Matthew’s Blog: Family Values

Firstly, some of you regular readers of this blog may well have noticed comments popping up below-the-line over the past few weeks from a certain Bryony Ditty who leaves embarrassing, hysterical, incoherent and foul-mouthed tirades directed at yours truly. As you may have divined from her surname, Ms Ditty is indeed my sister. I have chosen not to respond directly to her messages but have left them on display as I think they only reflect badly on herself and they demonstrate the aggression and hostility which a well-meaning organisation like Dawn Rescue is subjected to by the secular establishment. You’d think she’d have better things to do seeing as she works at the BBC and should be addressing her complicity in the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal. How much did she know? Why didn’t she challenge BBC top brass over their decision to shelve the Newsnight broadcast? Ok, admittedly she only works in the production office of CBeebies, (she’s the diversity and equalities co-ordinator, natch) but surely all the more reason to have investigated the rumours more thoroughly, considering the “diversity” of victims coming forward who were all children at the time (although admittedly not quite in the Cbeebies age bracket- so far as we yet know!). Or does she think the limits of her job merely entail ensuring that Pakistanis are properly represented in ‘In The Night Garden’ and that the ‘Teletubbies’ caters to transgender toddlers (is that still running? I have no idea)?

Family is something of a running theme this week as Dan’s mum Linda is gifting us the pleasure of her divine company. She arrived yesterday afternoon whilst Dan was out. There she was on the doorstep in her trademark pink Adidas tracksuit, swigging water from her bottle, looking not a day over 40 even though she must be, ooh, at least…. (but no, naughty me, I shouldn’t spill the beans!). She seemed slightly crestfallen to see me, no doubt quite understandably preferring to see her beloved son.

“Where’s Dan?” she asked, (refreshingly to-the-point, as always!).

“Hello Linda,” I replied, “Dan’s meeting with investors. Do come in.”

But Linda had already pushed past me by that point and had jogged straight through to the kitchen, making herself at home, sat down with her feet (in sparkling Nike trainers) up on the kitchen table. As ever she took a kindly interest in my welfare and what I was doing, firing off various friendly questions. What was I doing? Was I bringing any money in? Why not? What’s all this about some boy called ‘Zac’? Was I pulling my weight? What the hell was I playing at? Was I fully committed to the cause? Did I want to end up in the ‘Garage’? I was doing my best to field all these enquiries when I heard the key in the front door and Dan entered. Well it’s always a joy to see those two when they meet, there is such shared love between them! “Mummy!” cried Dan. “Danny darling!” cried Linda and they ran to each other and embraced, immediately launching into singing their song “Daddy’s Burning!” (a family tradition this, it’s sung to the tune of “London’s Burning” and goes, “daddy’s burning/ daddy’s burning/ In hell/ In hell/ Pour on petrol/ pour on petrol” etc)

A little background here; Dan’s father was an Anglican vicar who met with national tabloid disgrace in 1995 when he was discovered in a public lavatory drilling a “glory hole” in a cubicle wall. The Sun and Daily Star ran stories about the “Bent Vicar” and “Pervy Parson” (he wasn’t a parson, they just liked the alliteration). It was all too much for the Reverend Giles Erpingham, who hung himself in the vicarage attic on the day he and his family were to be evicted. Mother and young son were of course in complete shock, but every cloud has a silver lining and from behind this sordid, seedy cumulus eventually emerged the bright sun of Dawn Rescue, which Dan set up to prevent more tragedies like that of his father, (with his mother’s blessing and encouragement of course!).

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