So Jamie Oliver has admitted this weekend that the story he has repeated several times about being conceived on Southend Peir was really just a made up tale (read the whole story here), originally used to wind up his mum and repeated until it became a modern day urban myth.
No such luck for me I know exactly when and where I was conceived, luckily the where was in the privacy of my mum and dad’s bedroom and not at some local landmark like under the Forth Road Bridge (though I’m sure there are a few kids out there who could lay claim to such an event, it wasn’t uncommon in my younger days for young chaps to suggest a drive down under the bridges to “admire the view”).
I do know however that I was conceived on Monday the 24th of January 1977 around 11pm, how’s that for accurate. The story goes that my parents had been attending an early Burn’s Night supper at the local women’s guild, where my mum had bumped into a heavily pregnant friend. She went home that evening and fuelled by envy over her friends maternal status and perhaps a sherry or too she hoodwinked my dad (who was quite happy to settle with my two siblings) into becoming a dad for the third and final time. Apparently on enquiring he was told that there was no change of conception at this particular time of the month. I hope she had her fingers crossed while she told this white lie but given the circumstances this may have been tricky.
Perhaps you might think this is a nice story to tell your child? After all it ties in nicely with why I was given a far more Scottish name than my older siblings, and show’s I was very much wanted (at least by one of my parents, though my dad seems to have taken to me anyway) but I’m not sure I want to know what my mother had in mind for my father while she stepped gaily toe for toe.
In fact since I became a parent myself my mother and indeed both my aforementioned siblings have felt the need to discuss aspects of their personal life’s with me that make me want to place my fingers in my ears, close my eyes and hum loudly until they go away.
Perhaps it’s because they feel that now I have gone through pregnancy and birth, it follows by default that I must have performed the task necessary to acquire such a state (only twice though of course!) and that I am therefore wordly wise.
This may be the case and I am happy to discuss the odd amusing bedroom antics story over a glass of Pinot Grigio with my girl friends (although sorry boys, more often than not we are discussing what colour to paint our bathroom or the latest playground scandal rather than scenes we would like to re-enact from Fifty Shades).
This does not mean however I want my mum to make smutty innuendos about how she will need to take my key for her house back because, “you never know what me and dad could be up to”, or tell me with relish about her Christmas day ritual that involves leading my father back to the bedroom after their festive breakfast of marmalade on toast (what would Paddington think).
It may be childish and naive but…I just don’t want to know! Logically I know it must have happened, I’m here as living proof, but I just do not want to think of any of my relatives apart from in a fully clothed respectable manner, preferably doing some sensible activity like knitting, gardening, so please, please stop telling me!