Monthly Archives: August 2011


This Thursday the GCSE results came out and amid the usual furore of news headlines, analysis and debate about the state of the nation’s education system, DS opened the brown envelope we had been waiting all day to open and I held my breath for longer than I am accustomed to. The news was good. Phew. He has done well and I am happy and relieved, particularly with his B in maths thanks to – I am a proud mummy on all counts. So when he asked if ‘ a few ‘ of his mates could come round for pre-Motion ( pronounced Moshun? as if it were a question if you are a Bristol teenager ) drinks then I could hardly say no. How many I enquired? ‘ Oh, just the usual, you know, J, J, K, you know ‘. I don’t in fact know how many ultimately turned up as I lost count of the loud, ebullient youths going in and out the front door as they arrived, departed to get beer, returned, took over the kitchen, lounge, bedrooms and bathroom with their newly large man bodies, but what was probably no more than 12 seemed like 50. They’re so BIG. ‘ Is it ok if H stays tonight? ‘ asked DS. ‘ Just H? ‘ ‘ Well maybe J as well, but that’s it ‘.

The GCSE celebrants left in taxis about 9.30 and I began Operation Clear-up which lasted about the same time as the visit, ie. 2 hours, opening windows to get rid of the particular and clingy smell that is the combination of testosterone, beer and deodorant, before finally falling into bed shortly before midnight. Only to be woken at 2am by a collection of voices and laughter and tugging sounds at the back door. I stomped downstairs and let in what seemed like about 20 boys but was in fact upon a head count 7, drunk but all capable of speech, normal movement and good manners and no one looking like they might be sick. So I set about finding sleeping space and bedding for them as they moved from room to room deciding who was sleeping where and with whom, climbing in and out of the various bedding options on offer like large, tipsy puppies, their loud young men voices filling the air with the same jokes and insults about each other’s physical attributes and sexual orientation they have been making for the past 5 years. They were still jubilant, but tired and so asleep within the hour, not a problem if you are a 16 year old facing a long lie-in. I on the other am some considerable distance from my youth and not so blessed. At work by 9, I spent the day drinking strong coffee and avoiding looking in any mirrors in case I caught sight of the bags under my eyes.  And of course telling everyone I spoke to how proud I am of my son and his GCSE results.


Sunday, I’m In the car with my son on the way to the tip – 10 more bags of garden rubbish, another back breaking but eminently satisfying afternoon in the garden watched calmly by two stretched out cats and a sleepy dog – and he’s on the phone. ‘ Hey, you’re fraping me, I know you’re fraping me, get off now I’m coming round! ‘. Turns out Fraping means facebook raping, ie. he has left his facebook open at his friend’s house and K is now happily updating DS’s status with a series of what I imagine are typically incriminating and disgusting messages. Teenage boys are many things good and bad, and one of those things is definitely disgusting, a conclusion arrived at after years of close proximity with said creatures and recently captured so well by telly drama, The Inbetweeners. I watched both series with my son, avoiding any eye contact during scenes of a sexual nature, in particular those involving frantic teenage masturbation and we both laughed a lot. They really got it right, the awkwardness, cruelty and pain of adolescence mixed in with some truly, stomach churningly disgusting behaviour and the odd dollop of sweetness.

In case you didn’t know The Inbetweeners movie has just come out and both my teens and most of their mates have already been to see it – unlike my good self who is reluctant to drop 20 quid plus in Vue on nearly 2 hours of four drunk 18 year old lads on holiday in Malia even if it is funny – and it’s a hit. When DS and his mates returned from watching it he said ‘ It’s so funny, seriously funny. ..but I couldn’t watch it with you…’ Why not?  I enquired, we had after all watched 2 series together. ‘ Oh you know, it would just be really embarrassing being at the cinema with your mum watching it…’ ‘ Because of all the w…ing and stuff you mean? ‘, asked his friend J – nervous laughter and much looking at feet from everyone present apart from me. ‘ I don’t need to see it ‘ I say, “ I can just watch you lot. Well, some bits, others I hope I never see. Goodnight, be quiet and don’t make a mess ‘, and I leave my own gang of Inbetweeners to it.

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