Monday, 23 April 2012

George Michael (and other guilty pleasures)

I am a big fan of George Michael (huge!).

It started way back in the days of Wham! (oh yes) when I would sing along to ‘Club Tropicana’ and admire the awesome duo’s toned abs. And yes, ok, it should have been obvious that Mr Michael wasn’t into girls but no-one had realised that back then – not even George!

Setting aside the cheesiness of Wham! (it was the ‘80s after all), it was obvious that the boy could sing and it was no surprise that over the years he developed into a well-respected international star.

I have always admired the fact that George has met any criticism over his the much-publicised misdemeanours with wit and wisdom. He is the first to admit his mistakes with a ‘this is me, deal with it’ kind of approach. Go George!

In spite of a lifetime spent listening to his music, I have never managed to see George perform live. And then last year, as a surprise, my husband bought two tickets for the Symphonica Tour in London. I was finally going to see my idol…

Along with thousands of other fans, I was devastated to hear that George was so ill and wished him a speedy recovery. It was while I was waiting to find out if he would be well enough to reschedule the tour, that I began researching The George Michael Quiz Book.

It was fabulous to have an excuse to immerse myself in the world of George Michael and to relive all the magical moments of his long career. The book is my personal tribute to the ‘other’ man who has always been in my life and who has accompanied me on my journey through college, marriage, motherhood and beyond, making me happy and sad in equal measure.

As far as ‘guilty’ pleasures go, George Michael is up there with white chocolate ice cream and Baileys (preferably together).

I'm counting the days until October…..

Monday, 9 April 2012

All’s fair in love and chocolate

This Easter, as always, our children kept up the tradition of seeking out the bounty hidden around the house by the Easter bunny. Although, they are past the age when they believe in the tooth fairy and Father Christmas they are more than happy to revisit their infant days in the annual hunt for chocolate.

In the past, hubbie and I have remained in bed and listened to the happy sounds as they find mini eggs and other treats hidden in vases, on picture frames and just about everywhere else. Not so this year! 

My eldest daughter, who I should point out is nearly 18 and supposedly grown up, got up early and started the search without her younger siblings. Having told her that it was a bit unfair, her bowl of eggs was surrendered and the Easter hunt was restarted.

This time, Lilly raced around filling her own bowl and leaving none for her sister and brother. Now, we have always had a rule that in the interest of family harmony, they divide up the bounty like they do at Halloween, but Lilly wasn’t in the mood to share.

“It’s not fair,” she protested. “I found the chocolate so I should get to keep it.”

My middle daughter, the diplomat, shrugged her shoulders and said that she had more than enough chocolate anyway whilst my son, not usually given to violent behaviour, hit his eldest sister over the head with his bowl.

Lilly responded by stuffing a handful of mini eggs into her mouth sending her blood sugar and temper into overload. A full scale riot ensued, shattering the peaceful Easter morning and my dreams of a harmonious, happy start to the day.

Hubbie and I waded into their midst. Eventually order was restored and tempers were sated with enough chocolate to keep them going until next Easter. 

Ten minutes later they were all rolling around together on the floor giggling over something stupid on TV.  That’s the good thing about it – no matter how old they get or how many times they fall out, underneath it all there is an unbreakable bond bound by love.

Happy Easter.