As former university teachers, my husband and I are never ones to miss an opportunity to bore our children senseless in the name of increasing their vocabulary.
And so it was that we found ourselves in the car chatting about the word ‘fug’ (as you do on the way back from a day out in the sun).
“Nobody talks about fugs any more,” my husband mused.
“My father does,” I said helpfully. They are of a similar same vintage and similar boarding-school background.
“I know what fug off means,” our just-turned-ten-year-old son said even more helpfully.
“I know what fug is too,” our seven-year-old daughter added.
Uh-oh. Last time we had an F-word conversation, it was about ‘foot’ not being a swear word. As the word had been used in their presence by someone with a Yorkshire accent, I could see how the misunderstanding might have arisen.
“Okay,” I said carefully. “You tell me what fug means.”
Our daughter gave me a withering look.
“A fug is one of those teenage boys who gets drunk and behaves badly in the street.”
We laugh. Not least with relief.
According to my seven-year-old, at any rate.
I was in the middle of preparing a gourmet feast of chicken nuggets and Monster Munch.
‘Mummy, was it three weeks ago that the Queen died?’
Me: ‘Um, she’s not dead yet.’
Daughter: ‘Yes she is. The Lord Mayor said so.’
The Lord Mayor had visited school that morning. But I find it hard to believe that he would announce the death of Her Maj in a school assembly.
Me: ‘But you saw her in the cathedral three weeks ago. She was definitely alive then.’
Daughter: ‘She died after the service. The Lord Mayor said she died in his house.’
Aha. Yes, there was a slap-up lunch in the Lord Mayor’s house after the Maundy service (I know, because I was trapped in a crowd of tourists, miles from my Pret-a-Manger sandwich).
Me: ‘Do you think he might have said “dined”?’
Long live the Queen.