You know how some children look just like their parents and you can tell at a glance that they are related?
None of mine are anything like that.
I guess we must share some features but in a crowded room I don't think you'd put us together. The only characteristic I know I've passed on to my children is my height.
But, in some respects Miss Mac and I aren't so different.
From the tender age of three when, 30 seconds after arriving at a party, she ran headlong into the stage requiring her head to be glued back together, those damned 'things' have been happening to her too!
Last night we popped out to the farm to pick the rest of the plums. The ones on the top most branches of the ancient, fragile tree, the branches that trail over the roof of the barn making them almost inaccessible.
Personally I'd have been tempted to leave them to the birds and the wasps but SD likes to do a job properly.
It started well with SD at the top of the ladder alternately shouting to Miss Mac and I to catch his plums (fortunately I was the only one who appeared to see the humour in this and I managed to keep it to myself). I now have some incling what its like being in the stocks. With the sun above us it was almost impossible to see those bloody purple missiles as they hurtled towards you and Miss Mac and I had our fair share of hits and missed catches which mean rummaging about in the undergrowth for errant fruit.
Inevitably Miss Mac was stung on the hand by stinging nettles and inexplicably ran away clutching her bum when I grabbed a bunch of dock leaves to rub them with - no idea WHAT that was all about ...
Once SD had stripped the branches he could reach from the top of the ladder he carefully climbed on to the roof of the barn, and, using the long handled loppers cut some smaller branches and swang them over the roof so they fell towards us.
Several of the heaviest laden branches were on the far side of the barn overhanging the field behind. SD climbed to the top of the roof and swang his leg over so he was perched on the ridge (which I'm fairly sure must have made him very well aware of his own plums!). Miss Mac and I climbed the fence into the field where he continued to bombard us.
Miss Mac was a little perturbed by the quantity of cow shit we had to negotiate as we continued to dodge and catch plums in equal measure and point blank refused to pick any up that dropped to the ground incase they had landed in any.
She was reaaly good at directing SD to the plums he couldn't see though. 'Just lean out a bit further, brace yourself against that branch and slide down the root a bit' she suggested.
SD was by now doing a very good impression of someone doing the splits with one foot hooked over the ridge and the rest of him slowly sliding towards me.
I was just debating whether to try catching him if he fell or if I should clear a space and try and weave a tarpaulin from leaves and shit to break his fall when I noticed the wasps.
Little fuckers are supposed to be all tucked up in their nests by that time in the evening and yet half a dozen were buzzing around my ankles.
I dropped my plums and took off without a word across the field.
'WTF are you DOING Sarah' - its a question that, as you know, I'm fairly familiar with ...
'Wasps' I shouted - 'hundreds of the bastards attacking me' - I may be slightly prone to exaggeration ...
Miss Mac stood apparently rooted to the spot. 'Move' I told her, they'll be coming for you next!'
'Ummm, I'm not too worried about the wasps' she said 'but that bull behind you looks really pissed off'.
Can you belive that SD FORGOT there was a bloody bull in the field when he sent us in there?
Luckily the bull was more interested than pissed off and Miss Mac and I made our escape.
On the other side of the barn Miss Mac held the ladder as SD clambered down having first passed her the loppers to hold.
Once he was safely on the ground she began setting about chopping down everything in site because it was 'fun'.
SD spends much of his time at work channeling negative energy into positive actions - I actually suspect he gets much of his inspiration from spending time with me ;-) and suggested that she cut down the large patch of nettles and brambles by the fence.
Leaving her to it SD and I sorted through the plums discarding any damaged ones.
'Some of these are really thick and hard to cut through' said Miss Mac 'look, these are really woody but I've cleared it'.
SD was rendered speechless (see, Miss Mac and I DO share some talents) as he silently looked from the pile of nettles to the neat pile bamboo fencing posts Miss Mac had hacked to the ground and then to the now sagging fence.
Fortunately one thing SD shares with me is a sense of humour and, as he pointed out, there is absolutely NO doubt whatsoever that she is indeed my daughter.