Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Amanda's (not) Got Talent

I believe we’re all born with a talent of some sort - whether it’s singing, creating a perfect home, being able to play the spoons or simply making people feel happy.

When my son was little, his best friend used to be so envious of him because he could read on long car journeys and never feel sick.  “That’s your gift”, he used to tell him.

Well I certainly hope he ends up with a few more skills than that under his belt, because it probably won’t be enough to bag him a rich wife.  Also, an awful lot of money will have been wasted on his education if the only thing he can put on his CV is, ‘Can read on a drive from Land’s End to John O’Groats without puking’.

On the more serious side, my son’s other skills include being a computer whizz-kid, playing the piano beautifully and having an incredibly sharp sense of humour.  (And of course being a great son who gives the best back massages ever!)

My husband has endless talents.  It’s almost as if he can turn his hand to anything. He has the patience of a saint (which obviously helps) and an analytical brain that won’t be beaten.  In the past he has; coloured my hair, tailored a dress (by hand) to fit me to perfection, and fixed jewellery I’d believed to be beyond repair.  On the more macho side, he tackles all manner of DIY stuff - from plumbing to electrical, building to decorating.  I don’t think there’s a challenge you could throw at him that he’d turn down.

So what about my talents?  I’m quite crafty - I love to knit, sew, make cards etc.  I enjoy entertaining and take great pride in my table settings or, as a close friend always tells me, I ‘Give good table’!  I used to act, sing and dance but I tend to save most of that for parties now - you can take the girl out of the theatre but you can’t take the theatre out of the middle aged mother.

Aside from that, there are things I’m either very good or very bad at, depending on the day I decide to give them a go.  Activities which, when the talent Gods are smiling down on me, go swimmingly.  But when the Devils of Disaster are out, I’m a complete klutz.

POKER - I live in a house of trouser-wearers so poker is a bit of an addiction.  We often have card nights with our son’s piano teacher and various friends.  Sometimes I seem to have the clear-sighted vision of a pro and I know exactly what I’m doing with every flop and raise.  I’m ‘Cool Hand Luke’ and I can sweep the board, gathering other players’ chips without a care in the world.  Then there are the nights when my ‘number problem’ comes into play.  As you know, I can do words but I have an issue with numbers.  What comes after six?  Have I really got a straight?  How much is a green chip worth?  As for side bets, forget it!

BOWLING - With a fifteen year old son, this activity featured quite regularly in his growing years.  Kids love the sport for parties and many a rainy Saturday has been spent chucking balls down the lanes.  I know, within my first throw, if it’s a good day.  Maybe it becomes self-perpetuating and I chuck in the towel too early.  Who knows?  But if that first ball isn’t a strike, it’s curtains for me.

MAKING CAKES/BREAD - I’ve churned out some beauties.  Sometimes I can be a proper Nigella and friends and family love my baking.  Then there have been the occasions when even the birds have turned up their beaks at the paltry (in fact, dangerous) offerings in my garden.  I always blame the oven and never my technique.

SWIMMING - I know I can do it but sometimes my brain forgets to tell my body.  I’ve never been a water baby, snorkelling and diving, but I can normally get by in the ‘bobbing along nicely’ stakes.  On a bad day, I look like I’ve been chucked in and am most definitely drowning, not waving.  I’m most comfortable in my bath.

DANCING - Do you ever get those nights when you feel the beat?  Or rather … the beat feels you?  You’re working together in perfect harmony and you can’t put a foot wrong.  You could dance all night and know you don’t look like a plonker.  Then there are the ‘lead legs’ nights.  There’s no point in trying to fight it because anything you try will lead to further embarrassment.  On these nights, I feel it’s best to sit down, have another drink and watch others doing jazz hands and high kicks because I know the ‘Rhythm aint gonna get me’.

So these are my talents, which occasionally desert me.  Please feel free to share your own with me - don’t be shy, what can you do some days but can’t do others?

The people in my book “Diary of a Mummy Misfit” aren’t perfect either!  You can buy at the Amazon store for Kindle or PC - free download to read on computer or Smartphone.  Check out my reviews.

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  1. Some days I can manage to cook dinner and not break anything! I need to work on that talent.

    Yesterday, it was a whole bottle of red wine. It was easy enough to see the glass being green in amongst the sea of red wine that was threatening to stain my floor, the fridge door, and living room door.

    I too, used to love to craft, knit, sew, cross-stitch, but with a busy family of 3, those hobbies will have to wait again until they are older.


  2. I'm with you on the swimming thing. I learnt at a late age (38) when living in Tenerife and my extremely patient hubby somehow managed to teach me withoutjust throwing me into the pool head first, because I would have done if I'd been teaching me! I CAN do it, but I just don't seem to manage it much without sinking like a sack of spuds!
    I have an extremely consistent talent of breaking plates though - hubby tells me it's the Greek half of me coming out but I know it's just because I'm incredibly clumsy!
    Great post!

  3. Well, I thought I knew how to swim but it seems after a couple tries at it, i forgot. I thought I was pretty articulate but after 3 years of working with students with special needs, who were nonverbal, I became a extremely impatient with people who spoke too slowly when I stepped outside of the classroom.