Tara @ Sticky Fingers has given us a tough Gallery assignment this week. The theme is UGLYand I was really struggling to think of a photograph to fit the brief. Most of the photographs I've taken since O was born have been of O and my friends' beautiful children and the great places we've all visited together, so no joy was to be had in the archives. I didn't want to put a photo of me looking grim up as it would look as if I was touting for 'no - you are beyootiful' comments. However, I would welcome these if you feel like sending them.
Then - it struck me exactly what should be the one. It was literally staring me in the face. O's big brothers came to visit him yesterday. They are both in their mid-twenties and I've known them since they were six and eight. This makes me sound ancient, but I am nearer in age to Tiddles & Mosh than their father, so that's OK - please don't judge our May-to-December-type carry on!
The boys, as small and big boys do (that's Tiddles, Mosh & O), were rampaging and being generally very noisy, whilst Tiddles' girlfriend, S and I discussed all manner of things, but mainly cats and their ailments (The Cat is still a two-eyed cat, by the way). Suddenly, Tiddles remembered something from his childhood, something I have tried to forget - the monstrous thing that lives in my kitchen at the very back of the work surface, under the window and hidden as best as I can manage...
The CACTUS. This thing has lived in our house for over fifteen years, since it was purchased by the young Tiddles in his youth for 20p off some random market stall. It has survived being poked with pins by both older brothers, the brown tentacles of doom indicating where this abuse took place, and also survived my many attempts to discard it.
This rancid beast of a plant is indestructible. The most disturbing thing about it is the fact that it intermittently ejects little baby cactii from its malevolent body and tries to spawn mini-Cactii of Doom. These cactii-offspring can be seen in the picture above, growing out of their vile parent's shoots. If I find these spiny children, I bin them - the thought of more examples of this alien inhabiting my house makes me shudder.
Sadly, this plant is here to stay. Tiddles is adamant that it represents a special part of his childhood - his quote is 'if you kill it or get rid of it, a part of me will die too'. I feel that this is possibly an exaggeration, but dare not put it to the test. Even though I fear it may one day take over our village in a manner reminiscent of Day of the Triffids, I cannot kill it. I still have the paper angel that the young Tiddles made one Christmas and it still perches atop our tree every year. Who am I to say that the Cactus of Doom does not deserve the same sentimental treatment?