter and Carmichael mere and pere took on the beasts.

“We have to get the gates open and drive it towards them,” I screamed. “Shit, shit, shit, shit!”

what's occurring? (Mrscarmichael)
what’s occurring? (mrscarmichael)

The muntjac was tiring. Bertie was not. Flynn, bless him, probably hadn’t even noticed the deer and just thought his brother was being kind and including him in a game for once.

I got to the gate. Mr Carmichael did a fine job herding. Too fine in fact because the critters arrived before I managed to unbolt the rusty lock.

It was all very scary.

Have you ever felt the Devil? I believe I I did that day.

This bit of fence was six foot, the dwarf deer two at most but it had no time to either work the math or stand and wait for me to wrench open the gate. The force of its cloven hooves on my back pushed me into the wood panels as it flew over fence and off, I hope, to safety.

The dogs panted and lapped water, the peanut gallery applauded, Michael Schumacher won the race and, for quite some weeks, I sported a hoof shaped bruise.

Today there’s a muntjac in my garden but this one can take his time to forage. My boys are hunting elsewhere now.

Meet The Carmichaels (Literally)

In anticipation of meeting Daughter #1’s new beau momentarily, I have cleaned Casa Carmichael (visible bits) within an inch of its over long life, attempted to jet wash my deck chairs (big fail, Mrs C is not cut out for physical labour), filled an over sized shopping trolly full to brim with nice, tempting nibbles and will very soon be indulging in a pre-prandial to relax and to ensure the bon viveurness said daughter will require from mother of the potential bride.

But roll it back a notch. I have just been informed by my first born that we are to pretend no knowledge of the young man’s cv.

We are not to talk about his semi pro rugby prowess (that will be hard for Mr Carmichael) nor the fact that he has been in her wings since last October (sshhh).

The fact that he went to Oxford (tick, vg) and works at the same company as the daughter until last week (she left not him) are verboten topics of conversation also.

It should be ok to say “Gosh, you’re tall,” as that will be immediately obvious but it must come as a total surprise. I can do surprise but better make my sundowner on the weakish side so as not to overdo the pleased shock.

I guess I better not follow that with “And very handsome.” That might be unnecessarily  forward of me. But I can tell you, he is. I’ve seen a pic on her iPhone. Tall, dark and handsome. What more could a mother want?

Mr C was only told his first name yesterday. I’ve know both first and last for simply ages (yes, go me) but we’re not to indicate too much familiarity with it/them apparently.

“But, Darling,” I say coyly. “If it’s a shared boudoir you’re after, surely we should have some foreknowledge of M…… Otherwise he might think you bring complete strangers back to your parent’s place on a regular and frequent basis.” Ha!

I don’t know how it’s going to go but one thing I do know is that Daughter #1 will let us know everything we are doing wrong for the duration of the evening . Of that I can be sure.

Perfume spritzed, lippy on. It must be gin time.

Wish me luck.

In Which I Must Sign Off From a Life of Crime; Experience Highs and Lows of a Uni Dance Competition Whilst Sitting in a Deep Pool of Black Coffee; Come Home to Find the Boiler Broken and Leave for New Zealand

WordPress tells us bloggers that one of the worst crimes is to disappear without notice – to blog erratically so here, dear followers and readers is my au revoir of sorts.

I have been in a mid state of panic for a week or so now (since meeting Gertie, my 89 year old second cousin and new best friend if we look at telephone hours she is now racking up in phoning me each night) because of all the things I must complete pre departure for the Antipodes.

I began with Daughter #2’s uni grant application which was languishing on the sideboard unsigned. I forged her signature, found a stamp and posted the application. Pushing the envelope through the postbox I was blinded by a vision of the signature. I’d signed the wrong daughter. Oh my. Will they notice? I pray not. I’m going away. I can’t fix it.

This weekend just gone I’ve had no time to do things because I’ve been in an enormous gym in Loughborough watching 500 girls and nine boys dance. Daughter #2 runs her uni dance squad this year so has choreographed the routines and feels very responsible for the outcome. She is sometimes prone to tears. I’m not but when at 11.10 on Saturday morning I tipped 3/4 of a Starbucks sized black coffee down my front, soaking my cardigan, white shirt and pooling in my lap  and by lap I mean stretching to my knees (front and back) it was me who cried. After I disrupted a dance routine by screaming. My capsule wardrobe was tightened beyond endurance for the next two days.

Daughter #2 cried later when they won nothing on the first day. Me, exhausted, very!

Day two dawned with sorry faces BUT they danced their metaphorical socks off and got a third place trophy. Me (and them) thrilled, muchly.

Then Mr Carmichael rang to tell me the boiler’s broken. “But it’s all under control.”

Why is the house so cold then?

Today I’m primping. All day. Which in itself is exhausting. And expensive.

And then I fly!!!!!!!

I am going to try and post, try and enter the photo themes and challenges. You know where the pics will be of 🙂

Bear with me.

Normal service will resume in three weeks.

Me, Multi Modal and the Trials of Texting

I like to think of myself as a modern woman, down with the crew, in the zone. A mother moving with the times and comfortable in the 21st century. Hey, I sold computers and computer software for more that a decade. I have no excuse and, Mister, I don’t need one.

I’m the parent who identifies with her daughters’ desires/wants/concerns and even occasionally contributes to a good outcome or at least puts some perspective on a bad one.

I use email, Skype, text (whatsapp as well since last week) and of course FaceBook to stay in touch, literally and metaphorically with my progeny without, I hope, morphing into Regina George’s mother.

In the last few weeks I’ve been helping a student find arguments in favour of texting over the spoken word for her GCSE module (English exam for 15/16 year olds) on multi modal language.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, multi modal refers to any form of communication over and above actually chatting to someone, aloud, face to face. Examples include magazines where pictures are combined with words; websites (as above but also including video clips); films (words, music, moving image and sounds); emails (you get the idea); social media and the ubiquitous text message.

My student had chosen text messaging as her vehicle to grade perfection. It is her intent to argue that text is a valid language in today’s society and that the art of texting, when perfected, can replace, nay improve upon, a boring old phone call or group discussion even surpassing in originality the semiotics (hand gestures, facial expression, tone of voice etc) and paralanguage (gasps, sighs and chuckles) that are so intrinsic to a lovely conversation.

Texting she claims is direct, quick, international and gets over the problem of people talking at the same time.

Emoticons can replace a smile 🙂 or a tear 😦 and if something is utterly ‘hilar’ 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 or you find yourself in the midst of a crying jag 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 these little coloured faces can say it all.

Abbreviations, acronyms, letter substitution and vowel omission speed up the conversation and sociolects, just as in the real world, become common place.

I wd lv 2 no wot u think bout dis so fa LOL.

Gangsta enough for you?

And if something is really important I can emphasise the point. GOTTA NO ASAP WAT U TINK. No need for shouting anymore.

Sounds good to me. As I said at the top, I’m cool. I can text with the best of them. Or can I?

screen shot #1
screen shot #1


7.54 am

I’m texting my hair colourist to see if I can get a quick splash of blonde to my roots (a t being the parting and hairline) before a girlie weekend in Barcelona.

And I have also been instructed by Daughter #1 to beg for a Saturday appointment for her on one of her weekends back in Blighty. Her plane lands at 1.00 pm.

K is next to L on every QWERTY keyboard.

I have typed this without my glasses. Probably didn’t need to mention that.


8.59 am

screen shot #2 (mrscarmichael)
screen shot #2 (mrscarmichael)

I can take a joke and laugh at myself with the best of them. And I can also understand that Chloe cannot comprehend anyone flying home from Mexico City for a weekend. Particularly because she didn’t know Alex was even going. It was all a bit of a rush.

And I’m struggling with all of it myself, truth be told.

I now refrain from pointing out that she may herself need spectacles or an English Language for Dummies because I do feel I have covered a number of the questions asked already.

Full head (major blonde), half head (not so blonde). This is in case any men are still reading. And thank you if you are. It gets better.

screen shot #3
screen shot #3


11.44 am

Ok I get it. Late Saturday afternoon is out and with the best will in the world, a following wind and the fact that Daughter #1is only bringing hand luggage so no delay waiting for a suitcase at a Heathrow baggage carousel, she won’t get to Chloe’s by 2.00pm even if her BA flight manages to touch down on time.

Chloe doesn’t usually work weekends. She beautifies from home and her home is currently under demolition/reconstruction. Chloe also has three children under six. Her husband is called Roy.

Missing portion – Chloe goes on to tell me that her salon area is doubling as the temporary kitchen.   Editor’s note – Added for the sake of authenticity.

But now she can do 3.00pm! Wonders. She’s had a change of heart and understands we wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important.


15.42 pm

screen shot #4
screen shot #4

I offer her a bone in the guise of not having to blow dry Daughter’s golden locks. It’s a massive time saving and I am anticipating a modicum of jet lag and ill temper on the offspring’s part.

Yes, I am still coming this Thursday at 11.30… I thought this was set in stone.

Who the f@£$ is Kate?

There is no Kate, never was and almost certainly never will be. Not from my text happy fingers and failing eyes.

And Chloe, I’m sorry but you know when Alex wants to come. And, fyi, she still wants a full head of blonde highlights or a half if you only have time for that and no blow dry, again to save you time.

I am now hiccuping with laughter. Tears are streaming from my eyes.

And just because I really believe there is room for more confusion here I am coming at 11.30 this Thursday.        

final screen shot (mrscarmichael)
final screen shot (mrscarmichael)


some time after 15.42 pm

My hair colourist tells me she is also laughing (because of course I cannot hear her laughing) but also puts the blame firmly on my shoulders.       

She thinks me incapable of conveying my message via the language of text and should be banned from further activity.

Roy, the husband, thinks his wife is having a fit of hysterics and she attempts to explain what all the mirth is about.

The final text from Chloe is received a couple of days later and mitigates, I believe, my incompetence as she seems to have lost my good old fashioned cheque. Again.

As you all know I did make my flight to Catalonia (Barcelona, Three Girls Came, Saw, Conquered and Made It Home As Well) and did no texting while I was there.

This whole debacle of a 21st century multi modal conversation took upward of eight hours to conclude. We spoke and laughed during it but never to or with each other.

How long would it have taken if I’d rung her?  But we both know that she never answers the phone.                                                                                                   

As for my student, I hope her timed essay went well, she had all the necessary arguments, and I agree that literacy in text speak is crucial to being a fully functioning member of today’s society. But I would miss grievously, my chats over coffee and/or a glass of wine. I could not give those up without a fight.

Speaking, to my four daughters, means text and FaceBook.

Me: “Have you spoken to P…….?”

Any daughter: “Yep.”

Me: “Did you ask if she’s coming over?

Any daughter: “Yes.”

Me: ” And is she?”

Any daughter: “Don’t know, she hasn’t text back yet.”

I rest my case.

Gold Members only

Mr Carmichael and I managed to get to New year’s day without a stir crazy, Northern Hemisphere, pouring every bloody day, induced barney.

Still New Year’s day made up for it. Mr C felt he needed to share some thoughts about my up coming resolutions or lack thereof. From my POV it was more of a venting on his part and sometimes it’s just best to let them get on with it, don’t you find?

I’m keeping my polite distance right now. Just on the off chance there was anything he neglected to berate me about yesterday. Oh, and I will be keeping my distance after tomorrow from Daughter #1 who is on a detox/fast/diet and won’t be the best of company all too soon, I predict.

Luckily the in-laws had us over for a yummy New Year’s Jamie Oliver inspired roast with crispy parsnips, potatoes (both sweet and regular). That nipped Round Two in the bud.

Last Saturday I actually managed to escape Casa Carmichael and met a friend in London for a bit of cultured R and R.

At one point in the planning my friend suggested she come out this way but as per the argument nipping I had to ‘deflower’ that option with alacrity. Noooo, I want to be a real person with a real life somewhere other than bedded down in Betjeman’s Metroland.

So we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Ken to see the jewellery exhibition. Yea. I used to live in Kensington and do enjoy a stomp around my old haunts. I would like to stomp them more often, truth be told.

We did consider a return visit to Goldfinger’s modernist home in Willow Road, Hampstead. Another old stomping ground of mine, if you’re interested. But it doesn’t reopen until March when the daffs will be flowering on the Heath. We will go then and I will take some photos because it’s a brilliant place and if it weren’t a National Trust museum I would love to live there.

For now let me wet your appetite by giving you some interesting intel unrelated yet related to 2 Willow Road.

Ian Fleming, he of the James Bond goliath, lived in, or very near, Willow Road. Along with many others, he protested at the demolition of a number of Victorian cottages that were making way for Ernö Goldfinger’s modern designed townhouses. Unsuccessfully.

His revenge? Calling one of his villains after the architect.

syncronicity (mrscarmichael)
synchronicity (mrscarmichael)

When the Hungarian house designer learnt of not only the name but the proposed appearance of Fleming’s latest Bond nemesis, he consulted his lawyer. The author was heard to comment that it was not too late to change the character’s name to Goldprick.

Relax, I have not allowed Mr Carmichael any where near a spray can. But Goldfinger (the evil) did like a golden girl.

the future's golden (joystiq.co.)
the future’s golden (joystiq.co.)

As, it appears, does our James.

The jewels were magnificent. And so, as I used to do with friends while turning the pages of Seventeen magazine, we chose out favourite bauble. At least S……. did. Instantly and immediately. There was no hesitation on her part.

She wanted the Van Cleef and Arpels ring, knuckle duster that it was. No photographs allowed in the guard-ridden jewel room so I have approximated.

it fell onto my finger, M'lud (Southerby's NY)
it fell onto my finger, M’lud (Sotherby’s NY)

The speed of her decision making left me speechless. And incapable of making a decision. Suddenly I wanted that ring too. It could have got ugly but I pulled myself together and allowed her to have it. It was the right thing to do.

eric but not his son (york press.co.uk)
eric but not his son (york press.co.uk)

We had afternoon tea with Eric Knowles (AntiquesRoadshow) and his son. In fairness they probably don’t remember having afternoon tea with us but we did have a good old natter and Eric, I really think you should make the effort to get to New Zealand next time you’re ‘down under’.

All four of us admired the tea room ceiling.

hasn't changed much for a century (mrscarmichael)
hasn’t changed much in a century (mrscarmichael)

Eric admired S…….’s ring and valued it at $1,000,000,000 – $2,000,000,000. Yes, I am joking.

We admired some V and A members who were hanging around and staying out of the rain.

just wanting some attention (mrscarmichael)
just wanting some attention (mrscarmichael)
not a fleck of gold in sight (mrscarmichael)
not a fleck of gold in sight (mrscarmichael)

Then we drove to Gloucester Place, via Victoria (don’t ask) and enjoyed a fish dinner. It was a good day out.

Now, having just spoken on the phone to Daughter #2 I am appraised of the fact that she and her boyfriend (So How Was Christmas For You?) are on their way here.

A tryptic of avoidance strategies are called for. And a very large glass of NZ sav blanc.

So How Was Christmas For You?

This morning I came downstairs to a diarrhoea covered dog’s bed and can say with both guilt and remorse that I now regret feeding the one remaining canine our left over Christmas dinner. Cauliflower cheese, peas and carrots not to mention stuffing and turkey gravy are not recommended by any vet I know as sustenance for elderly Golden Retrievers, especially those prone to dicky tummies.

Mea culpa. At least I got to clean it/him up. His rear end now smells of lynx and his bed of washing machine water. No, the repair man still hasn’t been and we are dressed in rags.

It’s three days post Christmas and I’m evaluating from my, mrscarmichael’s POV, the success of the holiday season so far. Do read on. This starts slowly but builds, I swear, to a mortifying conclusion.

Present-wise, I did not receive the Eileen Cooper print (Dear Santa) I requested and am beginning to wonder if Father Christmas is as real as the Tooth Fairy or the Blackpool fortune teller’s promise that I am due a ‘windfall’ in 2012.

#runningoutoftime Mystic Martha.

But, for the defence, neither was I given anything I didn’t want. The Carmichaels know that it is always a good thing to check with mother/present wife the desirability quotient of potential gifts. I have a policy of instant rejection of the unrequested and undesired. I think immediate honesty, although harsh, is better in the long run than drawn out disappointment for both the giftor and giftee.

And thus, although the surprise factor was minimal I am pleased to display my bounty.

marrikemoto goblet (mrscarmichael)
iittala mariskooli goblet (mrscarmichael)

I have hankered after a red one of these for many a Christmas. I love it.

tom dixon metal bowls (mrscarmichael)
tom dixon metal bowls (mrscarmichael)

I happened upon these jewels in the home section of Selfridges on an ill thought out and somewhat desperate trip to London on Christmas Eve eve. As predicted Mr Carmichael was most happy with the suggestion that I purchase the five golden platters for myself from him because, as predicted (Dear Santa), he was awaiting Christmas Eve for inspiration to strike.

Unsurprisingly I love them.

shanghaitang phone case (mrscarmichael)
shanghaitang phone case (mrscarmichael)

The cherry blossom pattern and colour-way are as requested. As a rule I prefer cases to be the same tone as the phone itself but after a year of missing more, way more, than half my calls because I am unable to find my black phone in my black handbag I have accepted with grace not only my failings but a egg shell blue case with black highlights.

Oh and the London brick vase in the background was an almost surprise.

“Would you like a white vase?”

“Mmm, tell me a little more.”

Love both.

A plethora of inoffensive publications, some of which I even want to read and a tea for one complete my haul.

nifty invention (mrscarmichael)
nifty invention (mrscarmichael)

I love the simple ingenuity and the fact I am restricted to making tea only for myself.

There were, however, elements of the Carmichael Christmas that did not go quite as well. For me in particular.

what a cracker (mrscarmichael)
what a cracker (mrscarmichael)

I took this just before I tripped and fell over both F……. and D……., a vet nurse trainee who were in my way. I will be sticking to that story, M’lud for as long as necessary. And before my friend, T……., the vet nurse trainee’s mother asks why I haven’t included the pic of me lying on the floor post trip I swear it is on Daughter #2’s camera. Not mine. Mine was on the floor with me and my surprisingly still full wine glass.

Daughter #2 is yet to return from her boyfriend’s house which is the only reason I can think of why my crash and burn moment is not plastered all over Facebook……yet. Still, I do look thinner in that photo than in any other taken on the day so if it does go up I’ll accept it as a glass half full moment (both metaphorically and indeed literally).

Many years ago I was flatting in Surrey Hills, Sydney with a few miscreants and a French boyfriend, C………. Our Christmas dinner was frugal to non existent. The I Ching had told us December 25th was not to be an auspicious day. But to the rescue came one young flatmate’s parents who gathered us up and whisked us off to somewhere suburban on the North Shore for ‘a proper meal’ on the day after Boxing Day.

They provided beds the night before and made us feel most welcome. C………’s and my air mattress was blown up in the dining room which was divided by glass from the kitchen.

I was woken by noises off. Homely cooking clattering that I had become somewhat distanced from that particular summer. I turned over and can still remember with high definition clarity the sight that greeted me. J……., the flatmate’s parents were preparing our two day late Christmas dinner totally utterly stark bollock naked.

I woke C……… and shaking with mirth we pretended to sleep until they went to dress.

The dinner and the hospitality were magnificent. Replete we were returned to our hovel. We never told J…….what we had seen but I have never forgotten it.

Fast forward mumble, mumble years and Daughter #2’s relatively new boyfriend has been staying chez casa Carmichael quite a lot this uni break. He shares the same name as Daughter #1. This is very confusing for everyone and I always felt in my waters it was not a good thing. I was right.

Because we do not run a bordello and because of the brevity of their relationship, A……. is relegated to the TV room, sleeping-wise. This is a downstairs room. Last Saturday, the TV was still blaring up the stairwell and all young things (apart from daughter #4) were watching Made in Chelsea on Sky Plus below me. Thus, at gone midnight, I felt utterly comfortable coming out of my bedroom (upstairs) to shout at Daughter #1 for not turning her up, up, upstairs light off. I shouted her name multiple times. I didn’t give it a second thought.

And yes, I was naked.

birthday suit boo boo (mrscarmichael)
birthday suit boo boo (mrscarmichael)

Getting no response I stomped up the third floor stairs to do the job myself. Light off, I was about to come back down when I heard the floorboards creak below me. And there was the boyfriend, creeping out of #2’s bedroom with his overnight bag.

Thank God he didn’t see me, I thought as I rapidly, but silently, stepped into the shadows. Then my veins chilled, my blood turned to ice.

If your potential mother in law was repeatedly shouting your name wouldn’t you rush to respond? I know I would. He’d seen me not only naked but yelling like a banshee whilst naked. Nothing can dissuade me from this conclusion. I am to be to him what J…….’s parents are to me. A humorous story told regularly over mumble years when I want to make people laugh.

What could I do? Well, what I couldn’t do was sleep. I thrashed around all night listening to Mr Carmichael snoring the sleep of the clothed and wondering if I could bare to wear nighties.

“Get over yourself, Mum,” was the kindest thing anyone said to me the next day. But I was mortified, am mortified and will continue to be mortified for as long as there is breath in my birthday suited body.

So, how was Christmas for you?

Travel Theme (Transportation)

While Ailsa aka Where’s my backpack? criss crosses the US of A providing us with way too many diversions and detours from things we should be doing her latest theme is a great one for me and has even got me giggling like a naughty school girl. Why?

I’ll show you but first a tiny bit of back story.

In June my friend T……. and three of our daughters took a week’s holiday on the Greek island of Kos. I have used some pics from there in a previous challenge Travel Theme (Hot) but this one cracks me up.

When T……. was but a teenager she went to Kos with her family and fell madly in love with a waiter at their hotel. His name was Tasos. They exchanged, photos, records and billet doux and the memories were so vividly rekindled for my friend this summer that we were frogmarched to the hotel and forced to tour the corridors where they courted. She also talked about him quite a lot.

To get our own back, the four of us took secret snaps of men who just might turn out to be the ageing lothario. Until this challenge I had no idea how many of them were in transit when they were photographed.

Please enjoy Transportation of the Tasai. They’re on the move.

you're supposed to ride it, Tassos (mrscarmichael)
you’re supposed to ride it, Tasos (mrscarmichael)
not on the pavement, Tassos (mrscarmichael)
not on the pavement, Tasos (mrscarmichael)

And the final piece of the trifecta was actually taken at the entrance to the hotel. Could he be our Tasos?

were you once a waiter at this hotel? (mrscarmichael)
were you once a waiter at this hotel? (mrscarmichael)

Now, in normal circumstances I ask permission of friends before I include them in my blogging life but in the case I have not spoken to T……. prior to publishing. For obvious reasons.