Thursday, 22 August 2013

Puppy Love

A friend asked me earlier this week, in response to hearing about yet another piece of devastating family news, how I manage to keep going. I told her I think it's because I've gone just a little bit mad, controllably so, but a bit crazy all the same. I now see that the final straw hadn't quite been placed at the top of my pile. Today that last straw has well and truly arrived, and I'm overwhelmed with sadness, disappointment, anger, despair and what on earth are you supposed to do with all that negativity and overwhelmedness? Is there even such as word as overwhelmedness? 

Other conversations I've had recently I've found myself telling people how, on the days when I write blog posts, even when I'm feeling a bit low, that somehow sometimes the humour just creeps onto the page all by itself and even cheers me up. I'm so deeply embedded in a pit of hopelessness this evening that it feels like the boot is on the other foot, as if the universe is having a fabulously long and loud laugh at my expense. 

Some good things have happened recently, but when you're flattened under the sheer weight of too many straws it even manages to rub the shine off the nice bits of life. 

Toby is home, getting fitter and stronger by the day, and so bursting with happiness and life and laughter that he really is just a delightful joy to be with. Last week, he and I had a joint party, my birthday, his welcome home party. Debbie, a lovely friend, even made us each an absolutely delicious cake, so we were able to blow our candles out in tandem. I got some wonderful presents and so did Toby, but I think one of my presents topped anything anyone could ever buy him. It was the present I've been wanting for over 40 years, and had given up hope of ever getting it. Some of my friends are amazing, and go to all sorts of lengths to achieve the impossible. It was, you'll never believe it, it actually was, a signed "To Yvonne,Get Well Soon" framed photo of Donny Osmond with his sister Marie! Wow wow and double wow, now how cool is that? 

Forty years ago, he was the man I was going to marry and have all his babies. Yes I know that virtually the entire female population of the western hemisphere thought that too, but you see, I really knew it. One cold, dark evening in December, my mum and dad took me and a friend up to London to see the Oxford Street Christmas lights, something we did every year. It was a particular ritual that I used to make my Dad drive through Piccadilly Circus several times over whenever it was Christmas Light Night. I only discovered recently that he lied to me, and that it isn't against the law to drive through Piccadilly Circus more than three times in any one night, and if a policeman sees our car again we won't all go to prison. 

Anyhow, this particular night, we'd driven the whole length of Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street, countless other streets and done Piccadilly Circus to see its enormous Coca Cola moving neon advert the regulatory three times, when we got stuck in a traffic jam. 

You need to know that in those days, my parents had a two-door car, so there weren't any passenger doors for the exclusive use of those of us on the back seat. 

The traffic seemed to have come to a complete standstill, and then we could hear singing in the distance. Mum opened her window, and clear as day we could hear what they were singing. "We love you Donny, oh yes we do.......". The penny dropped, the lightbulb "OMG" moment occurred, and before my parents could do anything to stop it happening, my friend and I wound down our windows, shimmied out of the car, and legged it the 100 yards or so to the Dorchester Hotel, where the Osmond brothers were staying. It was brilliant. One of those magic nights that will stay with me forever. I was part of a huge group of several hundred other young girls belting out undying love songs on Park Lane. The best bit was the total sense of freedom, I knew darned well my poor parents would take ages to get out of the traffic jam and find somewhere to park and then to find me in this huge crowd. 

Suddenly a couple of black limos came from nowhere. As one, my crowd of girls ran towards the cars and threw ourselves at them. My face was pushed right against the glass, and peering straight into my eyes from the other side was Donny himself. Unbelieveable. I managed to hang on to the that window all the way down the road, around the corner and halfway down the slope to the underground car park. Donny was still looking straight at me. I knew, in my thirteen year old heart, that he was totally smitten and crazily in love too. That's why I knew it was me he was going to save himself for. I'm sure he waited years and years for me before marrying the lovely Debbie (not the same lovely Debbie who bakes cakes) but unfortunately my parents had me firmly locked in a turret for the next several years lest I ever do anything so ridiculous ever again. 

Just as the barrier to the car park went up, some rather mean-spirited security guards turned the hoses on us, really powerful, freezing cold ones, and I was nearly half drowned as Donny and I were forced apart. I'm sure he was as heartbroken as I was. Don't the people at the Dorchester Hotel know anything about true love? 

My parents were not best pleased to have 2 soaking wet and shivering drowned rats in the back of the car, and they were really cross all the way home but I don't really think I even noticed, and I don't think I even cared if they threatened to ground me until I was 47. 

So, now I've finally got Donny at home with me, just where he's always belonged, taking pride of place on the mantlepiece. Although if WM turns the photo to the wall even one more time he may find himself double dumped for real. 

Actually no. I could never dump WM. Donny's a mormon so I'm sure he can share me. WM is probably the best thing that's ever happened to me, and if my friend was to ask again how I keep going, the honest answer is, it's WM who manages that one. 

And here it is, my Donny photo. Actually, "Get well soon" is his secret code for "I still love you after all those years and I'm totally yours". He can also spell "Yvonne" correctly - see, it's meant to be. 


  1. Brilliant, Yvonne! I love this!
    I never got as close to Donny Osmond in real life as you did (as in your face smooshed into his limo window)...but I did idolise him and David Cassidy on my pop star 'alter'...I'd swing open the two hinged doors of my wardrobe, and my 'Pop Gods' Donny and David, would be smiling at me from their posters I'd taped to the doors!
    Wonderful to hear that Toby's recovery is nothing short of a miracle!

    Love to you all,
    Sharon, Ottawa, Canada xox

  2. Thanks Sharon, I once loved David Cassidy too but then I found ever truer love with Donny, and the rest, as they say, is history xx

  3. Hating, hating, hating that another straw's landed on you.
    I'm thinking that actually days, moments, weeks of despair are ok too. I have a friend who would explain that duvet days and sadness are coping strategies in their own rights.
    I'm so happy for you that you have WM, and that you have Donny xxx
    Love you,

    1. Thank you, Benedicte. It was too enormous straws this week, both of which have had great fun playing havoc with my sanity and equilibrium. Then again, who really needs sanity or equilibrium when you have Donny and WM instead?! xxxx

  4. Well, I don't have long hair, and little Donny isn't a Scouser. I love you already. I'd also love for you to write a book.

    I will call you next week, fantabulous Yvonne (you do know me already, by the way).

    A hug for you


    1. Oooh you've got me intrigued now - who are you?! Spooky too because you're the second person today who has suggested I write a book - when the straws stop falling I might get around to it, but what should it be about? xxx

  5. Yvonne I'm Nat from CaF. Trying to DM on Twatter but it won't let me. If not before, I will call you Tuesday. Love xxx

    1. Lovely to be in, Nathalie, catch up next week if not before xxx

    2. PS my dad ran a B&B a block away - we could hear the screaming girls all day for days. Speak to you Tuesday, loverly. Nat xxx

    3. That's amazing that I actually know someone who heard my screaming and singing! I was only there for an hour or so though. What was astonishing, looking back, was how young all the girls were, at 13 I was one of the oldest. Whatever stories had those girls told their parents about where they were going..... ! Speak properly tomorrow xxx

  6. Yvonne , write the book! Please left me have the first one ! Hey you never know it may bring you closer to Donny when he hears the stories and will want to meet you in person after your struggles. Look at Subo who sang at his concert last visit
    The guy Steve, Sherees cousin , who got you the photo had just lost his dad which is sad.
    Making your cakes was a pleasure. It was great being at the party to celebrate Tobys welcome home and your birthday. Keep strong my friend....find just a bit more strength have a book to write!! Love you Xx from Debbie

  7. Debbie, my lovely, so good to see you all at the party. So sorry to hear about Steve's dad. The cakes were amazing thank you. Which bits of my car crash life would you like to see in the book?! Pop over soon! xxxx