Mr B wants to know what today’s Daily Blog will be about. I think he is just checking whether he will need to edit it, in the event of any libellous statements I might make about him. As if!
I tell him that I am conflicted as to whether to write about the World Cup (which as a proportion of you may know started today) or about the baby gull which is living a perilous life on the roof of
our Next Door But One Neighbours’ House. Decisions, decisions...
When Team Baldwin were young’uns (they are both well grown up now so may not want
to be reminded of this) they quickly grew out of my traditional bedtime stories. Their answer to this, recognising that the story-teller in me was still keen to serve, as you say, was each to come up with five words which then had to be incorporated by me
into that night’s story. As you can imagine, they took immense delight in supplying me with the most outrageous list of words in order to guarantee a story time like no other. I was always Up for the Challenge though I think it fair to say the Man Booker
prize was safe from me. This, however, is why the idea of incorporating Mr B’s World Cup Wall-Chart and Baby Gull in a single Blog holds no fears for me. Though, obviously, you may have concerns of your own, my dear readers.
I think it’s safe to say that if the Baby Gull survives the next few days, he (she? it?) will soon be a Source of Worry to me no longer. The England Footie team, however, may
still be creating anguish in Mr B’s patriotic breast.
I have played my part by taping a World Cup Wall-chart onto the wall, just above the radiator,
at wheelchair height. This will keep Mr B gainfully occupied for the next few weeks provided I remember to supply him with a marker pen. So far he has reminded me twice; it would assist marital harmony if I were to come up with the goods before he asks again.
I also half-watched the Opening Ceremony with him (Robbie Williams - in Russia? Why?) and half-watched the first match. I didn’t really need to watch the whole match
because Mr B kept yelling out every time Russia scored a goal. It’s going to be a long tournament but when you are mostly house-bound like my poor Mr B, then a Footie tournament is, honestly, Just The Ticket.
Meanwhile I keep having to pop out into the garden to check on the Baby Gull who keeps walking up and down the steep roof on precarious legs, all the time screeching piteously. First of all he totters down the roof tiles towards
the chimney pot, behind which the nest snuggles, next time I look my fluffy friend is staggering upwards in what appears to be a suicide mission. His (her? its ?) parents don’t seem to be the least bit bothered about their off-spring’s painful
progress. I guess in all the worthy books about raising a child (or baby gull - not that I’ve ever seen such a book) this would be described as “tough love.” Mr B says I should come inside, sit down and watch the footie with him rather than
worry about something I can do nothing about. I’m not sure what he thinks he can personally do about England’s prospects, any more than I can adopt the baby gull and teach him (her? it?) to fly (particularly given that I have no head for heights)
- but this isn’t the time to raise such doubts.
I have been known in the past to go overboard in my support for the World Cup. That was in 1990 when,
after years of being in a family where the women outnumbered the men four to two, I found myself in the minority with only Mr B and Our Boy at home. It was a case of beat them or join them - and as there was no chance of beating them, I decided to join them.
With a vengeance. So diligent was I in pursuit of footballing heroes for what I called my Heroes Board that my menfolk both threatened to leave home. I may return to this subject later - unless I receive a significant pay-off...
Mr B is a Believer. He will believe in the England team for as long as their tournament hopes stay alive. For his sake, let’s hope they don’t go crashing out in the first round.
Likewise, let there be no crashing to the ground from next door but one’s roof. I know, Baby Gull, if you (hopefully) survive, you will grow up to be proud and greedy,
stalking the pavements of Worthing, stealing people’s chips and surveying the world with a supercilious look on your face. Everyone will call you a pest.
But just for the moment, like England - stay safe...