Sunday, 25 September 2011


This morning I took my daughter to a swimming lesson at the local leisure centre. As usual, my best friend H and I went to the spectator area to see our beautiful little six-year-old selkie-girls performing mushroom floats, swimming on their backs, and venturing into the Deep End for the first time. As usual, the vending machine with the “Out of Order” notice was working perfectly, and as usual, the other vending machine - the one without an “Out of Order” notice - was out of order.

All was well with the world, until we saw him.

Now I’m not saying that every lifeguard should look like an extra from Baywatch. In fact, there are very few ideas more revolting in life than the idea of getting one of The Hoff’s curly chest hairs stuck to your soft palate during a rescue. At the same time – and at the risk of sounding politically incorrect - I don’t expect a lifeguard to be both obese AND asleep.

So, naturally, I was concerned. Any mother would be, and especially one with a diagnosed “general anxiety disorder”. (Or as my partner prefers to call it, “a bottomless pit of need”.) The only way this lifeguard was ever going to mount a successful rescue was if his vast orange body managed to displace all the pool water on contact, and only then, if he fu**ing woke up. 

But of course, nothing happened. H and I sucked on our lukewarm decaff coffees from the functioning “out of order” vending machine and distracted ourselves with talk of mini apronectomies, rogue facial hairs, and (with increasing hysteria) the pros and cons of using urethral inserts during zumba lessons. We tried hard, oh so hard, to stop ourselves from staring at the human space-hopper squeezed into an unstable high chair at the edge of the pool, in defiance of the laws of gravity, and STILL asleep. Then, at the end of the half-hour lesson, we bundled our damp, happy little girls into our cars, strapped them in safely, and went home. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Yesterday I had a crazy idea. The idea was quite simply this: to apply actual make-up before embarking on the school run. Unfortunately, the idea struck me at around 3.15pm, which is only five minutes before I need to leave the house.

“You okay?” said my neighbour, at the school gates. “Bloody knackered,” I said, which is my stock answer to any question. My neighbour is extremely polite, because it was only later, whilst looking in the rear-view mirror, I realised that I looked like The Demented Wife of Pierrot The Clown.

The day got worse on the journey to GroTesquo. I got honked on the A road by a suit in a Merc who was riding my ass even though I was driving at the 40mph speed limit. I gave him The Death Stare in the mirror, which didn’t work, in spite of the shocking state of my face. I think I will get a US-style sticker that says, “ I brake SUDDENLY for tailgaters.” Of course, it’s not only businessmen tw*ts that think it’s ok to break the law. I was having a glass of wine with some friends the other day when one of them announced, “I hate people who drive at 40 on Llan******* Road.”!!! 

So just to add to the list of things that I hate (see previous blog), I want to add this:

I hate it when people think it’s okay to break the speed limit. 5000 children under-16 are killed by speeding drivers every year. Life is not an episode of fu**kin Top Gear!!  

Rant over for today.

Monday, 19 September 2011


There are few things I hate more in life than the school run.

1. The mindless tit-fest that is The Sun ‘newspaper.’
2. People who don’t pick up their dog crap
3. Going to the dentist (don’t mind needles and pain - just don’t like being told how to brush my teeth, ‘in a circular motion’, when I’m 42)
4. The Royal Family. Don't get me started.

The reason I hate the school run is because I AM LATE for every pick up, for every drop-off, for every appointment. I say this to other mothers and in a well-meaning gesture of sisterly solidarity they usually say something like, “So am I. It’s a nightmare!”  To which I should say: NO. YOU. ARE. NOT.

Just to clarify. I am not lazy. I don’t oversleep. I don’t go to Tesco Express in my pyjamas. I have even been known to be up and dressed before 7am, even in November. In fact, the daily psychic meltdown doesn’t really begin until around 8.30am, when the only remaining tasks are a) find a bobble for the bale of sticky hay masquerading as hair on my daughter’s head, and b) remember to take my son’s special beaker. Good going. Life’s a breeze. I can even afford to sit down and drink my tea.

Wrong. Because as soon as the tea touches my lips, Time accelerates. The kitchen enters the mouth of a wormhole, warping spacetime. The clock on the wall says 8.33, the clock on my mobile, on the other side of the kitchen, reads 8.45. I check the time on the desktop computer in the study: 8.47. I phone the speaking clock: 8.47. I am overwhelmed by the task of finding the bobble. I remember that my son’s special beaker is in the footwell of the passenger seat, unwashed since yesterday, in Listeria Heaven.

By the time I return from the school run, a kind of generalised anxiety disorder has taken hold. If the postman says something nice to me, I will probably cry. I drink another cup of tea. I wash the dishes. But it’s no good. I think about super-viruses, global warming, bird flu, giant asteroids, and intruders.

In the end, I go upstairs. Because sometimes, there’s only one way of relieving the tension.