Posted by: Vicky V | April 13, 2009

Meet my family

My family like to weigh and measure. In their opinion, there is nothing like a good, calibrated instrument (scales, abacus, speedometer) to help ascertain how much thinner / wealthier / speedier they are than everyone else. In particular, their dreary neighbours, The Munroes. Dad has been known to sneak into The Munroes’ garage at the dead of night to measure the mudguard of their new 4 x 4 just to check it’s smaller than this own (only that time Mrs Munroe caught him and thought he was stuffing the exhaust pipe in a bid to take his life.)

Father: Don

Lives: Outskirts of Milton Keynes (furthest bit from those speed sapping roundabouts). Several acres including a small wood for chopping stuff

Age: 55. Preparing for 60 by spending increasing amounts of time in his small wood

Profession: Runs his own successful accountancy firm with employees who start to look like vampires within three weeks of working for him

Defining trait: Barely suppressed rage

Most likely to say: “I am in my cups. Thirty three fluid ounces to be precise. Your mother’s got the Munroes coming to lunch you see.”

Mother: Sandra

Lives: In a state of delusion. Also, with my father. Commonly found in the hot tub chatting to Mrs Munroe or the garden gnome (depending on how much gin and slimline she’s knocked back)

Age: 57

Profession: The face and secretary of Dad’s accountancy firm. In that order

Defining trait: Helmet head (large and lacquered hairstyle maintained using petty cash)

Most likely to say: “I’ll have ten beans, three carrots and one up on you in an argument” or “I still fit into my old games skirt and your father doesn’t notice. Pass the gin”

Brother: Spike

Lives: In a luxury apartment on the Thames with an underground car park he uses to practice hand-break turns

Age: 30

Profession: B(w)anker (I am not on the credit crunch bandwagon here, it is merely an efficient way of expressing what he does and who he is)

Defining trait: Chicks and horse power

Most likely to say: “Yard of ale, squire” or “Money sticks” (oh, shut up) and “Gotta spend it to mend it, sister” (in reference to current economic crisis)

Growing up in a house accustomed to measuring everything it’s unsurprising that I’ve been warped by my family’s behaviour. If you’d been dropped off at the school gates two hours before lessons started just to show the lollypop man how serious you were about your studies, you’d have become a bit weird too.

But unlike Spike I’m not just a clone of my parents. I also like things that they think are too “flim flam”, too vague and far too open for interpretation to be worth counting. Things like theatre, music, fine art and EastEnders.

You see, for as long as I can remember my family have said that art belongs on the same heap of crap as Big Brother and Ford Cortinas. Modern art is, in their opinion, such a grey area, such a financially uncertain endeavour, that it’d be tantamount to lopping off your goolies to invest time in it.

So, you can imagine my father’s reaction when, three years ago, I broke the news that I had come upon my dream life. I was fundraising for new arts projects in Hackney and dating a painter called Marcus. Dad cast his copy of The Daily Mail to the floor, switched on Grand Designs and asked Mum whether it was still possible to put me up for adoption.



  1. […] wax and owns a cutting edge gallery in South Africa. I was not expecting to see Gabriella Munroe (daughter of my parents friends the Munroes). Perfectly nice Gabriella with unspeakably long blonde Timotei hair and a history with Suze that […]

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