Thursday, February 17, 2011

Children Walking the Walk without even Talking the Talk

My wife bought a little card in town yesterday, as reproduced on this blog, which amused us both and brought back some nostalgic family memories. Some years ago during the height of the Celtic Tiger time in Ireland my brother and I brought one each of our respective offspring to Rome for the 6 nation’s rugby international between Ireland and Italy. As my daughter and my nephew were clad from head to toe in Irish scarves, lime green shirts, tricolour flags and multicoloured hats of ‘questionable’ taste, my brother and I decided to walk ahead of them at a reasonable distance so that the stylish residents of Rome would not necessarily associate our presence with that our fond offspring. However, on looking back we noticed them pointing at us with heightened amusement. On asking why these young people portraying all the fashion sense of ‘green lounge lizards’ should find us so amusing, we were told that my brother and I were strolling along with our hands clasped firmly behind our backs in a studied pose which they said, we seemed to adopt regularly in a characteristic manner. We of course denied such an accusation and told them that this observation may have been distorted by the amount of green paint streaked across their foreheads and thus we suggested might have affected the clarity of their vision.

However, some years later when I was out walking with my little grandson, who was about 3 years old at the time, he proclaimed that he was going to walk like granddad and set off skipping along with his hands firmly clasped behind him. Both my wife and I were very amused by his pose as can be seen from the photo attached to this blog.

Thus, when my wife saw the little greeting card she instantly recalled granddad’s ‘studied’ walk. You may talk the talk to children in any manner you like but based upon their own observations, they will walk the walk themselves.

So the motto of this blog is never to underestimate the powers of observation of young children and for these fond nostalgic memories I would like to give a special thanks to baby Sean, for pointing out Granddad’s strange walking ways!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Life in a Cocoa Blender or What's Up Choc?

As I grow ever older some conundrums still give me cause for reflection
For example, how do a man and a woman achieve harmonious perfection?
Although happily married to the same lady for longer then even I can recall
I often think that the mind of a woman is something I don’t understand at all.

Of course I fully appreciate the core physical differences occasioned by gender
And do accept that women like men may often like to go out on a social bender
But men somehow appear more basic if obtuse, and some would say easily pleased
While on subjects like weight gain and hair style, they seldom mind being teased.

No lets face it, contrary to popular opinion; women are a very different motley crew
Whose entire life ambitions are rarely satisfied by bawdy sex talk and strong brew
Indeed most women exemplify great intelligence with a life balance which is super
Unlike many men who often settle for football fantasies and a drink induced stupor

But wait, lest ye women readers get carried away in a self absorbed congratulatory stance
Let me hasten to add that I have found a small chink in the armour of your merry dance
For experience has lead me to declare there is one crucial thing going right to the core
Of this distinction of women from men which realisation may make some feel sore.

This fact you need to appreciate if like an athlete you want to get away from the blocks
For it is the absolute obsession of females with cocoa concoctions and all kinds of chocs.
These sweet confections can be black or white, and may contain scotch, bourbon or rum
But all good husbands should never answer their question about adding size to the bum.

You would think that chocolate consumption by fond females is but a simply pleasure
To be enjoyed happily in the company of your loved one as a form of innocent leisure
But chocolate consumption for some ladies has a dark secret and angst never quiet
For it is often accompanied by guilt and a professed profound need for a new diet.

So my advice to those male partners who wish to give succour to their own Fraulein
Is not to simply depend on the chocolate pleasures of ganache, caramel or praline
You may buy her dark or light cocoa boxes but any doubts about diets you must muffle
For unkind predictions of future weight gain can spoil any shell-molded, enrobed truffle.

My good wife has even eaten our Children’s Easter eggs and left only the wrapping paper
With a heartfelt plea to give up all chocolate the next day and replace their eggs later.
But such a sweet craving surely is a relatively mild vice and should cause little plight
Even if it can lead on occasion to her rummaging for chocolates downstairs at night.

So let us men drink to the health of our fair ladies from the perspective of our own bars
Though men’s may be found more often in pubs while theirs can be consumed in cars
But we should endeavour to share our enjoyments and of my discourse this is the nub
Even if one may risk a mild asthma attack by consuming such as chocolate in spice rub.

Note: This is a purely fictional verse written for amusement only.

"nine of every ten persons say they love chocolate. the tenth lies."- Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
as quoted in 'Discover Chocolate' by Clay Gordon. (Gotham Books)