Sunday, April 11, 2010


I really do not think that I’m a people person, in fact I’m beginning to come to the conclusion that I’m not a very nice person at all. It started early yesterday morning; I’d planned to take the bog monster out to one of our favourite haunts, mine for the buzzards and hers for the ample, detritus filled, ditches. So we’re up and ready, kitted out, fed and watered and just finished checking the fun cruiser out to make sure nothing had been overlooked. Clare’s still snug in bed, at least an hour and a half to go before her 7.30 alarm will stir her from her well deserved slumbers. I’m just draining the remnants of my second cup of char (always need two to kick start the day) when the shrill bell of the house phone screams out for attention. I check the number and it’s my parents so with the icy claws of dread and foreboding clutching at my heart (after all tis not long since ol’ string vest was discharged after his major operation) I answered expecting dire news. After all why else would the phone be going from my parents at this time in the morning? It was father “any chance you could pick us up a kilo of new potatoes from Lestors when you’re out and about today?” his cheerful voice piped down the line. To say ‘I was taken aback’ would have been a mild understatement to say the least, I managed a weak “yes of course pops, not a problem” at which he promptly hung up! Clare appeared, blurry eyed, from the bedroom asking if all was ok, Ok I thought, I’ll ram those bloody spuds where the sun don’t shine (dread had turned to surprise and then to anger surprisingly quickly). I stomped to the fun cruiser, slamming doors as I went. I looped past Lestors farm shop and they were just receiving the mornings stock, a quick apology and several pence lighter I’m trundling to the parents house with the spuds, a handful of minutes later the spuds have been thrust into a surprised mother’s hands and I’m off without saying more than two words. I was not a happy bunny.

A mere fifteen minutes later and we’re approaching the parking spot where the fun cruiser is to be abandoned for the morning. I’m still frothing at the mouth over that incredulous phone call. We pull up, don our stuff (well Lucy did bring herself) and head off into an absolutely beautiful day which I was blissfully unaware of still being wrapped up in my own selfishness. Yes my selfishness, I realised as I trundled along the walk with nature calling out to me that I was really being very selfish. I mean to say, a couple of weeks ago I was lamenting about the possibility of losing my father when he went under the knife but out here in the fresh air with Lucy just, well just being Lucy, and the sounds and sights of the outdoors blasting all ill tempered fillings from me I realised how lucky I was that the cantankerous old bugger was still around to phone me at silly o clock and ask for spuds, blissfully unaware of the emotional roller coaster happening on the other end of the line. We finished the walk a good hour before I intended and headed back to my parents ready to apologise for my earlier, bullish, behaviour. I walked through the back door mother turned from her baking, smiled and told me that the kettle had just boiled, poor myself a coffee. I walked through to my dad, he looked up “eh up John, those bloody potatoes are a bit soft”……

Yes I might not be a nice guy, but I’m a bleedin very lucky guy indeed, just need reminding of it now and again.

Your friend,



Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Don't be so hard on yourself, John. We all mess up. We all hurt people we love. Obviously, you were more bothered by your behavior than your parents. Parents always forgive their children. Even if it isn't said out loud.

Le Loup said...

Aha, I know those phone calls! I have three sons living in Armidale City, and I know when they phone they want something!!!
However, I am getting on now, and the artheritis is giving me a hard time, so soon it will be me making those phone calls!

Mel said...

Well written, John. Reflections on our day to day behavior is more common the older you get. You are a fine man, my friend, and glad to know that Dad is doing well.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

This put a smile on my grumpy face.

Wolfy said...

My wife often ponders why ANYONE would like me. Some of the "younger folk" in the office have dubbed me "The Curmudgeon", a badge I wear proudly.

I do tend to be short with some people, and I occasionaly display a less-than-cordial disposition. But deep down, I think I'm a pretty good guy!

You know what, John - we may be the same person, seperated by a lot of water. Doppelgangers, if you will. Maybe that's why I like reading your musings so much!

Have a great day.


Shoreman said...

Not much to be said. I think you covered it very well.


Murphyfish said...

Hi Karen,
Thank you for your kind words, I’ll bear them in mind for future grocery requests ;-)

Le Loup,
Give them hell my good man.

Hey Mel,
Thank you for dropping by my friend and thank you for your words, they are always most welcome.

Hi Zach,
Happy to oblige

Hey Wolfy,
Doppelgangers, now there is a scary thought, two of me? Wear your Curmudgeon badge with pride my good man and I’ll try and source my killjoy one that Clare insists that I must own somewhere. Glad that I can continue to muse to your liking.

Hi Mark,
Thanks for the comment, always appreciated.

To all,
Thank you for your time and comments, always a pleasure.

wanderingowloutside said...

A bit of a conscience, eh? We all do this at some point, we're only human. This happens a lot to me as my mother lives RIGHT NEXT DOOR and she's retired.

Anyway, you still sound like a good egg to me. Probably happen more as they get older...Hope you have some good spots to escape to when necessary! I do. No one knows where to find me.


Ian Nance said...

Love it! I can be a misanthrope at times - especially with strangers and prying calls from the parents. But can't forget who is there for ya at times!!

Murphyfish said...

Hey Owl,
Next door? Not too sure that I could quite handle that although I am finding more and more places to hide off the beaten track, thanks for dropping by fella.

Hi Ian,
Cheers for the comment and yes your right, I can always rely on them being there for me.

All the best,

CDGardens said...

My mother is always having surgery or rehab for this or that and I am the major one to look after things when it happens.

Still...glad that she is here.

Murphyfish said...

Hi CD,
Indeed it does sometimes feel a burden, but it would be more so without them. Thank you for the comment.