Gotta Get Out The House

Ah… quality time at home with the children.

I’m sorry, what?! There is quality time with the children. And there is time at home with the children. And, for our family, the two are pretty much mutually exclusive. Home is about mess, fights, funny smells, nagging, exasperation, and a lot of arguments involving the word “screen”. The good stuff happens outside the house. IF ONLY WE CAN GET THEM OUT….

Gotta Get Out The House

Gotta get out the house, gotta leave,
My sanity needs some reprieve,
That two little boys,
Could make so much noise –
You’d have to be here to believe!

Before, I’d no concept at all,
Of the phrase “We are climbing the walls” ,
But now it appears,
We are wall mountaineers,
Trying to flee from the mess and the brawls.

We’ve tried castles, museums, a wood,
Hit the park way more times than we should,
Our purses are thickets,
Of passes and tickets,
Cos not being home is soooo good.

Our bank account’s screams are dramatic:
“No more lunch! No more fuel! I can’t hack it!”
“No more bribes!” (Yes – they’re wrong –
But they move things along –
And we call it “being pragmatic”!)

So into the car and away!
The safari park’s waiting today!
To the monkey house! Yes,
It might look quite a mess –
But OUR house will look worse if we stay!


©️Nina Parmenter 2018

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The National Trust

I have a deep affection for the National Trust. With two energetic young boys, the weekend rule in our house is generally “anywhere but at home!” Our National Trust membership allows us to unleash them in some beautiful places, leaving our own house mostly unwrecked (although slightly more full of sticks) for one more precious day.

I think of the National Trust as a slightly eccentric great aunt, prone to lectures on the correct placement of cutlery, but also quite likely to slip me a boiled sweet or a couple of quid. So I hope this particular aunt doesn’t mind a bit of gentle ribbing.


The National Trust

The National Trust, The National Trust,
A mightier thing than all of us,
A fine institution, a positive force,
For a tenner a month, it can all be yours!
So we get in the car and head off for the day,
The brown signs of worthiness show us the way,
We head for the house – but I’ve got quite a thirst –

“Can we not go to the tearoom first?”

No – onwards! Past tapestries, teasets, a Titian,
A slightly tedious exhibition,
Cabinets, carpets and candelabras,
And a lovely lady, name of Barbara,
(A volunteer, reduced to tears,
By standing in one room for years)
She points at a pot! We all say “wow!

But can we go to the tearoom now?”

There are grounds all around, where there’s joy to be found,
In glorious nature, its sights and its sounds,
There are log piles to climb, and rope swings to hold on,
(It’s just like the park, only ten times more wholesome),
Rose gardens, rockeries, rippling rivers,
A small hairy man with his arrows and quiver,
Who gives us a go on his medieval bow –

But NOW is it time for the tearoom though?

Wait! Listen! YES! the clock strikes three,
The footsteps thunder – time for tea!
And mums, kids and grannies, all manners at bay,
Stampede for a spot in the Courtyard Café,
To toss back some tea, and scoff down some scones,
And snap up the shortbread before its all gone –
But where do we go once we’ve stuffed it all in?

LOOK! A shop full of chutney and artisan gin.

The National Trust, The National Trust,
A mightier thing than all of us,
A fine institution, a positive force,

For a tenner a month, this can all be yours.


©️ Nina Parmenter 2017

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