Wednesday, 28 September 2011


A section of one of Pete Frame's Rock Family Trees
You know those Pete Frame Rock Family Trees? The exquisitely-drawn, maze-like diagrams of band members and how they interlace with other groups, branching out at every turn?

My daughter's Imaginary Friend Family Tree would look like one of those, only messier, and with more crossings out.  Her imaginary friends change from siblings to pals and back again to siblings from one day to the next. And I'm never sure of exactly their relationship with my daughter, or with eachother.  Sometimes they disappear for a year or two, then return. Where have they been? Hibernating like the Blue Peter tortoise? Actually, that's an accurate analogy, because sometimes they don't come back at all, and we all know of few of Janet Ellis and Simon Groom's little shelled friends never made it out of the cardboard box come springtime.

I think my favourites of her non-corporeal buddies were her two imaginary brothers. I asked her what they were called (she obviously hadn’t thought of naming them at this point, so she considered my question for what seemed like an age, then said, tentatively: “One’s called...well...” A light bulb appeared above her head. “One’s called Well!”
“And the other?” I asked. 
“Um...well now....” 
I guessed what was coming before she said it, a look of triumph on her face.  
“The other’s called Well Now!”

I don’t really want to go into the five imaginary “other dads” she made up for a short period of time. Mainly because I was a little concerned about some of the looks I was getting from her teachers when I dropped her into school. Quite what they thought about her home life and my sexual morals, I’m not sure, but I don’t think it was good.

Mind you, Other Dad No. 4, a motorcycle-riding jet pilot who was going to take her travelling across Africa, did sound rather nice.

Video is Berlin - Take My Breath Away, from Top Gun. I would like to point out that I in no way want to go riding off on a motorcycle with Tom Cruise. He might take me to see his lizard overlords. I was always more of a Goose girl than a Maverick, anyway.

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