26 June 2008

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against people with speech impediments. I admire their courage, determination and resilience against ignorant mocking. In fact, some of my best friends suffer from such linguistic idiosyncrasies that can often be debilitating afflictions. No one can accuse me of being un-PC...

But, and let's not beat around the bush here, they can be bloody funny on occasion. When the laughing is with and not at of course, in a relaxed and comfortable environment among friends. Too much sun and a few glasses of wine are often factors. These tend to bring out the aforementioned impediment noticeably to the forefront of the scintillating, intellectual conversation that we will doubtless be engaged in.

'You know that Debbie C?'
'Debbie C?'
'Yeah, Debbie C. Well, guess what their daughter's called?'
'Who's Debbie C? I don't think I know her. Does she live near us? Is she from your estate? Was it a teen pregnancy?'
'She? What are you talking about? You haven't heard of Debbie C? Shame on you. The famous composer. You know!'
'Erm... I think you might mean Debussy. De-bu-ssy.'
'Oh. Yes. That's what I said...'
'Sorry. Just to clarify. We're not talking about 'me mate Debbie C' who got up the duff round the back of Aldi. We are in fact talking about one of the world's greatest composers and a prolific contributor to a canon of exceptional musical works?'
'Yes. Well. Anyway... His daughter was called Chu-Chu according to this book...'
Tapers off into silence. Further sips of wine. Giggles. Guffaws.

Of course, she could have been using her not-always-conventional way with vowels as an excuse for a brief moment of silliness. I doubt good ol' Debbie (as he shall thus be known) would give two hoots. Or even a half-hearted crescendo.

6 June 2008


I remember it well. I felt so grown up, like I'd been initiated into a special group, the next grand stage.

On the cusp of adolescence and, being the eldest of three, having quite an elevated opinion of my maturity and a highly developed sense of how 'adult' I could come across, I had my introduction to a whole new realm of what being a grown-up could be like. I am, of course, referring to the first time I saw 'Sex and the City'.

There was something so deliciously illicit about it. For some reason I was up rather later than usual, and it was just me and Mum curled up on the sofa. Not in the play room, but in the sitting room; a place often forbidden to those of more tender years. An episode started and I asked what it was. The shock and delight did not stop at the title. It was not so much the graphic scenes that made me appreciate that I was most definitely watching a 'grown-up' show, but the way the women talked, what they were talking about and how the adults were portrayed in a wholly different way to that which I had previously experienced.

I was heady with the excitement of actually being allowed to view such a thing, and the treat continued as Mum, brilliantly, produced the ultimate cliche: chocolate and vanilla Carte D'or icecream. Inspired of her to do such a thing, as if to truly acknowledge and toast my awe-struck and imagined adult-hood. We scooped it straight out the giant tub with tea spoons whilst lounging on the sofa. I had only ever had ice cream out of a bowl, or in a cone, and never at this late hour in front of the TV. It was the image of pure femininity to me. Grown-up girliness, of which I had seen on 'Friends' and would read about in 'Bridget Jones' Diary'. Perhaps not the most feminist image, but the one I wanted emmanate the most at that time of life. I was chuffed. And a little bit honoured to have been invited into that new world. My first taste of chick-flick style solidarity.

And I haven't looked back.