Ollie’s Journal

The general flotsam and jetsam of Oliver’s life including work, personal and utterly improbable and improbable absurdities.

Thirty-two and still afraid of meeting parents…

So hi everyone! I do realise that I have been a little erratic with my blogging, with eight posts in 43 seconds and then slow millennia pass while I am otherwise occupied. My declaration to you, my promise dear reader, is to attempt to possibly maybe write every Friday to fill you in with stupid events in my life, keep you up to date with work and generally wile away at least a few minutes where you would usually be watching the clock and thinking of the weekend.

I have been working hard on the bookInvisible Shores, working out a spectacular cover for you, writing blurbs and tag lines, discarding said blurbs and tag lines and rewriting them. I’ve also been looking at the marketing aspect of things, a far more daunting process than I first anticipated. The hope of any author who writes anything that they are proud of is that it’s pure genius will do all the marketing one needs, word of mouth, celebrity endorsements the pages of the book becoming enchanted with their own superiority and merrily flapping away and into expectant hands… Strangely enough, this is not the case, a lot of blood sweat tears and possibly other fluids have to be put in to get even the most pitiable ‘buzz’ going. In light of this I have been tossing a few ideas around with friend, thinking of photographs and blind people taking them. Possibly a pointless activity but could have hilarious results.
This is me attempting to capture the sunrise… I hope… obviously me messing around with photographs could lead to some very awkward, very embarrassing results. For example, I thought it was hilarious to snap two female friends as they were deep in conversation and put it on Snapchat, only to discover afterwards that they were having a deep and meaningful conversation involving tears and many hugs. I wasn’t so popular. Still, it could be an interesting experiment to host on my Facebook page which you should like if you haven’t done so already.

It has been a strange week. I have a terrible tendency to watch box sets of series back to back, for example I watched the entirety of 24 in six hours… This week I finished the eighth and final season of Dexter, which was terribly disappointing. If you’ve not seen the series, do so, but don’t hold your breath for a good ending.

Utterly unrelated to being a serial killer with a conscience like Dexter, there are more people back in Polzeath now, mostly tourists from London. Myself and one of my best friends, Philippa, affectionately known as Hippo, found ourselves drinking with some London lawyers on Wednesday night and a very generous bunch of gentleman they were. This is one of the best things about this place, it brings all sorts of people together, a qualified teacher working in a restaurant, a well respected employment barrister and a writer with secret plans for world domination all sat at the bar, discussing learning, politics wisdom and that Philippa should probably be the face of this book… I’ve not got a photograph and wouldn’t want to put you off your mid afternoon snacks anyway… (shh, she’s pretty, but don’t tell her).

The fiery Nina, sleigher of drunks and handler of mad bitches, (she has a doggy) and the bar manager for the pub in which we were drinking had her parents down.

“Meet mi parents…” She instructed in her broad Essex accent.

“I’m not so sure that’s a good…” My arm was seized and I was dragged across the pub, she was surprisingly strong for a woman eight inches smaller than me and half my weight. I glanced over my shoulder attempting to make eye contact with Philippa but she was busy eating her twenty-fifth bag of crisps and blowing crumbs in a poor Australian’s face as she told him what she thought of Australians.

“Mum, Dad… This is Ollie.”

I smiled weakly and cursed the Lawyer for getting me so inebriated.

They introduced themselves. I shook their hands, forgot their names and slumped into a chair. There was an uncomfortable silence.

“Uh,” I tried. “Everyone likes Nina…” I cursed myself for starting off with a lie. “She’s always really nice to me…” Sod it, another one. “She’s polite.”

I may as well have told them I was blessed with super powers, never the less they smiled and seemed pleased.

“Do you like boat!” I suddenly burst out… “Boots… Boats I mean?”

They did.

“Fish!” I shouted. “You like fish!”

This time their response was a little more hesitant.

“You should buy fish, you should buy it with chips and fish…” They were silent now. “We call it fish and chips sorry I need a wee bye.”

And with that I sprang from my seat, bounced into the bar and hid in the bathroom, splashing cool water on my face… Despite being thirty-two, I still couldn’t speak to my friends parents? This was stupid but I had an overwhelming feeling that I was doing something wrong, I would be caught out and told off. It was like i had regressed to the age of six and nearly been caught clambering through the upper shelves of a friends parents wardrobe. I think I must have been caught a lot to create this overwhelming feeling of dread.

Probably my worst parent catch was after staying in a friends garden in a tent. I was seven, I was urinating on some flowers, they may or may not have been roses… I called to my friend:

“Oy Will, look how far I can wee!” Such things being a great badge of honour at the time.

Instead of my friends sleepy voice emerging from the open tent flaps a voice thundered from on high…

“What the bloody hell you doing you little sh*t! Stop pissing on my garden.”

So this is probably the reason I am still afraid of friends parents.

What about you? When have you been rumbled by friends parents? What were you doing?