There were several themes running through our Easter Holidays. One was how good the weather was – for Scotland in April it was amazing that we were able to be out enjoying the sunshine. I certainly took advantage of it by using brother Andrew’s trampoline in the back garden, expanding my reportoire of tricks to include landing on my bum, landing on my knees, landing on my back, and landing painfully on the enclosure netting during a misguided attempt to head a football at full bounce. Fliss managed a forward summersalt, which was cool, and Elisha managed to wreck my shoulders by wanting trampoline-by-proxy. Wont be falling for that one again.
Another theme was trying to tick all the boxes. This meant trying to do all of the things we wanted to do in the space of eight days or so. Each time we’re up I want to play games with Andrew, get a haircut, visit everyone we need to visit, wander around Helensburgh, wander around Glasgow, have a night out with Adrian, Eoan, and George, have another night out with Uncle John, dine at the Akash restaurant (the last two usually come as a package), and eat a kebab from Mr Kebab in Helensburgh.
As an aside, I’ll talk about the getting a haircut entry on my to-do list. I don’t trust the barbers in Liverpool. They can do you a #2 clipper cut all over (as sported by the majority of the great unwashed in Merseyside) or they can fuck up your current hair style to the point where you wish you’d asked for a #2 clipper cut all over.
Back at the end of November I went into a barber shop in Helensburgh that was new to me, and got a very good haircut. Same thing happened at the same place in December. This time, feeling reasonably familiar with the staff, I walked in with my too-long, dyed cosmic blue hair and said “hello again – do your worst!”
Evidently barbers aren’t clever enough to know that “do your worst” is just a figure of bloody speech, because it’s the worst haircut I’ve had in ages. It’s terrible. It’s all bushy like the wig The Hulk wears behind my ears, except not as nicely groomed as the wig The Hulk wears. I’ll concede that it was alright for about three or four days, but now I wish I’d asked for a #2 clipper cut all over, instead.
Anyhow, back to the check boxes. I didn’t manage to do the last one – have a kebab from Mr Kebab – but given my recent attempt to eat more healthily I think I consumed more than enough food during the week. Man, we were well fed. My mum tends to keep her fridge and cupboards very well stocked, so it was easy to take advantage of that and eat ’til we were stuffed at meal times. It’s like she runs an un-health farm. Skinny runts like Kate Moss should go there to get some meat on their bones, I tell you.
On Tuesday I got the elusive night out with Adrian and Eoan. George was away “down south”. Actually, it was more of a night in, where Adrian showed off his new audio system which was absolutely mind blowing in terms of quality. It was a really good night in the end, even if I had a bit of a sore head from the red wine the next day. That and intense jealousy of the audio system. Once back in Glasgow the next morning I went to the AMP3 stall in Buchanan Galleries and splashed out on a cool new set of headphones as a result. Not quite as ace as Adrian’s set up, but I’m enjoying them all the same.
Another theme was brother Andrew joining the Army. I have no idea why he wants to do this. During the week the hot topics on the news were the daft British crew who’d been captured by Iran, as well as more footage of coffins emerging from planes draped in Union Flags than I’d ever care to see. Andrew seems to think that he’ll come out of his six years service unscathed with some skills that can be applied elsewhere, but all I could surmise was that he’s using the Army as an escape route from facing up to the fact that he hasn’t done so well in school and the big bad world is looming large on the horizon.
The day after we left Helensburgh to visit Fliss’ dad, Andrew had a mental aptitude test at the Army recruitment center. Despite having 48 hours to read the book in preperation, he somehow managed not to study it enough to feel confident and in the end our mum called and cancelled the appointment. That’s hard core, that is; getting your mum to call the Army for you.
I can imagine mum on the phone to some Iraqi insurgents in a couple of years time, telling them that Andrew hasn’t had enough rifle practice so could they postpone the ambush they had planned for later that day.
Whatever, I just hope he doesn’t do something he’ll regret. A friend told us that they have a “drug problem” in the Army, which is essentially down to young lads realising what they’ve gotten themselves into, and the only way they can be discharged is to feign drug addiction. Now that’s real hard core.
Anyhow, the holiday came to a close as we left Millport after a quiet couple of days, and went to see cousin Emma-Jane before setting off on the drive home. Emma-Jane had moved into a bigger house since we last visited and it was very nice indeed. Her little boy Lewis was really funny, and good with Elisha, too, so hopefully next time we can stop for a longer visit instead of just a pit stop.
The drive home went fairly smoothly – we’d been delayed an hour on the way up by roadworks, so we took the back roads down to Carlisle to avoid them. The driving was much more entertaining – loads of twisty road with lots of gear changey goodness to keep me entertained until the relatively boring motorway part.
As darkness fell on Saturday, it was good to be home with all the boxes ticked until next time.