Saturday, May 9, 2009

Handy beers

There was a brief respite for me and the missus from the unending hassle of joys of parenthood, when the inlaws looked after The Boy for a few hours and we got to go for a walk into town.

A walk! On our own! As adults!

It was a bit strange. We don't often use a push chair so, usually, at some point, I have a child sitting on my shoulders and firking away at my ear canals like a Madagascan Aye-aye after grubs in rotting wood. But this time I was free, free I tells ya, and I felt like Atlas after he'd been told he can take the afternoon off and let Jeebus carry the world for a bit.

We went into shops and things remained roughly as they were before we went in. Doors were not pushed open, cupboards remained closed, tills unmolested and stock not scattered hither and, in some cases thither, across the aisles. No-one in Millets was loudly informed that "Daddy has got a willy-beard", which is the price one pays for using the family changing room at the swimming pool.

It was all rather marvellous.

And to top it off, we went for a pint. In a pub. Together like a real couple, and had beers which were suitably segregated into gender-specific types; a pint of standard driving bitter (3.7 % ABV) for me, and some strange, expensive European strawberry-enhanced beer for the good lady.

It was such an unusual event that I even took a pic:

We were like teenagers again, trying each others beers, making faces at the others lack of taste. I manfully got the round in and then winced because the strawberry beer was two quid for half a pint. This might not seem a lot if you're reading this in the future - actually, that's fairly certain, but I mean the more distant future - but right now, in 2009, it's the price of an expensive drink, so you can take that smug oh-weren't-they-cute-in-the-old-days grin off your technologically advanced fizzog and go back to your space credits, titanium trousers and pong.

It was all very civilised.

The whole situation was as unusual an occurrence as a very forced simile. In fact, it was almost as unusual as seeing a tapir, dressed in a World War Two Luftwaffe outfit, trying to mount a unicorn whilst reading Tennyson in Braille near the urinals.

That's how unusual it was.

After a thoroughly enjoyable libation in the aforementioned hostelry, we meandered back through the town towards our waiting parentmobile, ready to wade back into the strife take back the pleasant mantle of loving providers.

On the way back there was even an odd bit of art work for us to look at. Someone had made some cellophane hands and stuck them to a post in the street, for reasons that were unknown (and, frankly, probably uninteresting) to us, but it was an interesting distraction and you know what I'm like when it comes to interesting distractions *waves excitedly and shouts 'blog pic'!*:

So it was with refreshed minds and lubricated oesophagi that we made our way home, and thus hopeful for a repeat event at some point in the not too distant future.

The whole episode made us greatly appreciate something that, just a few years ago, we would probably been fairly blasé about.

Not sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing really. I'm going with . . . good!



  1. The cellophane hands are awesome.

    I miss the days when we and the missus would just pop out for a pint or two in the evening.

    We're planning to get some baby-sitters in soon. Tell you what though, we won't be drinking strawberry half-pints!

  2. I've never heard of strawberry beer

  3. It is too far back in my memory to recall the little bits of freedom from parental responsibility but I don't remember needing them much. We had ample opportunities to drop the little angel off on my in-laws. Maybe that's why he needs therapy as an adult?

    And do you often see unicorns (dressed in any fashion) near the urinals?

  4. LOL @ "THE BOY" and "willy beard" :P

    Did your wife like the beer with a hint of strawberry??? I'm not a big beer drinker, but that appeals to my girlie side and now I'm intrigued!

  5. just love long as theyre someone elses. My sisters have kids..that was enough to put me off. I DO love the freedom and your post makes me value it even more.

  6. I am so glad I found your blog! I love the Brit sense of humour, and it very much comes across in your writing. I'm glad you and the misses had a reprieve from the chaos and were able to reconnect, imbibe and come back your child calmer, saner parental units (in theory, at least). I don't have any children yet, so I try not to brag about uninterrupted sleep, stress-free outings and total lack of embarrassing public commentary...ahhh "willy beard. :)

    Thanks for writing, and I look forward to reading more!


  7. Mo - They are good aren't they. The photos don't do them justice really either.

    Inspector C - Yeah, although he's actually good fun it's nice to have some grown up time.

    Nursemyra - It's an aquired taste, but apparently quite popular round these parts.

    Douglas - You know you've done your job right if your offspring needs counselling. Also, it's mainly tapirs, as unicorns are a bit rarer.

    Girl I - You should be a little beer drinker then.

    Passion - I'm very glad about that! Enjoy it while you've got it.

    TC - Good, no bragging, or I'll glare at you with red-rimmed baggy eyes! Glad you like the blog!

  8. We're just coming out the other end. Two of ours are teenagers now and the 'baby' is eleven soon, so the past year especially has given us back our freedom. Wouldn't change the past tho', and it DOES pass very quickly.

  9. A willy beard!?! LOL! I love it and will be putting it to good use in my vocabulary from now on!! LOL!

  10. I like the cellophane hands too. I think it is an homage to an American artist called Mark Jenkins. Look at the pictures on his web-page. It's very cool:

    People like him make me happy.

  11. mapstew - I already know what you mean. Looking forward to it, but you don't want to wish their lives away either.

    Thinkinofyou - He's not copyrighted the phrase, so I think he's okay with that. He also refers to his Mummy's fanny-beard though.

    Al - I hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense. Love Mark jenkins stuff as well!

  12. The joy of freedom shines through this post. Can we expect a similiar post from junior on his own feelings of liberation during your libation?

  13. hey jules love the shot of the hands!

    i nominated you for an award, come on over and pick it up!



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