Family: Mum’s the Word

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Youngest has to settle for a festival of football

Youngest Child was due a treat after working hard for exams so I splashed out on tickets to TRNSMT in Glasgow to see Arctic Monkeys, the only downside being that I was going too – hey it was her first big festival, and anyway I fancied a Monkeys/Blossoms/Interpol/KingTut’s upandcoming day out, but it wasn’t to be. She’s too ill.

“I can’t go,” she says, sadly. “Wouldn’t be able to stand.”

“Next time they tour, I’ll get tickets,” I promise.


She’s floored, two weeks of temperatures and sleep, but at last there are small signs of recovery. She’s painted her nails, lilac, to match the bracelet Eldest and (more likely) his girlfriend have bought her to say thanks for their windfall festival tickets. I notice as she lies next to me while I work on my laptop, occasionally showing me pictures on her phone.

“That’s a lovely dog yes,” I say, “OMG are they your school friends in Maga, no way, what are they wearing/drinking?” I say.

“No Mother, it’s Instagram. Not every picture on Instagram is of my friends, it’s the WHOLE WORLD,” she says. Good, her disdain function seem to be improving.

“Never mind, there’s the footy to watch and it’s hotting up,” I say.

“You watching today?” I ask a passing Middle. “Yeah! But with the sound turned down. Don’t want to hear about Harry Kane’s chin when I’m watching Denmark against France, or whoever.” He mimics the pundits. “‘He’s got a good strong chin, great jaw… what a player’, he’s not even on the pitch!”

“Well, England’s a good side and a lot of our family is English and…”

“It’s not THAT England, it’s commentator England…” he says.

“Why don’t you all support Uruguay like I always do, then?” I say. “Great defence, double strikers that drop back, small country like Scotland, nice strip. And your great-grandfather was in Montevideo when…”

“OK,” says Youngest.

Aw. Immediate submission, not even a ‘nobody cares, Mother’.

“Can we have a lift to the station please, for the er… festival?” says Eldest, arm on the door.

“OK. Your tattoo! That sun. It’s on the Uruguayan flag,” I say.

“‘Ken,” he says.

“It’s a sign,” I say.

“Yes, Mother,” says Youngest, quietly agreeing. There’s still a way to go.