Airplane in the Sitting Room

Airplane HouseI was telling a school gate Mum our tale of a Sunday evening of late and she told me I should blog. I’m a mother of 5 boys, a sociologist (resting), a short story writer (active-ish) and there’s a feeling that things just need to be shared.

I was doing myself a favour, stacking the bread 10 high on that Sunday night, to save me from cursing myself on the Monday morning for not making the sandwiches the night before. Marque 4 appeared around the door and told me to come quick, there was an airplane in our sitting room. Eager to deliver the message he had skipped the word ‘sound’.  There was indeed the terrifying sound of the roar of an airplane in our sitting room. We parents glanced at one another, mimed in unison ‘chimney’ and he scarpered out front to witness the fire work display courtesy of our house. I threw saucepans of water into the grate, but the roar continued and a volcanic like substance poured from the breast onto the hearth. We glanced again, us responsible parents, and mimed in unison ‘fire brigade’. We were told over the phone to evacuate the premises. Marque 1 grabbed prized possessions, guitar, photo album, lap top. The others screeched that they didn’t know what to grab. Just yourselves, just yourselves I heard an unrecognisably calm soothing mother tell her brood. But what if the house explodes Marque 5 asked.  Into the car, don’t worry, we’ll be back in in no time. They were semi-clad, getting into PJs when the airplane came, so I hoped I was right.

Chimney FireThe fire brigade was there in seconds. There was fever pitch excitement in the car witnessing the flashing lights and hoses at OUR house. IMAGINE. The neighbours poured out to offer refuge. One poor elderly neighbour was tearful. I’m sorry that this has happened to you he said, damp eyed, having to look away from me and my refugees. No I’m sorry for upsetting you I said in my head. It was on my to do list for months, the old chimney sweeping thing. Marque 4 had been given the task of chief reminder. Remind he did. Mother of 5 was remiss, again.

The fire men were lovely. They did not mention chimney sweeping. They told us that logs which we use can be damp and throw gloop up which sticks and catches fire. They’re seeing a lot of this. No aspersions cast at this mother this time by the kind dutiful men. Phew. We got back in and I stuck ham in those 10 slices.

I told my school gate Mum friend that I thoroughly recommend a Sunday night like that. We’re about creating memories after all.

Ellen Kelly

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