Top Ten memorable presents that I bought my mother, and in true Pick of The Pops fashion, its in reverse order…
10. The lace tablecloth, we all know about the lace tablecloth and its three almost matching napkins, its written here. I thought it was rather nice actually, and very expensive of course, feel the quality in this Greek lace mother, this is top stuff, not your Woolworths lace you know.
9. The two decorative Greek plates, least said about the porno plates the better, its writ in all its glory here.
8. A fired clay tray with a fired clay wine jug with six little fired clay pots from Corfu in 1980, totally effing useless for the firing wasn’t very good and the wine just pissed out of the jug and pots, she treasured them as if they were the Elgin Marbles and put them in the china cabinet along with all the “good” china, in other words all the shite that had been handed down to her from relatives who didn’t want it any more because it was shite, when she died we sold the china cabinet, contents and all to Gary Don of Gary Don House Clearance fame for about ten bob, and frankly he was robbed.
7. A silver tray with six silver goblets for their silver wedding anniversary that I bought discount in Makro for ten quid, they looked impressive and my mother was impressed, nay tearful as she unwrapped each one, “Ooh they’re beautiful” she said as she arranged them in the china cabinet, they looked like they’d been silver plated by a ten year old kid with a tube of glue and some baking foil.
6. A Sparklets Soda Syphon and two gas cartridges along with three bottles of flavoured cordial to make fizzy pop with. She unwrapped it, said it was a lovely birthday present, stood it on the sideboard and never touched it again. Ned and I used up all of the cordial and gas making pop and managed to drink all of it before the sun set on her birthday.
5. A pair of binoculars that I’d bought in a second hand shop on Shields Road in Byker, I don’t think she ever used them, its not like she had a hobby that needed binoculars or anything, she knitted a lot which to the best of my knowledge doesn’t need binoculars, not unless your knitting needles are extremely long, she unwrapped them, looked at them and said, “Oh, binoculars”, put them down and I never saw them again, not even after she’d died and we emptied the house and normally she saved everything, which leads me to think that they either went in the coffin with her or she threw them in the bin when I wasn’t looking. I have to confess that I was probably drunk when I bought a lot of these presents.
4. For Christmas one year, six tall drinking glasses and six small drinking glasses that came in a box that claimed them to be high quality French cut crystal glass, high quality my arse, I won them with vouchers from a fruit machine in an amusement arcade near Leeds Market and they looked exactly like the glasses you used to get at school dinners, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if our headmaster at Cookridge County Primary School spent all his weekends in the amusement arcades trying to win drinking glasses for the school just like the ones I gave my mother. She thought they were beautiful and put them in the china cabinet and never got them out again.
3. As a present from Paignton in 1978, a pot carthorse with full harness, they were all the rage that year and she coveted one to put on the window sill to show off to neighbours, I found one in a tourist tat shop in a sale because it had pissed it down on the English Riveira all summer and there were no tourists to be seen for miles around, you may have noticed that most of these presents involve sales, bargains or free goods.
2. A Christmas basket full of bubble bath, bath salts, and those cubes that you put in baths and they dissolve and leave a disinfectant smell and a layer of fine grit in the bottom of the bath that you spend the next week picking out of your arse. Nothing strange about buying your mother bath stuff you may well think, and I’d agree with you that for anyone else there would be nothing strange about the act of buying your mother bath stuff for Christmas, if a little un-imaginative. But then up until now you wouldn’t be aware of the fact, as I most definitely was, that we didn’t have a bath in our house from the day that Bob Beck brought a second hand shower cubicle round and told our dad it was cheaper to shower than bathe, out went the bath in 1970 and we never had one since – I bought my mother bath stuff at Christmas 1980.
1. A giant pot Hippo, three foot long, one foot high, I don’t know why, and let me declare right here that my mother was, erm, how can I put this, portly, she liked her food, which was just as well for no-one else liked her food, even the birds weren’t tempted down from the trees when she threw yet another weeks worth of baking out on the lawn, anyway, for a mother who was of a rotund constitution I bought a pot Hippo for her birthday one year, it must have seemed like such a good idea, maybe I was drunk.