Monday night and we are all tired. DD spent yesterday rehearsing for the school’s upcoming production of the Sound of Music – she’s a nun, I would post a photo but I doubt she will let me – and is badly missing her normal crash-out Sunday. DS spent the weekend accumulating love bites and training for his first post-injury rugby game tomorrow and is already in bed in his rabbit onesey. I am about to follow his example and catch a sneaky episode of Bondi Rescue from the comfort of my bed ( will Maxi make it to fully fledged lifeguard, will Kerbox find love, will an unsuspecting tourist drown in the dreaded Backpackers Rip? ,) when the clothes dryer attached to the kitchen ceiling by pulleys falls down on my head as I am loading it with wet washing. Closer inspection while standing on tip toes on the kitchen table reveals a minor engineering job is required and I know just the man – my very nice neighbour A who lives over the road with his partner C. They are in their 60’s, free from the demands of work and childcare and spend their days travelling the world by plane, boat and camper van, which they park in my driveway when not on the road in France or Spain or some other driveable location. In return for housing this bright red freedom wagon A does odd jobs for me – last week it was the drains. Safe in the knowledge that I can survive one night without drying facilities and in need of my own brand of travel free escapism, I head upstairs to catch up with Bondi’s finest. Maxi gets the job, Kerbox fails to find true love, nobody drowns and as the credits roll up over a spectacular Antipodean sunset I feel altogether more relaxed until DS yells from his room ‘ I forgot to say, I need my rugby kit washed and dry for tomorrow, I wore it training today..Did you hear me? …Mama? ‘
My mum has continued to impress with her attitude towards Monday night’s break in. Although naturally a bit shaken up by being burgled while she was downstairs watching TV, she is simply ‘ not going to think about what might have happened ‘ if she’d come out of the sitting room when the intruder or intruders were there and has decided instead to put her energies into praying for the little b…….s who did it – she’s much nicer than me. When I tell DD about her grandma’s prayers she clutches her heart, and says ‘ OMG, she’s so cuuuuuuute! ‘. DD loves both babies and old people in equal measure and we have on occasion followed particularly adorable examples of the latter around supermarkets as they myopically pick out their favourite biscuits, entirely unaware of the teenage girl cooing ‘ Ah look, they can’t read the packet, that’s so cuuuuuute!’ a few feet away. This week there will be few opportunities for stalking old people as DD has her second batch of GCSE language exams – French and Spanish. She is sat at the kitchen table with me now, trying to learn her Spanish and refusing to listen to my advice as to the best way to remember things you are studying. ‘ Say something for funny for my blog ‘ I ask. I won’t repeat her response.
I spent last weekend exhibiting http://www.stuckonhomework.com at the Independent Schools Show in Battersea Park with T, my business partner and friend of more years than either of us cares to remember. The most surprising thing about the weekend was the mother who wanted to subscribe to the site so she could help prepare her son for his Maths GCSE. Her son is two. The least surprising thing about the weekend was that at the end of it I returned home to an assortment of tired, hungry and emotional teens, cats and dog and a kitchen full of washing up, a scenario that greeted me upon my return from work most nights last week. But after a relaxing weekend things were calmer last night and DS, DD and I settled on sofas for an evening with ITV – X Factor followed by the opening show of I’m A Celebrity. I had said I wasn’t going to watch this series but one programme does not a new reality TV habit make. Someone called Mark from TOWIE overcame his fears to jump out of an aeroplane, Lorraine Chase was sick in a bush and I failed to convince DD and DS that Fatima Whitbread is a woman.
But tonight brings fresh drama as about 2 hours ago 2 burglars broke in through the kitchen window of my 82 year old mum’s house while she was watching TV in the sitting room. They ransacked the upstairs drawers before letting themselves back out through their entry point. My mum is highly amused that nothing was taken ‘ because they couldn’t find anything they wanted! ‘ and asked if I wouldn’t mind calling back as the two ( loud stage whisper ) ‘… Very nice and strapping policemen ‘ would be leaving soon and she wanted ‘ to say goodbye properly ‘ before my sister arrives to check on her. I say I’ll call in to see her tomorrow evening but she says not to bother as she’s off to the cinema with her prayer group but Wednesday’s good if I’m around?