I got a strange  WhatsApp message a couple of Saturdays ago from one of my daughters (Miss e-Quip #1) in response to my normal Saturday morning “on my way to Parkrun” message (if I’m going to get up early at the weekend to run around in the wind and rain in my vest & pants then I like to let everyone else in the family know – to shame them out from beneath their duvets). The message said “It’s not about huge Hondas that go rahnd and rahnd“. The reference was immediately obvious, as I pretty much always find myself humming “Park Life” on my way to Parkrun.

Now, not only am I “up with the lark” but I also like to fool myself that I’m “down with the kids” (although the kids that can remember Blur are probably heading for 40 now) and I was surprised that for all these years I had been getting the words so wrong. What I had assumed was “it’s not about you joggers that go rahnd and rahnd” turned out to be about huge Hondas. I suppose I do have form in this area and have come unstuck with pop lyrics in the past. I’m sure we all remember “her ears are alight” by Desmond Dekker back in 1969 and “Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds” by a well-known beat combo.

So I replied, admitting that for years I had been getting the words badly wrong. Then the unexpected happened – all of the other Misses eQuip (#2 – #4) jumped in to my rescue. It wasn’t me who was the nit, it was my firstborn. I believe that the word “chimp” may have even been used in the ensuing discourse and for the first time it wasn’t being directed at me.

Ever since Miss e-Quip #1 burst onto the scene back in 1977 we have been jumping on and off the merry-go-round of mutual embarrassment. When they’re babies they embarrass you by ejecting fluids (and solids) at inappropriate times in inappropriate places. As they get a bit older the pattern continues and one day you find yourself in a queue holding a 3 year-old cutie who asks very loudly why the lady next to you is so smelly. As things progress we get a chance for some payback. As they turn into teenagers the simple act of acknowledging them while they were in the company of their friends is enough to make them explode into a frenzy of blushing. If you remember doing metalwork at school and having to temper a lump of metal  by heating until it was “cherry red” and then quenching it, that would be round about the same colour as an embarrassed teenager.  When they were a bit older #1 & #2 were earning some pocket money daffodil picking and I mistakenly thought that they might want a lift home rather than waiting for the farmer. At the time we had an old black Peugeot 504 7-seater which looked (and handled) not unlike a Hearse with a rather perforated exhaust. I was far more practical in those days and had effected a “temporary” repair which consisted of a beans can wrapped around the exhaust pipe secured with 2 clamps. Obviously the beans had been removed previously but perhaps the result would have been better had I left them in because as I drove up to the field it sounded like the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan. Guess what, a blushing, furious teenager is very easy to spot in a daffodil field!

The fun goes out of the game a bit once they start at university – after that they’ll put up with just about anything just to get access to the cheque book. But it’s nice to know that we’re still on the merry-go-round and this time I was the winner! You’re quite right Sarah –  “It’s not about huge Hondas that go rahnd and rahnd“.