Category Archives: Family

What On Earth Is Brandon Doing To This Cat?

Today is Brandon’s birthday! My baby son is fifteen today… How time flies. To celebrate, I’m posting a few pictures:

My hopes for his future –

Perhaps Brandon will become a proctologist

My memories of taking him to see Father Christmas –

He knows if you've been bad or good

How he sees himself –

Brandon owns this t-shirt in real life

And his love of animals –

Zuul has decided not to press charges

Just a magical glimpse there, into the joy of Motherhood and the wonderful task of bringing up Brandon. May he live long and prosper!


Never Add Your Stepfather On Facebook

Brandon recently updated his Facebook status, with a line from a (cheeky) song. He should have guessed that Dave would tell him off…

Although possibly he wouldn’t have guessed what he would be told off  for.

(Please excuse my lack of Photoshop skills).

Brandon’s Summer School Graduation Picture

Brandon now has a Street Dance degree, innit?

Further to my last post, here is a picture of the man himself, in his little gown and mortar board. Bless. He did do a really excellent rap, about recycling plastic bags, at the presentation ceremony. Look at those tired eyes – that’s what four days of student life does to you.

Raising Academic Aspirations

So far this week, I’ve been exceptionally brave and have NOT mentioned the fact that Brandon is away. Brandon – my Son, my Court Jester, my faux Gay Best Friend… Oh how I’ve missed him! But today he “graduates” from the course he has been on, so (after the ceremony) we can bring him home. Yay!

He has been on a residential course at Manchester University, designed to encourage the brightest kids from schools in “rough” areas to continue into higher education… Excellent, we would love him to do that. And the whole thing has been free; including his room, meals, tuition, a night out bowling, a disco and a hired costume to “graduate” in! Apparently they spend £500 per child, on this four-day course.

So what lofty intellectual ambitions have they been instilling in my child? What dreams of academic excellence? What plans for studying and learning, once school is finished and his future profession calls?

“I’ve been doing Street Dance” he told me, during a phone call on Monday night, “And DJing. I was the best one at scratching – they wrote my name on the board and everything”. Great. Clearly they are going to turn him into the next Stephen Fry. Even now I can hear Oxbridge calling his name. Since then he has been able to do a class in Chinese and have a go at cutting open a fake arm… But even so, I do think it is lazy of them to immediately equate the idea of  kids from deprived urban areas, with the idea of studying “street” subjects. These kids are clever, the course is meant to get them to aim higher – so stop with the f*cking graffitti, drive-by, urban fashion nonsense and get them reading Shakespeare, or Descartes!

Each child is going to be involved in a little presentation about their course, at graduation this afternoon. I wondered what Bran would be doing, so I asked him, when he rang last night. Hamlet’s Soliloquy, perhaps?

“I’m doing a rap about recycling plastic bags” he said.

Oh for goodness’ sake.

Zuul’s Upstairs Window Plunge!

When Brandon came home from Cadets, on Monday night, Dave and I pretended we had become Mormons. It wasn’t big, it wasn’t clever but it WAS very funny (for us). Some of you read the post I made about it and expressed concern for Brandon’s emotional welfare. Sadly for Brandon, his nerves had a worse test to endure, just 15, or so, minutes after our cruel trick.

Monday night was dark, wet and windy but nevertheless, having finished with our little ruse, Dave decided to pop out and get some Coke. Meanwhile, Brandon went upstairs, followed by Zuul (our youngest cat). Zuul isn’t an ordinary cat – he has a perpetual look of insanity in his eyes, he is a compulsive eater and he often has long arguments with Dave, where he tries to get the last “miaow”. You never know what he will do next.

Suddenly Brandon called me to his room,

“MUM! My window was open and now Zuul is outside, on the window sill!”.

I ran upstairs to Brandon’s room, yelling NOT to reach out to the cat. Bran was still looking out at Zuul, then looked at me, in shock.

“Zuul has JUMPED!” he cried and started laughing hysterically. I mean REAL hysteria.

“WHAT!?” I yelled, horrified.  It was true, Zuul had gone from the window sill and plunged down, into the rainy darkness. We headed down to the back garden, hearts in mouths. I reassured Brandon, by reminding him that our lawn was about two feet high and that in any case, Zuul was so fat he would probably bounce.

At first we couldn’t see Zuul, in the darkness. It was very quiet and I was worried… But then I found him. He was absolutely fine! He was rather subdued and kept blinking slowly, with a far-off look in his eyes, but nothing was broken. Meanwhile Brandon was still in shock, intermittently laughing like an idiot. Dave came in and got the whole story, in a torrent of madness.

Maybe it was some kind of “sign”…

(Brandon has now fully recovered).

Large Hadron Brandon

Today, Brandon is attending a special lecture, aimed at school students, by the celebrated physics genius Brian Cox.

Brian Cox is very “rock and roll”, having played keyboards for a couple of successful bands and presented numerous TV shows (explaining Science to the masses) BUT he also helps and encourages people who make black holes, here on Earth. That’s his REAL job. Oh dear.

In 2005, Brian was granted a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. He is based in Manchester and at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. He is in charge of an international project to upgrade the giant ATLAS and CMS detectors at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), CERN’s new 27km-long machine, with tiny silicon detectors almost half a mile from where the particles in the LHC collide.


Brandon is very good at Science and Maths, so he was chosen to attend the lecture. The idea is that Brian Cox will make an impression on him, so that he is inspired to work harder at school… Before turning into an insane Evil Genius, who destroys the Earth, from a hideout, inside a mountain.

Perhaps he shouldn’t go.

Obscene Sausage

Was looking at old photos this evening and found this picture of Brandon (only taken three years ago, hasn’t he grown?!).

Look at his naughty face! He persauded me to take a picture of this sausage (in a cafe) because “It has a bell-end, like a penis”. Hahahaha!