Saturday, January 15, 2005

Neil's First Ever Proper Blog

It’s been a week now since I left the hurricane-battered shores of Scotland for the hurricane-battered shores of South Florida. On the whole, it’s been very warm but the Weather Channel correctly predicted a cold front moving in yesterday and I had to rush to the disaster emergency manual to see if this necessitated the wearing of long trousers - thankfully not.

I’m here in the States because a few months ago my friend Suzanne got in touch, much troubled at the scurrilous rumour that I had been seen dressing up in a suit and tie and looking for a “proper” job.

“No,” I lied unconvincingly. “I was.. eh.. going to a fancy dress party.”

“So why don’t you come over and spend the winter in the tropical, sun-kissed, paradise resort of Key West and help me look after the boys then?” she enquired.

“Duh-hurghhh, okay then!!!”

Suzanne is the wife of my late school friend, Robin Campbell, and she has two sons, Kieran aged 11 and Kyle aged 9. Also occupying the house is a dog named MacTavish, a female cat called Ginger Cookie and a hamster called Kiki. Not to be outdone, I have adopted a couple of young mosquito friends as pets who I’ve affectionately named Wee Bastard and Fuck Right Off. They enjoy nothing better than feasting themselves on my pale and pasty Scottish flesh so I assume they’re female? Ha, ha!

Telling people I was going to be a nanny/au pair before I left, brought out the inevitable Mrs Doubtfire/Mr Poppins jokes, especially as I have zero experience of child-rearing but so far so good. The house is still standing and both boys have all limbs and appendages intact after a week so I’m marking that down as a success.

I’m basing my child management strategy on two key principles.

1. Kids like Harry Potter therefore I must finally read the books to enable me to keep up with the conversation and relevant cultural references.

2. Kids need to learn humiliating defeat as well as occasional victory so make every effort to thrash them at any sport or leisure activity at all times.

I’m on page 39 of the first one and the second one comes oh so naturally, thank you very much.

By the way, in case the INS (Immigration & Naturalization Service) stumbles across this, I am, of course, definitely NOT here to break the law regarding illicit employment and am definitely NOT getting paid a weekly wage for my services along with full board and lodging. Cause that would be illegal, right?

The only thing lacking in this job (NOT that it’s a proper “job” of any kind, you understand) is an au pair club, a society of like-minded individuals who could meet weekly, network, discuss their profession and exchange ideas and best practice. I envisage it kind of like the Rotary but with more wet t-shirt competitions. Extensive scouring of the yellow pages has come up blank so watch this space for details of the all-new Nannies Imparting Care, Education, Professionalism And Intelligent Reasoning… or NICE (au) PAIR for short.


At 15/1/05 9:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 17/1/05 8:36 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

stop giving away plotlines to er. It is just showing off that you are in the sun watching tv programmes before they come out over here. And if the Sopranos starts, and you start, then I will start.
Love as always
The Phantom Scribbler

At 26/1/05 8:33 pm, Blogger DC said...

Good to hear that the insects are enjoying your fleshy Scottish skin.It's a well know fact that they are particularly attracted to closet homosexuals.

Can you actually remember what a "proper " job is ?

I wouldn't bother trying to get down with K&K ( 2 exceptionally fine young gentlemen in my opinion ),Harry Potter is very complicated suff which you wouldn't understand - I suggest a 30 second bunnies version!By the way, your profile doesn't state whether it's the full or 30 second version of It's a Wonderful Life amongst your all time favourites. I know this could be controversial, but I reckon Harvey is the best jimmie Stewart film.There's a statue in memory of him next to the Ballahulish Bridge, Glencoe -myself, Robbo, Doug & Big Al carried out an inspection of it shortly before I fell off the bridge- but that's another story !

Cheers, DC

At 26/1/05 8:49 pm, Blogger Neil said...


Thanks so much for the "outing". I'm happy that you too have got to the point where we can be honest about all those sweaty nights in the back of the band van... humping the equipment, indeed!


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