The Kindness of a Hot Naked Man…

OMG, Post of the Day. You want to read the story of Me, My Daughters and the Hot Naked Man. OK.

Remember I was going to Australia for the (cancelled) wedding of my long-lost adopted daughter, Tracey, thus meeting a whole bunch of new, not relatives, but people who had known of me for a long time? This was a – not stressful experience, but one that was, in many ways, hard work. I felt like I must be on my best behavior among the older members of the family and not get rat arsed with the younger ones.

So, after the first ten days, and the Wedding Wake at the big, posh Brisbane hotel, Charly (erstwhile known as Daughter) and I had booked a week in an apartment at Peregian Beach. Tracey wanted to drive us there, but Charly (being Charly) insisted that she stay for a night. Which she did. Then she drove back home (her kids – yes, I’m a grandma now!) – were due back at school, then she came back for the remainder of the holiday. Which was good, as it meant we also got a lift back to Brisbane.

Charly is an exercise junkie, in the sense she walks everywhere, and likes to cycle wherever she can. So she decides we should take a walk round Noosa Head. So we drove to Noosa, on Anzac Day. Maybe should have thought that through… very busy, lots of cars. So they threw me out of the car by the start of the walk, where there was a café, and drove off to park the car elsewhere.

Well, I waited. And waited. And had an iced coffee. And waited some more, feasting my eyes on the tropical plants, and the fit Aussies I saw walking around. When they finally made it, Charly was suffering from the heat and low blood sugar. So the picnic was broken into, food was eaten, and toilets were made use of. By this time, Charly was feeling much, much better, so we set off.

Now the walk round Noosa Head is a long walk, broken down into three smaller walks. So the first bit is grade 1, and is surfaced, wheelchair and pushchair accessible, and leads to some really pretty beaches, full of surfers. Oh, yeah. Lots of fit young people with surfboards does make the walking easier… Funniest bit was when a mom turned round to answer one of her kids, and knocked another flying with her board. Don’t walk so close to Mom, hey?

The second bit is grade 2, and is supposedly not much different than grade 1, just unsurfaced and don’t take wheelchairs and pushchairs, OK? This was, for me, actually the least pleasant part, because it was mostly in direct sun. And man, Queensland get HOT. We took lots of rest breaks, and I broke out the Union Jack umbrella I was using as a sunshade. Not big enough to be a hazard to other walkers, of whom there were fewer now, but big enough to shade me while walking, and cover all of me with shade when I sat down, with my legs tucked in.

Then we get to the grade 4. By this time, I have reached the stage of, well, I know what shit is behind me. There’s hills, and scorching paths, and even more hills. I get my “let’s just keep pushing forward” head on, and forge ahead.

It’s not actually too bad. Until we get to the way down to Alexandria Beach. Honestly, I found myself a big stick to use as an aid to balance. It was steep. It’s OK though – there is an emergency radio there… and naked women (two of, sunbathing). Who gives a fuck? Let’s eat our lunch! And drink some water! And have a bloody sit down!

Oh look. A naked man doing press-ups. Not bad for a guy who must have been in his sixties.

Oh looooooook. Hot naked men! Honestly, the beach appeared to be swarming with them! I have never been so grateful for very dark sunglasses in my life. And there was one we instantly called Hot Naked Man. He was fit. He was golden. He was glorious. The three of us bonded over Hot Naked Man.

We wandered along the beach, paddling, getting wet trousers and generally behaving a bit like three-year-olds, only with less cuteness and much less energy, but when we reached the end, it was all ‘shit, where’s the path gone?’ Tracey and Charly wandered off, and I looked round to see if, on this fairly deserted beach, there was anyone near enough to ask. And walking towards me, in all his naked glory, was the hottest naked man on the beach. Oh, Hot Naked Man, all tanned, and toned, and glorious, and walking towards me! So I asked, do you know the way off this beach? He smiled (swoon), cupped his hand to his ear (can’t hear you) and continued walking closer. And I had just given myself the perfect excuse to wait there, watching him (swooning some more).

My, my, I’m grateful for these sunnies, now.

He reached me (swoon) and we started chatting. He told me where the path was (where the girls were looking) and how much further we had to go (about 20 minutes, up some steep bits, but you know, you’ve got that big stick, you should be fine) when Charly noticed, hey, look, mum’s talking to the Hot Naked Man! Better get over there quick! And then Tracey noticed, oh look, Lesley and Charly are talking to Hot Naked Man, better get over there quick! And so we were all there, talking to Hot Naked Man, and wondering just how long we could keep the conversation going…

Not that long, actually. He wandered off onto the rocks, and we continued on.

It wasn’t the worst climb I’ve ever done. Close though. There was one bit, steps, and the last step was a bit steep. Well, they were ALL bloody steep, but the last one nearly had me falling backwards down them. I recovered, and Tracey gave me a hand up. I looked down to photograph the Bloody Steep Steps, only to find father and son two-footedly HOPPING up them! Really, you can hate people you don’t know, right?

Then, finally, steps down. And down. And down some more. Then soft sand. Then – oh shit, wooden steps up and up and up and… Finally reached a road. Civilization! If I had been able to actually bend, I would have kissed that pavement!

Then down and down and down… to find a car park! With a toilet! And a man who said, ‘hey, you made it! I’m not stalking you, honest.’ Well, hello, Hot Naked Man. I nearly didn’t recognise you with your clothes on… (no, I only thought it).

By this time, I was knackered. Seriously, downrightly, fucking knackered. So I asked, ‘Hey, any chance of a lift back to Noosa?’ Cos the nearest bus stop is like, half a mile up a very steep hill. Even Charly was feeling ‘no way’ at that.

Sorry, but I’ve a surf board (of course) in the car. Could only take two of you…

OK, no probs.

And we start walking, and I say something to Tracey about I hope you know where you’ve left the car. And Hot Naked Man says, well, I could give you a lift to your car? And we look at each other. And I think, well, I don’t want to walk…

So Tracey hops in the car, and Charly and I sit down to wait. As he pulls out, he calls out to us. ‘This is the last time you1ll see her!’ to which I reply ‘Got your plates, mate. Anything happens, we’ll find you and kill you…’

And Charly and I sit there, hoping to god that he really isn’t a serial killer…

Tracey got back (safely) and, even though she managed not to say ‘I didn’t recognise you with your clothes on’ she also completely failed TO GET HIS NUMBER! He even offered to show her the way back to where we were, which, let me tell you, wasn’t an easy drive. Props to Tracey for finding us, with only one very small diversion.

Thank you, Hot Naked Man, for being the sort of person to help out women in need, without being creepy at any point.

Is there a craigslist for Oz, where I can post ‘Hot Naked Man, who helped three very tired people, I really want to buy you a drink, for saving us at Noosa’. I mean, he works at Brisbane airport, and surfs naked. Can’t be that many people who fit the bill…

A small selection of photos. Not that I took many, I was too busy trying to breath and shit like that…

Image

 Random Aussie Surfer. Oh man, those abs… that I never managed to capture on camera.

Image

 In Australia, you have to look after yourself. We’re not gonna do it for you.

Image

 Charly almost demonstrating how the shade works.

Image

It’s a long way down to that beach…

Image

Tracey looking at the end of the world…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Charly clearly wondering where Hot Naked Man is…

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-kindness-of-strangers/

A Tale of Co-Incidence, with some Woe and some Wow!

My BFF#1, Jay, was sixteen when she became pregnant. Being young, and scared, she hid this from her parents, who found out when she was 8 months pregnant.

After her baby, a little girl, was born, she was pressured (intensely) into giving her daughter up for adoption.

Which she did. Unwillingly and resentfully.

Then she turned into a  bit of a Wild Child, ending up getting married to someone her parents hated, and warned her against, and who ended the marriage by knocking her down a flight of stairs when she was seven months pregnant, killing the baby and forcing her to endure a labour knowing her child was dead.

Fast forward 30-something years. 23 May, 2013. Jay gets a text on her phone.

“Hey are you the Jay who had a baby called <Baby>, and gave her up for adoption on Date? Cos if you did, I am <Baby>.” She had to call her husband from work to read the text and tell her that yes, that is indeed <Baby>.

I don’t know how many of you read this post, Sharon and Tracey, This is For You? You might wanna go read it, which I just while away some time here. It’s OK. I can wait.

Here’s a video to listen to while you read it.

So, 29 May 2013, I got this letter in the post. Hand-written, good quality notepaper. I nearly threw it in the recycling, cos I have had a few charity letters like that. But once I threw away a cheque in an unopened letter. A big cheque. So I just don’t do that now.

Open letter. Start reading. Sit down quite heavily (and yes, there was a seat there to fall onto!), utterly gobsmacked to receive a letter from Sharon, who lives in Streatham (pronounced Stret-um for all non-Londoners out there.)

Sharon had used a skip tracer to find me, and wrote a very cautious letter. Upshot of which was Don’t worry if you never want to see us, but if you do, we would love to and if you don’t, please at least let us know.

I have never been so glad that I read a letter before binning it as I was that day!

So first I met Sharon. She got the train from Streatham, then cycled to St James’ Park, where we had lunch at Inn the Park. It felt so odd and also so right, it was just – strange.

After that, we bumped into each other at the Streatham Kite Festival. Yes, that is a thing. I’ve even got a video…

I have still to meet her two children. Oh yes! I am a grandmother. Not only am I a grandmother, after years (well, four) of being the only Witch who wasn’t also a Gran, I have six grandchildren. SIX! So, six children and six grandchildren. My genes are far-flung. Husband gets a bit jealous. Four children, no grands at all.

Tracey, who now lives in Australia, actually flew back to England to see me! Well, to see me, to celebrate a friend’s 40th, and for her Mum and Dad’s 50th Wedding Anniversary. But, hey – seeing me was in there! I surprised the fuck out of her by being at Heathrow to meet her, which led to me realizing that they had not really allowed enough time to get from Heathrow to London, and organizing the mad tube dash. They missed the damn train by 2 minutes – 2 whole minutes! Fortunately, we made it to the Virgin ticket office with a minute to spare, and the very nice lady at the counter endorsed their tickets for the next train to Birmingham.

Their tickets? Oh, yes. James. Her soon-to-be Husband, which is why I will be in Australia on 17 April 2014. Got my tickets, got somewhere to stay, got a holiday booked with Daughter… She has decided to go to the wedding, too, via Indonesia, then spend a year in Oz on a working visa. All sorted. So when I get there, after the wedding we are going to Peregian Beach for a week. Sand, Sea, Sun… my idea of a perfect relaxing break.

I have other news too. But I think that’s for another post.

Dave Gorman #2

The show was very good indeed. The set was all bright and white, the powerpoint presentation’ish ness was very well done, and scoring a front row, central, seat was just the icing on the cake.

Best joke of the night was not part of the act, but in the advert break.

“Normally,” he said, “the advert breaks in Dave are just there. You cut from Stephen Fry saying, ‘and the reason for’ ” [adverts here] ” ‘book burning is…”.

Then he looked over the audience with the Dave Gorman grin, and carried on.

“We having a proper advert break, with titles and music. We know we’re on Dave. They’ll have to invent another channel to repeat us on!” which caused much merriment.

I went looking for the channel, which is crammed full of repeats, so I could laugh at it, but the very first item on the page was watching Dara O’Briain’s School of Hard Sums, so I gonna watch that instead. Laugh with it.

And I got home in one piece, later than expected, and chatted to Eldest Son who had also just got in from work. Ah, the joys of being kitchen staff!

Dave Gorman – Free Tickets!

I have 2 free tickets to see Dave Gorman perform a run-through of his new TV show, Goodish, tonight.

I heart Dave Gorman. This will make the fifth time I have managed to see him, including two stand up shows, one curated comedy show which became one of the stand-up shows, a book reading and Q&A, and a second curated comedy show, where I stupidly sat in the front row and was heckled by the comedians.

So, leave work, go home, change shoes, go see Dave Gorman, get some food, go home. Sounds like a plan to me.

This is the from the first thing I ever say him do:

Whisky, Whisky and Even More Whisky!

Friday went down to Brighton. Stayed at the Downs Hotel, which is really a pub with Bed and Breakfast facilities, and a restaurant most evenings. Thankfully, it was not as loud as when we last stayed there.

We were down in Brighton for The Whiskey Festival. £20 for a ticket gets one a tasting glass, bottle of water, two free tokens for extra-special tastings, and the opportunity to taste as many whiskies as you can whilst remaining upright.

Balcones were there, and a heap of Islay malts.

Husband got to taste some before we even went in! We were just sitting on the front, taking snaps of the derelict wreck that is the West Pier, when three guys came out waving a bottle and a camera. After failing to take selfies that managed to get them all in, they ask him if he would take some. So he did. Then they asked him “Do you like whiskey?” Does a bear shit in the woods, is the pope catholic? So he got a very large slug of Talisker Storm, a new whiskey Talisker are promoting. Not struck myself, but I like big-bodied, smoky, peaty inyourfuckingface whiskies, and it just wasn’t that.

So, after consuming enough tastes to amount to well over half a bottle, we stumbled back to the bus stop, caught the bus, and went back for an afternoon nap.

Then we woke up, all refreshed if still slightly drunk, and went back to Brighton for dinner. Went to English’s, where I had 6 oysters, fish soup, 6 more oysters (I like oysters a lot!), chocolate and raspberry desert and an Irish coffee, accompanied by a bottle of Pinot Grigio. YUM!

Then found a cocktail bar. I think we only had four… but it might have been five or six, I lost count.

Sunday we just pootled. Went to Eastbourne, had a Victorian Tea Party on the pier, and drove home via Upper Dicker. Good times.

I think I have gained a stone, and killed my liver. But it was fun!

Fuck Fuck Fuckity Fuck

How do you cope with a son with a gambling problem, who has just taken out his second PayDay loan (at the oh so agreeable APR of 4200%!), and who also owes us over £1,500?

Part of me wants to kick him out, part of me wants to lend him money, and part of me just wants to get really, really fucking drunk then beat him to a pulp. OK, not the beating bit, really – apart from anything else, he is bigger than me and would fight back…. Maybe just punching him really hard, once.

This is, of course it would be, Youngest, with his mental health issues, his medication needs and his minimum wage job.

Fuck my life.

Woot!!!

Today, April 2 2013, our mortgage is officially paid off.

25 years ago, we moved in here with a 15 month old daughter and 2-week old twin boys. This day, then, seemed sooooo fucking far away, it’s hard to believe it has actually arrived.

I am going to be getting the endowment cheque – it comes to about £12,000, which is enough to done get the work on the house that needs doing.

Also, I will get either a decent point-and-shoot, or a good smartphone (leaning towards a Lumia 920) and Husband is going to get a Mac.

So, now we need to start putting extra away for retirement…