50 Shades Greyer. Remember Gollum Boy?


Gollum Boy working at his ‘precious’.

Gollum Boy is 50 shades greyer. You remember Gollum Boy, the teenage person who lives upstairs. He appears at mealtimes and hovers like ectoplasm, usually in doorways. That’s the one.

Well now, it seems he’s not content with the original 50 shades of grey brought about by lack of sleep, no exercise and poor diet, plus an unhealthy addiction to online gaming on his precious till 2 am and beyond. I think he’s going for vampire.

Let’s backtrack a little. I know I have a tendency to wander.

We’ve had school holidays. Two weeks of them. They’re different here in France from what you might expect. Spring holidays follow a regional rota so that schools are not on break all at the same time. The ski resorts couldn’t cope with all those kids arriving at once, you see. So, half-term in February and the ‘Easter’ break can vary considerably from region to region and from year to year. Everybody takes turns at early or late break. Late breakers got lucky this year and had fresh snow in the Pyrenees last Saturday. I know; I saw it on the way to Spain for himself’s birthday.

So where was Gollum Boy on himself’s birthday you might wonder?

In bed. Online.

Okay, so teenage boys don’t want to celebrate their father’s birthday with him. Understandable. I can go along with that. But, remember also I’m a wicked stepmother and have to guard what I say. When I criticise, it’s always going to sound wicked stepmotherish unless I choose my words very carefully. Remember the pirate lady who wasn’t going to let trouble creep up on her again? The one who was prepared for school holidays and whatever should happen?


ready for anything . . .

Her good intentions lasted a week.

She lost it during the second week.

Have you got a card for your dad’s birthday? she said.

No. Why?

The shop in the village has some, she offered. They don’t cost much.

Afterwards, himself made excuses when no birthday card appeared.

It’s just about being a teenager, himself said.

Actually, biological parent, no it isn’t. (This is where she lost it!) Some teenagers do think about other people, helping out, doing something for someone else. The kids who don’t are the ones who get away with only ever thinking about themselves because they’ve got parents who continually make excuses for them. (Great rattling of cutlasses here.)

The upshot of all this mutiny was withdrawal from theatre of battle by wicked stepmother.

And the result?

A second week spent entirely indoors by Gollum Boy. The weather is warm. The sky is so blue it sometimes looks purple. Down on the beaches, people are dipping their toes. But Gollum Boy says it’s too warm outside for him. Well it would be, she thinks, for anybody wearing thick jogging pants and a hoodie over a tee shirt.

And anyway, the sun hurts his eyes, Gollum Boy says.

I think it makes his skin sparkle too!

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