July 29, 2015 by Michael Madden

Five Feet High And Rising…

There a very popular Johnny Cash song that I play regularly in my car…

How high’s the water mama? Two feet high and rising
How high’s the water papa? Two feet high and rising
Well we can make it to the road in a home made boat
Its the only thing we got left that’ll float
Its already over all the wheat and oats
Two feet high and rising.

You may think that this has something to do with the ridiculous amount of rain that the British summer has thrown at us so far, but no. The subject matter is far closer to home, but more of that later.

Did you just stumble across this blog? Or did you follow a link through Facebook. Sally hardly ever uses Facebook. Really? Just paging through it on her laptop until the battery dies, then her phone, ooh look, she’s in Cambridge. What’s he doing in Benidorm? I would never have posted anything like that. Have you seen this? Yes – you showed me about four hours ago. Anything new happened? And I don’t mean in the world of videos about kittens.

Anyway, Sally was in bed with Zac the other night, on Facebook obviously, and he spotted a saying. Never apologise for being yourself. This seemed to ring true, and it is now his mantra. So, any hope of ever getting an apology off Zac has now completely disappeared. Thanks Facebook. I  guess the fine line that he treads between informality and good manners is erring ever so slightly past informality at the moment.

How high’s the water mama? Three feet high and rising
How high’s the water papa? Three feet high and rising
Well my hives have gone, I lost my bees
Chickens are sleeping in the willow trees
Cows in water up past their knees
Three feet high and rising.

Of course, the school holidays have started, so its bound to rain. But I am impressed with the efforts of some places to encourage youngsters off their Xboxes and into physical activity. New Mills Leisure Centre apparently had mini jet skis in the pool. I wonder if they also had several first aiders and assorted paramedics on standby?
What a pleasant weekend. On Friday I was aiming to head for Buxton before cycling to Marple. Fate (well actually, Sally) conspired against me as the main reason for going was to pick up Ole’s phone, but she had lost both the sim and the receipt. So I ended up in Marple spending a pleasant hour or so with Bernie outside Costa. When I got back she had found the receipt and Sim, so off I went. I paid for an hour’s parking (no ticket for me Lady M), and then did all of the following…Got a new iphone 6 including contract at the EE store, picked up Ole’s repaired phone, bought a new cricket bat for Zac, bought two new t-shirts for myself, and also bought a pair of trainers as recommended by my orthotics guy. Got back with three minutes to spare!
On Saturday we had another nailbiter at cricket, but a win’s a win, and the firsts actually won too. So a few beers later I meandered home safe in the knowledge that the following day’s six a side would almost certainly be called off due to the weather. It was, and I used the time to book this year’s Trip – another item off my to do list. Cricket took its toll yet again on my troubled knee – and I have decided that enough is enough and a knee brace is about to be fitted. Run Forrest Run is hardly appropriate at this juncture!
Sally is normally quite proud of her Bogtrotter Cake (you need to watch Matilda to understand this one). However, it does not always turn out as expected. On the face of it, her latest effort had risen majestically, and just about fitted under the generous dome reserved for such spectacular fare in our kitchen. However, Zac, who lists chocolate cake as his favourite food of all time, and his second and third too, took a small nibble and left the rest. Didn’t like the cream. Strange, as most of the cake was not cream, it was, err, cake. And then we tried to lift it. Seems like it was too heavy even for Zac’s chocolate loving palate. After a while people had stopped chipping away at it, but there was still a considerable beast of a cake left so Sally put it on the bird table. I feel sorry for the unsuspecting sparrows, magpies and eagles, struggling to get off the ground after sampling such gargantuan leftovers, but I reckon the cats had a field day.

How high’s the water mama? Four feet high and rising
How high’s the water papa? Four feet high and rising
Hey come look through the window pane
The bus is coming gonna take us to the train
Looks like we’ll be blessed with a little more rain
Four feet high and rising.
Last weekend it was Twinkie time. Twinkies are just elongated cup cakes – shaped a bit like a submarine, but they have one big advantage, they are just the right shape for dipping. I started by giving Zac a small pot of Nutella with a Twinkie but Ole took a more direct approach, dipping the Twinkie straight into the jar, ignoring any crumbs that were left behind.
There has been a lot of talk of going to London recently, but Zac is not convinced. He has always wanted to go up the Eiffel Tower, so what is the London equivalent? Certainly not the London Eye. It takes about five hours to go round and is soooo boring.
A date for your diary is Friday 11th September. Its a date I’ve got marked as GTF out of Whaley. That’s the day the Tour Of Britain cycling race hits the High Peak, including a trip down Long Hill, through Whaley, and on to Buxworth and Chinley. I am tempted to sneak up via Old Road and cause mayhem, getting to the front and then leading them down into Tesco and up the canal towpath. Wont be so much overtaking then!
Sally has an unnatural obsession with cupboards. Every week it seems like a new one arrives, but where can there possibly be space to put them all? The latest was like a dresser. Tall and stately, with a glass front, ideal for putting ornaments or other similar crap in. But no, this was for the cloakroom. Except…it didn’t fit. Undeterred, Sally decided that it would go in the spare bedroom. So we struggled and pushed and pulled and swore and balanced and juggled and just about got it to the top of the stairs. Then along the landing. Whereupon, we found that it would not simply go through the door to the spare room. It would first have to go into the bathroom at just the right angle so that we could straighten it and then manouevre it into its final resting place. But, it wouldn’t go into the bathroom. We twisted and straightened and puffed and swore (a little more aggressively this time) and rested and sighed and heaved and hoed and finally got it onto its side. It will have to go into our bedroom, she said. So we dragged it into place. Or rather, we moved one of the other five cupboards that are already in there out of the way to make room for the ridiculously oversized, ornate and inappropriate for a bedroom cupboard, into where a previously perfectly serviceable chest of drawers sat. The chest remained in limbo, neither in place nor out of place, wondering where next for its stained pine base. The new cupboard sat awkwardly, like a big kid being made to sit with the little kids at school. Who knows where it will finally end up, but eBay’s favourite. Of course, buyer must collect.
Today was asthma clinic day. Both Ole and Zac were due their appointments for their asthma check ups, and if only I was able to take them rather than being stuck in Bicester. You see, in my car they would have heard…
How high’s the water mama? Five feet high and rising
How high’s the water papa? Five feet high and rising
Well the rails are washed out north of town
We gotta head for higher ground
We can’t come back ’til the water goes down
Five feet high and rising
…on the CD player, but in mum’s they no doubt had some slushy crap by Rod Stewart. And if they had the Johnny Cash classic on that might have triggered a reaction immediately rather than through the following conversation…
Nurse: Well Zac, how have you been with your inhaler?
Ole: Mum, we need to go home, now
Mum: You are next and then we’ll go home
Ole: No, we need to go home now
Mum: Why?
Ole: I’ve left the water running in the bath
Mum: I’m sorry nurse, I’m going to have to go home.
Well its a five feet high and rising!