Keep it Real

(First published in Le News edition 21, 3 – 9 April 2014) 

Things have been a little dull in my family since the snow melted and we put away our skis, so I’m going to suggest that we have a season of Reality competitions, to see us through to the summer holidays.

We’ll kick off with a few episodes of This Family’s Got Talent, just to warm us up. My money is on the seven-year-old. She’s been belting out ‘Let it Go’ from Frozen every afternoon for over a month now, and I think she’ll blow the judges away. Literally. She has quite a set of lungs, for a small girl. Her little sister can only get through the first two lines of ‘In and Out the Dusty Bluebells’ before losing interest, so the only real competition is going to come from my husband, who’ll be demonstrating his amazing sitting skills: after months of practice, he can get through three rugby games in a row, hardly moving a muscle.

After that, we’ll move into a short round of MasterChef. My husband and I will each be presented with a tin of Borlotti beans, some wilted broccoli, two apples and a stock cube, and tasked with making a delicious three course meal. The children will judge and I can tell you now, whoever is stupid enough to actually use that broccoli is going to lose. (I think I have an excellent chance of winning this one because it’s a challenge I face at least twice a month, when I’ve been too lazy to go grocery shopping.)

This should get us to the Easter Holidays, and the thrilling Survivor Switzerland. The children and I will be stranded at home for fourteen days, most likely in torrential rainstorms. My strategy is to get myself voted off Hell Island early, then retire to my bedroom with a pile of books. Only when things downstairs are threatening to head towards a Lord of the Flies scenario will I emerge, bribe everyone with sweets and declare myself the winner.

After the holidays we’ll enjoy an exciting double bill: The Great Bake Off and Fear Factor. In the first round the children will compete to bake the most original cake. Past entries have included the Cake Made of Nothing But Six Eggs and Balsamic Vinegar; the Half a Bottle of Ground Ginger Tart; and my personal favourite, the Unbaked Sugar and Milk Cake With a Carrot in the Middle. In round two, the judges will attempt to taste each entry without retching or spitting anything out.

Then we’ll be running the ever-popular Big Brother, Parents, Cousins and Friends over the first half of the summer holiday. We’re not sure who will arrive because nobody we know plans that far ahead, but in previous years we’ve had up to ten people spend a week together, sharing only two showers and one washing machine. Housemates will be given a number of challenges, such as getting six giant duvets into six duvet covers without breaking down in tears; inflating air mattresses while small children jump up and down on them; and getting my mother’s fifty kilo suitcase up a flight of stairs without swearing.

And at the end of this thrilling week, any housemates left standing will cram themselves into two cars and head off for an episode of The Amazing Race: Tuscany, armed with only their swimming costumes and a GPS that doesn’t recognise Italy.

Exciting times ahead, so stay tuned!

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