Half-term in Norfolk: a photo-story

STARRING: Buzz Lightyear as Grandpa, Cinderella as Granny and Barbie as Not Waving But Ironing. And introducing two Playmobil people as the kids.

Not Waving is in the kitchen, happily preparing some food for the barbecue. Enter Granny and Grandpa, who’ve been out birdwatching or visiting the King’s Lynn pencil museum or something.

Grandpa: ‘Oh! What are you doing?’

Not Waving: ‘Just making a potato salad for tonight.’

Grandpa: ‘What are you putting in it?’

Not Waving: ‘Um, potatoes. And stuff.’

Grandpa: ‘Right, I’ll go and chop some herbs from the garden. You’ll need some mint and some chives.’

Not Waving: ‘It’s OK, Dad, it’s under control…’

Granny: ‘There’s half a potato in the fridge from last Tuesday night. I’ll scrape the mould off it and you can add it to the salad.’

Not Waving: ‘It’s okay, I’ve got plenty of potatoes.’

Granny: ‘But we CAN’T let this one go to waste.’

Not Waving: ‘It’s not 1944, Mother!’

Grandpa: ‘I’ve got the herbs. If you move aside, I’ll just add the mayonnaise.’

Grandma: ‘Here, John, throw in this rancid green potato, too.’

Not Waving [in the voice of Beelzebub]: ‘LEAVE ME!!!!!!!’ [Outside, the sky darkens. Dogs whimper. Flocks of crows scatter.]

Later, in the living room…

Grandpa: ‘What’s this you’re watching?’

Not Waving: ‘Britain’s Got Talent.’

Grandpa: ‘Jesus Christ! What a load of rubbish!’

Not Waving: ‘I like it, actually.’

Grandpa [muttering]: ‘Oh, for God’s sake. How bloody awful.’

Not Waving Juniors: ‘We like it, too, Grandpa.’

Grandma: ‘There’s an interesting documentary about Tibetan yaks on BBC4. Let’s put that on instead.’

Grandpa: ‘Now that’s more like it!’

Early morning. The children are rampaging…

Not Waving: ‘Calm down, you two, Granny and Grandpa are trying to have a lie-in.’

Mae: ‘I’m going to kick Charlie’s bumhole!’

Charlie: ‘I’m going to do a poo in Mae’s face!’

Mae: ‘I’m going to wee in Charlie’s face!’

Charlie: ‘I will drink your wee and then wee it out again – in Grandpa’s eyes!

Granny and Grandpa: ‘What revolting children.’

Not Waving: ‘I want to go home…’

I do believe I have just redefined the expression ‘too much time on one’s hands’.



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54 responses to “Half-term in Norfolk: a photo-story

    • notwavingbutironing

      Is that country talk, Lou, for ‘what a total bitch you are for slagging off your parents’? God, I am a horrible daughter…

      • Lou

        ……more like me feeling very afraid…. my parents are coming to stay next week for an ‘unspecified’ length of time.. arghhhhh? …. Luckily I have double standards. ….. Please keep dishing the dirt on yours for my delectation…. I LOVE YOU XXXX

  1. You’re showing your moulded nether regions in that final shot….
    On the plus side, all you need to do now is put the montage to music and you’re a cert for the Short Animation BAFTA.

    • notwavingbutironing

      Oops, unwarrented crotch shot – Mattel will probably sue me now for bringing Barbie into disrepute.

  2. Thank you I so needed cheering up and this has done the trick!

  3. Bloody brilliant!! How funny (except the based on a true story part)

  4. Absolutely BRILLIANT! I am crying with laughter! Spot on! (You know you’re wearing no knickers in that last shot don’t you? What WOULD your mother say?)

    • notwavingbutironing

      My mother would probably say, ‘Put your dirty ladyparts away. Dirty, dirty, dirty!!!’
      I’m not screwed up at all by my childhood, honestly.

  5. Oooh I do love a good photo story. Very ‘Jackie.’

    • notwavingbutironing

      I’ll be giving away a free double-sided David Essex/Barry Sheen poster with my next blog post

  6. Debs

    Who’d have thought it? Buzz Lightyear and Cinderella, eh? And as for that brazen knickerless hussy with her arms in the air – well! (lol at “Not 1944”!)

    • notwavingbutironing

      I must say, you are all very eagle-eyed to spot my knicker-free state. Maybe I am wearing flesh-coloured Spanx? (Do they make those for Barbies?)

  7. The rancid potato and recycled wee diet’s going well then? Looking good Barbie!

  8. Very funny. If you’d tried to make potato salad at my mother’s house – the script would be similar except the leftover potato would come from the top of leftover fish pie.

    • notwavingbutironing

      Ooh, double the botulism potential! Still, I bet our mothers never get food poisoning. On holiday I caught my mum cleaning out the inside of the filthy bin with the scrubber that we’d been using to do the washing up. She must have a cast-iron stomach.

  9. rofl. Alas, a little too familiar… 🙂

    The phrase most used as I was growing up: ‘You’re not watching that [American] rubbish are you?’

    Er, actually, yes I was.

    • notwavingbutironing

      My mum told us our telly couldn’t pick up ITV. I only found out recently that she just didn’t want me and my sister to watch it. She was convinced we’d be corrupted by Tiswas.

      • Brilliant. We weren’t allowed Grange Hill, ’cause they never talked proper. Used to turn the sound down during the credits if mum was off in the kitchen.
        Love, love, love your post! My dad’s identical…

      • notwavingbutironing

        My mum wasn’t keen on Grange Hill either. All regional accents are evil! (Ironic, seeing as she was from a cockney family, but learnt to talk proper at grammar school.)

  10. Ohhh I would feel for you if I wasn’t laughing so much! So brave to go commando…

  11. Not Waving, I’m so glad you had such a crap time in Norfolk in order to entertain us. I’ve snorted my tea! Selfish I know (not the tea-snorting you understand) but ……..

  12. If my mother in law were here, she’d be standing over me asking why in god’s name I wasn’t grating fresh Scotch bonnet chillies into the potato salad. And then adding some cayenne, and some hot pepper sauce, because otherwise it wouldn’t taste of anything.

    • notwavingbutironing

      In the words of Robert Palmer, some like it hot… Oh, that’s enough of song-lyric replies, I’m going to come unstuck at some point.

  13. Social_Butterfly

    Well, as a boy, who was Mummys little angel, I had all the mothering and spoiling I needed… alas, now that I have flown the nest, I appear to be incapble of doing anything for myself…

    I successfully made myself and my partner dinner last night for the first time… delighted with myself, I updated BakeBook and instantly got a call from the Mother dearest who only knows what’s going on in my life by stalking my BakeBook as we live so far apart, to make sure said Partner was still okay and not on the floor in writhing agony after eating my food… I felt a little disheartened… they of course found it hilarious!

    Why do parental units feel they are world class geniuses and we are but mere units of entertainment for them to correct?

    Can someone tell me?!

    Hilar as always Not Waving, I need friends like you in my life… I’d love to spend all day making photo stories… my friends are all boring and “mature” now and don’t want to play with Buzz and Cinders anymore! 😦

    SB xx

    • notwavingbutironing

      Come around any time, SB, and bring Action Man! Parents, eh? Mine don’t consider me a ‘proper’ adult because I don’t own a toast rack, or a milk jug.
      By the way, I can’t work out how to leave comments on your blog. I’m possibly being rather thick (I am 41, you know. But with all my own teeth.)x

  14. having just got back from a month spent with my mother I can sympathise greatly.

  15. Michelle

    I love it – do we have the same parents? I fear for my life when something leftover from several days previous appears from my parents fridge!

    • notwavingbutironing

      Do your parents refuse to refrigerate anything that comes in a bottle? ‘Oh, this sauce doesn’t need to go in the fridge. I’ve had it in the cupboard for two years.’ ‘But it says, ‘Refrigerate after opening and use within six weeks.’ ‘Stuff and nonsense. Now pass me that bucket. Heeuurrgggh!’

  16. Who’d have thought a Buzz lookalike would be interested in Tibetan yaks – simply astonishing! By the way you’re looking so much more youthful than last week – whatever cream you’re using has clearly done wonders for that biscuit skin…

    • notwavingbutironing

      I was toying with the idea of sticking the oatcake back on, Mummmeeeee, but seeing as it was such a pfaff last time, and I’ve already becoming known as The Woman With Absolutely Nothing Better To Do, I thought I’d better draw the line somewhere.

  17. No ITV in our house either – thought it was common, as was Brown sauce. When people start referencing TV nostalgia, I am stuck unless it was Jackanory, or Blue Peter. My parents tutted throughout the entire finale of The Office (when Tim kissed Dawn).

    Loved your photostory. Just spot on.

    I got 27 comments on ironing whilst you were away. How I do it and no one else does. Please tell me you iron? Or is your blog name a cruel joke?

    • notwavingbutironing

      So glad other people have TV-snob parents. And hell, yes – I iron! I iron like there’s no tomorrow. I find it strangely soothing, plus it makes me feel like maybe I DO have a purpose in life after all. Are you telling me that some people DON’T SEE THE POINT?

  18. But you have re-defined it brilliantly! And I am very impressed by the cleanliness of your floor. I do hope you only cleaned it for the photo.

    • notwavingbutironing

      Ah, this is my favourite floor in the house (it’s bamboo, y’know) – just get down to floor level, blow, and the dust bunnies go rolling under the furniture.

  19. Utter heaven… have laughed myself sick and now am going back to look at the pictures again… but not in a pervy sort of way. xx

  20. I’m in hysterics over here. Especially over the gratuitous crotch waving. And the playmobile son doing random pushups.

    I am, however, deeply concerned over the casting… Buzz Lightyear as Grandpa? And Cinderella as Granny? Barbie, there are deeper issues here that need addressing…

  21. libby

    Great post. My kids are scared of eating at Grandpa and Grandmas house…out of date food, mouldy cheese, and a quick wipe down with a tea towel instead of washing…..but I lived to tell the tale I guess!

    • notwavingbutironing

      Uncanny! My MIL has ‘Granny’s magic sponge’, which she uses to wipe my children’s mouths – it lives behind her draining board, along with all the dangerous bacteria, and is totally manky.

  22. Lou

    Love your writing style…. I’ve tagged you over at mine.

  23. Why are my weekends in Norfolk not as much fun!!! That was very funny!

    • notwavingbutironing

      Come with us next time, Diney! You will have to sit very quietly and read The Guardian, or maybe you’ll be allowed to do a jigsaw. You’ll have the time of your life!

  24. Hysterical… although I seem to remember feeling a similar way last time I was in Norfolk myself.

    • notwavingbutironing

      Yes, it does kind of mess with your head. It’s pretty, but the flatness of it, oh God, the flatness…

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