frogiron wrote:The Lewin family next door.
They were a cut above the rest of us oiks. The parents did not beat the living crap out of each other on a weekly basis. And they bought a new mustard coloured Austin Maxi every other year. And they went to fucking Crete for their holidays. And the youngest boy - a couple of years my junior - had a Johnny Seven (too expensive for us). And he had every kind of fucking Action Man toy available. My old man never allowed me to have an Action Man ("No son of mine is playing with a fucking doll"). And their garden was immaculate. No dog shit hiding in the undergrowth to get stuck in your plimsolls. And they had a fucking patio. With a table and chairs. And to top it all, when the Tonibell van came, their kids would get huge ice cream sundaes in boat shaped plastic trays, slathered in raspberry and chocolate sauce and nuts, swimming in tinned fruit salad with the grapes and the cherries and the little flat plastic spoon. Then they would eat the fucking lot in front of me and my sister and brother and never even offer a fucking spoonful.
Not that I'm bitter about it you understand.
Really NM. It still stings mate. They had a bowling green flat lawn in their back garden. Pristine it was. Springy and weed free. They used to have one of those old fashioned push lawnmowers to trim the top 3 mm off their perfect turf every Sunday, and it was so fine, their dad wouldn't work up a sweat, even in his weekend attire of beige cardigan and slacks and straw trilby hat.
Our grass was so long and thick I swear Japanese soldiers were still fighting the yanks in there. The top two inches of earth supporting the scrubby grass was actually pure dog shit. There were rose bushes that were actually 80% greenfly, and looked like the aftermath of a nuclear accident.
And my mum buys a fucking Flymo. A poofy orange thing with a plastic blade and an electric motor taken from a revolving bow tie. And whose job was it to cut the grass? Muggins here. I burned the motors out on three Flymos before my my old Mum gave up and allowed me to carry on hacking at the grass with the sharp knife out of the kitchen.
And the Lewins, fresh back from fucking Crete, sat on their fucking patio drinking real Lucozade in their fucking stripy chairs at their fucking formica table eating their fucking ice cream sundaes and admiring their fucking perfect herbaceous borders. I'm glad I used to throw dried dogshit over the fence rather than put it in the bin like my mum told me.
But it's all water under the bridge.
I can look back and smile now.