Monday, 31 October 2011


I live within walking distance of my children’s school, a beautiful seven-minute stroll through a forest of ivy-clad oak trees, ferns, ladybirds, and a stream. But before you stab me in the face with your car keys, let me tell you what it’s really like.

First, there’s the seven-minute thing. 'Seven minutes' invites complacency. If you’re told that a journey will take you seven minutes, you think, “Oh, I’ll be there in no time.” So you fuck about. Seven minutes is not like an hour, which you take seriously, which you allow time for. If you live within a seven-minute-walk of your children’s school, you either need to be a) Allyson Lewis, whose bestseller ‘The Seven Minute Difference’ shows you how to break your actions into seven-minute micro-actions (but who, sadly, looks like a reptile) or you need b) an Atomic Clock that loses less than one second every BILLION years and also shouts at you. Now I don’t have an Atomic Clock. I have a collection of time-keeping devices that are so wholly evil that they lose a minute every day, probably every minute. I may as well use an hourglass.

By the time I have reached the stream in the forest, I am usually so late that to get me to the school on time would require the intervention of a Time Lord. So I run. By the time I reach the road that leads to the school, my core body temperature is about 105 degrees and I require hospitalisation. But with hospital not being an option, I persevere onwards towards The School Gate.

Now you’d think I’d be relieved to see The School Gate. You’d think I’d see it as the last lap, the homeward stretch. But I don’t. Because The School Gate was designed by a bastard. It is narrower than you can ever imagine, with three treacherous open-sided steps. Worse, there is always a stampede of people coming towards you from the opposite direction, so much so that you wonder if somebody has seen an actual lion. It takes me at least two more minutes to safely negotiate it, during which time I see my two children, outside their classrooms, wearing forlorn disappointed expressions. One of them, my littlest one, my baby boy, is being sheltered by his teacher, and is mouthing the words “Mami forgetted me”, over and over.

Well babies, I didn’t forget you. I love you. I really do. It’s just that, you know, other people get to drive their kids to school. They don’t have to dodge ladybirds, and oak trees, or perform seven-minute micro-actions on a daily basis, or EVER run. They are lucky bastards.  If they only knew.


  1. Always really look forward to your weekly post! How true about the seven minute thing. I live 5 minutes from the childminder - so always late - and because its London have to negociate pigeon crap everywhere and stinky bin juice.

    Ps ... Saw your response to my comment last week .... do you still want to write/or finished guest post? No hurry if not finished yet .... dont want you to feel pressured or anyfink!

  2. Hi there. 5 minutes is even worse. I actually lived opposite the last nursery we attended, a maximum journey of 1 minute, and we were almost always the last. Talk about the walk of shame.

    Re guest post, kids have been poorly so not been on top of things I'm afraid. Guest post will be pinging its way to your inbox very soon i promise!

  3. This sounds exactly like me on the school run. The worse thing is no one lets you get into the school if you are a bit late so you have to push past everyone. At least I have a big double buggy so I can push past everyone! Ha!

    Would love you to link this up to my Tuesday tea and sympathy linky thing.

  4. I too have a big double buggy with a big sticky out nose which is perfect for impaling .... I see the birth of a new bloodsport to rival hockey?

    I will attempt to link it up in a mo! I am hopeless at technology but I'll save that rant for another tea and sympathy blog ...

  5. That's for linking up. Virtual tea and biscuits to you.

    Look forward to your rant about technology. I currently have a tumble drier and laptop not working. So annoying!

  6. Its on !!!! ....

  7. Damn those ladybirds can be tricky bastards. Always trying to interfere with school runs. May I suggest kayaking down the stream? Get the school to put up a jetty and just punt alongside it each day. You'll look like a tit but at least the kids will know you love them ;)