Monkey & The Brain

A blog about married life



Being a Nottingham lass, Brian Clough is high on my hero list. Brian Clough, and Robin Hood. Who 100% was real. No-one fight me on this, I will keep going until I win. Today marks the anniversary of Cloughie passing away, which gives me an excuse to bring him up in conversation which, let’s be honest, I do often anyway. His face is on a coaster on my desk, pointed to look at my desk fellow Sam, who supports Derby County, a rival team to my beloved Nottingham Forest, who Bri left for us, before turning us into the absolute champions we already knew we were.

On our first date, over gin in a pop up bar on the Southbank, D asked me who he might know from Nottingham, fame wise. And when I said ‘Brian Clough,’ he gave a knowing nod, said ‘oh yeah, I know Brian Clough,’ and then, in an ice breaking moment that turned our date from a bit nervy to completely relaxed, ‘what band was he in again?’

Oh dear, oh dear. Never before have I had the opportunity to educate a man on football. I loved it.

The rest of our first date wasn’t football manager related, but the above was a nice segue way into briefly recounting it. It was a weeknight, in a heat wave. I wore a black dress, red shoes and a denim jacket, and we met in Waterloo station outside Pret. Being a northern boy fresh off the boat, D’s original direction was very vague – ‘meet me in Waterloo,’ he said, discounting the size of the place, which meant it took us forever to find one another. But we got there, eventually, and when we did, the evening went as follows: went to a mini food festival outside Waterloo, drank wine. Went for a walk along the Southbank, shouted ‘play Star Wars’ at a man playing bagpipes beneath the boardwalk, repeated it several times as he yelled ‘Spanish?’ back at us – D’s accent was rather thick. Gave up, continued our walk. Had a browse of Udderbelly fest. Had a kiss on the pier. ‘You need a bit of northern in you,’ he said to me, before blushing at his error – apparently he’d meant to say ‘in your life.’ Went on the London Eye. Went to Pizza Express. He told me he wanted 5 kids. I gulped. He insisted he take me home, I fell to sleep on him on the tube. We kissed goodnight. Fin.

Three years later, that hapless northern man shouting Star Wars at strangers is my husband. And my Brian Clough coaster reminds me of home – in where I’m from, and who I’m with

RIP Cloughie, you’ll always loom large in our lives x

P.S. Sam sent me this sound bite, telling a funny story about Brian Clough. Worth a listen

Sunflower Sunday

D fit blinds in our windows this weekend, a task we've been putting off since we moved in. And what a difference it made - the place feels so much more of a home. In celebration, we put sunflowers on the sills, and invited his whole family over for dinner. I made a tikka masala from scratch, and our funny little niece (who is posh enough to have named her wedding favour, a unicorn, 'Darling,' who likes to tell us that her favourite colour is brown, and who refuses to wear clothes that have the tags attached) made MMMMMMM noises all the way through eating it. Which is how I knew I'd done well. We chatted and ate apple pie and played with the dogs, and it was not far short of a perfect family gathering. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday - I hope yours was as good as ours

(And that your sunflowers are just as sunny🌻🌻🌻)

'You're Dead Broody You Are...'

... Said a friend at work on Friday, because I was monitoring the growth of an avocado plant. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but women do not birth avo's, so the link is kinda lost on me, ALEX, MIND YOUR OWN. (I mean, she's not wrong, but still, can't a girl coo at a plant anymore without scrutiny? Heavens above)

Anyway, I have mentioned this avocado before, and I felt compelled to share an update, because everyone at work keeps being all 'LOL it's not even growing,' and despite it not even being mine, I feel very protective of this little guy (aptly named Guac A Mole) because yes, I have watched him develop right from being a conker floating in water speared with paperclips, and yes I have seen many a quizzical glance thrown his way ('they mean well, they just don't understand,' says his father, Sam) and yes, I have watched with open curiosity as Sam monitors his daily progress, which means that yes, I can report that, ACTUALLY, there has been undeniable growth, you ignorant swines, he's doing VERY WELL if you must know, and it's VERY DAMAGING to his self esteem to say otherwise.

Broody, I am. Guac A Mole defender, I shall be.

... Maybe it's time to talk babies.

L xxx
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