Tag Archives: serbian

Johnny Foreigner innit.

8 Jan

I was THAT kid,  you know that funny kid that was a bit “different”. I was that kid in the school photograph that had a jumper on underneath a summer dress( even though it was June). I’m not sure what it is about foreigners, but they seem to think that England is somewhere in Antarctica and dress their kids accordingly. This means wearing layers of clothing in the height of summer. It’ll stop you catching a cold you know…Draughts make you die, wet hair gives you pneumonia, watching Coronation Street means you’re a bit rough and don’t bother coming home if you’ve scored anything less than an A. This last statement was usually accompanied by a full on description of how when my mum was a kid she had to walk home from school barefoot etc etc. The other things that made me stick out like a sore thumb at school were the foreign name (maiden name and not the nice plain Ward I have today) and the fact that I was the owner of a rather exotic lunch box. No kit kats and ham sandwiches for me. Oh no, I was sent off with chicken sandwiches on brown and avocado pear salad. This was 1980, way before the organic revolution a la Jamie Oliver that is the norm today. Funny how things come full circle.

Anyway, the reason for my walk down memory lane is this weekend was Serbian Christmas. Serbian Christmas takes place on January 7th and means a lovely long drive up North. The lovely long drive up North means piling two kids and husband plus a myriad of belongings into the car for approximately four ish hours traffic depending. This is the first time we’ve done this drive with two kids and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a ball ache. Two things I discovered, playing the Rastamouse theme tune on a loop and McDonalds chips are like opium to a two year old. Winner.  

I’d promised my Mother the whole family would go to the Christmas Eve service at the Serbian church – Trust me, this escapade is less about God and more about showing off the Grandchildren. It’s basically an hour of everyone parading their kids and Grandkids around whilst bragging about their various achievements. An arena of one-upmanship if you like. The bad thing about a Serb church is that there are no seats. Yes, that’s right folks you have to stand through an hour of caterwauling and incense. The good thing about a Serb church though is.. it has a church hall with a bar – Yes, a bar no less A frikking bar attached to a church. You can get  your dose of God and then go and get pissed. Let’s be honest though, you’re not going to get a bunch of Serbs anywhere without the promise of a glass of slivovitz (plum brandy) afterwards.

So, after the service, we all troop off to the hall. I troop off to the bar and get a round of drinks in, snacks for the kids and start merrily gassing away to folks I see once a year. I also do a bloody good job of avoiding eye contact with whiskery faced old bags I don’t want to kiss…Anyway, just as  I’m mid flow I hear a cry of “choking, quick CHOKING” and turn around to find that my eldest has gone a funny shade of red … Yup, my kid was choking on the bag of Seabrook I had purchased for him five minutes earlier. This was quite simply due to the fact that being a total gannet like his Mother he had crunched them up into a huge mulch that had now wedged solid into his throat. Me, possessing a calm head in a crisis chucked him over my arm and administered a few hard whacks to his back. The whole lot eventually came up. Thank Christ for first aid training …My Mother on the other hand was a complete waste of space. Think chocolate teapot and you have the right idea. I swear she had already written a eulogy in her head. USELESS in a crisis that one. Anyway, panic over, child placated with a juice and me, safe in the knowledge that once again I have been proved right : Religion (like politics) is bad for your bloody health.


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