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13 November 2014

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Mum's the Word!

You are in: Beds Herts and Bucks > People > Mum's the Word! > Mum's the Word: Autumnal Snuffles

Autumn Colours

Autumn Colours

Mum's the Word: Autumnal Snuffles

The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is here... but, no disrespect to Keats, perhaps it should be “Seasons of colds and melancholic Manflu.”

The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is here. I find autumn intoxicating; the red, ochre and orange of the leaves, the swirling hazes and the damp fragrances of the earth seduce my senses.

Yes, I have a cold. Nevertheless I will still be doing all those things a mother of three must do even though I feel like a tired old dishcloth. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a man seems to feel the need to take to his bed with Lemsips, flannels and a cuddly toy. Yes, despite their macho image men ain’t really so tough. Or maybe it is because they secretly hanker for attendance from a naughty nurse in a short skirt? Humph. There’s no chance of that in my case; the last time I wore a short skirt I was arrested for gross indecency.

Victoria Beckham

Posh in her 'High Waisted' trousers

I like skirts though, as frankly they can cover up a lot of indulgence especially at Christmas. (Well, someone’s got to eat those Strawberry Creams rattling around the bottom of the Quality Street tin haven’t they?) But trousers, accompanied by trainers, are so much more practical especially when you have children. Ever tried running after two small boys with your skirt caught up around your waist and crippled by stilettos? I don’t recommend it; unless you’ve got a figure like Catherine Zeta Jones in which case you’d better watch out for old lechers with more than their fair share of basic instincts.

Back to trousers. I just want to state that I want to wear trouser that DO NOT fall down. I don’t like hitching up my trousers in public and I certainly don’t want anyone seeing my M&S granny knickers which I have lovingly dyed with a “Hint of Grey.” Pants are private matters, unless you’re Jeremy Paxman, in which case, they’re matters of public interest. Well of my interest anyway. But um… let’s not go there…this is a family column.

Now I’ve worked out that to get what was once “Standard” trousers (i.e. with a normal waist so that they don’t fall down) one must now select “High Waisted” ones. Do you know how that makes me feel? Yep, I feel like my granddad. Why don’t manufacturers sell them with braces and a peak cap as well just to make us slightly older gals feel really, really good? Then I could nip down to the pub for a pint of ale and a Cornish pasty at lunchtime and I won’t feel out of place…

But black trousers are very slimming and the exciting news is - if I team them with a black jacket and some dodgy looking specs and post my picture on Facebook I could be recruited by MI6. Yippee! Watch out SPECTRE and SMERSH here I come!

Should Jane post her picture on Facebook?

Okay, let’s be serious, if you have a Facebook account you’re probably not an overly discreet person. I’m sure MI6 will be inundated with potential James Bonds and Mata Haris but I’m thinking maybe they’d be better off with a poster at the local library. Yeah, I’ve seen some ordinary looking folks down at the library and it’s funny how just when I pick up a Barbara Cartland novel some sly looking granny with little round specs fixes me with a beady stare and shames me into putting it back onto the shelf. I call these ladies the Romance Police. They disguise themselves in tweed jackets, 50 denier tights and pearls and prey on young(ish) bored housewives. Yep, it’s a well known fact; if you’re over 40 it’s not permissible to believe in romance.

Thank goodness I’m only 29 then.

But I admit it; I would never want to be caught red handed with a soppy romance in my hand. Maybe that’s why I always come back from the library with a broken heart and some bizarre book I’m never ever going to read such as “Quilting for Beginners” or “Vacuuming Solutions.” Still, it always impresses the lady at the check out desk who thinks I’m a domestic goddess. A domestic, yes. Goddess, no.

I would, however, be the perfect spy as I already possess many of a spy’s attributes; supreme self defence (Box and Funk Aerobic Class), poisons (Burnt beef curry), superb shooting skills (High performance training with deadly water pistols) and, of course, cunning disguises. (High-waisted trousers, braces and peaked caps…) I therefore I offer my services to my Queen and Country!

Hmm… I wonder if I could even do a little stint as a personal bodyguard? In fact, I would happily offer my services free of charge to Kevin Costner. What he was doing hanging out with that Whitney Houston gal I just don’t know. He’s obviously not heard me singing in the shower. Sheer musical harmony. (Provided you’ve got hearing loss.)

I wonder if Whitney is going to release a song in the run up to Christmas? That would be music to my ears. It would certainly be preferential to Cliff oozing out another ballad with all the sincerity of someone whose done it 30 times already or another Simon Cowell X factor winner. You know I’ve just had a thought…Why doesn’t Simon Cowell wear braces and a flat cap? Somebody’s letting the side down and it’s not me….

Simon Cowell

Why doesn’t Simon wear braces and a flat cap?

The X factor is great isn’t it? You’d never see me making a fool of myself like that. I’m the soul of discretion. Well, apart from on the football touchline. Yes, even a reserved, sophisticated person like me manages to lose all self restraint when faced with any of my sons losing a football match. Chelsea football supporters pale into insignificance when compared to a frustrated housewife; I have been known to be dragged from the field yelling “If in doubt, take him out!” to Master Benedict when the opposition are bearing down on him or “A fiver…no a tenner!” if he’s within even a sniff of the opposition’s goal. I admit it; I just love winning which is why I’ll never go on the X Factor. Well, not unless they introduce a category for “Best performer in high waisted trousers.”

Of course, I know its autumn without even looking out of the window. How do I know this? The new issue of Match Attax football collectors’ cards are out in the shops! Oh hurrah! This means I will be plagued during my every waking hour by small whiny voices pleading “Please, please, pleeeeease can I have some more Match Attax? I’ll tidy my room!” Yeah, right. It’s impossible for small boys to tidy their rooms properly. However, my boys are extraordinarily good at the “Clean and Sweep Technique” which is basically just shoving it all under their beds and hoping I don’t notice. But I do. You know how? The next time I’m diligently tidying their bedrooms and lift up the bed skirt to place the toys underneath in an organized manner (cough, cough) someone’s always got there before me…

One of the good things about autumn is that it is not spring. Yes, I know that sounds strange but I associate spring with cleaning. And cleaning is not good for my sanity. In autumn I feel I should follow the season and just leave everything to decay nice and naturally. Like letting the dust settle over the ornaments like leaves over the paths or the freezer ice over like a cold dewy morning. Oh, I’m so sentimental!

Well I guess I’d better go out and enjoy the autumn air. Perhaps I’ll take a stroll to the library, pick out a new book and marvel at the beautiful countryside I am so lucky to live in.

I just hope no one notices me in my high waisted trousers and dark shades…

last updated: 10/10/2008 at 11:36
created: 10/10/2008

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Susan
Black high-waisted trousers and black shades in Autumn sound almost as stylish as 'Men in Black' :)

Lynda Hunt
Another great episode for the "Mad Mums" brigade!!

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