Saturday, 9 January 2010

Wild Theme by Mark Knoffler

With more snow forecast and the bog paper situation nearing critical, Darling woke full of resolve. He set off boldly with Boy 15 and Girl 13 and only jolly well did it. He got them back to school. He is not back yet, and should have been ages ago but apart from being marginally concerned I have had a good day.

I had totally underestimated the effect of filling a house with big, loud, squawky, gawky mini-humans and what that alone can do to your head. If you then factor in feeding the beasts and trying to keep all the other domestic plates spinning, metaphorically, and being the driver and entertainments manager too then it is hardly surprising that things (I) have not Been Good of late.

When I loaded the car this morning I remembered my lovely friend from school, Tara. My mother was meticulous with my packing and made sure that I went back to my all girls, very dry school with my trunk filled with all the prescribed items, ticked off and accounted for, in good order and named. From Surrey, in the car, with both parents in attendance, on the right day.

Tara arrived by train from Notting Hill, stinking of Marlboro Red Tops, late, and with nothing much in her holdall, unless you count the half bottle of vodka and Clash album. And believe me, we did count those two things. And in those days Notting Hill wasn't so much cool as sodding dangerous. I made friends with Tara within about one and a half seconds of first meeting her and together we made it through the system, sharing my kit. We had some amazing adventures together too. In anticipation of ever finding a boyfriend we once tried to explore each other's erogenous zones so that we could direct operations to our satisfaction when our time came. Our housemistress, a spinster who we called 'Dave' for no particular reason unfortunately walked in on us, after lights, in the dorm, while Tara was licking my back. Amused she was not and we were immediately separated and never got to share a dorm again.

I spent some of the happiest times of my childhood at Tara's Mum's Notting Hill home. Connie had had six children by three different men, none of whom seemed to feature much in her life. Connie only really kept the house as a place for the kids to hang out whilst she shacked up with a publisher in Little Venice and it was anarchic. Whilst living for four days on toast with peanut butter (because that was what there was), staying up all night with the Taylor boys and mad Suzi might be fun for a while, I imagine that as the oldest child of six as Tara was, it may have felt less like freedom to her. I lost touch with her after school.

Anyway, my children have been returned to school and they packed their own bags and they had plenty of luggage. They had regular meals consisting of all the major food groups and access to fruit at all times. So I am not going to beat myself up too badly.

Tara turned out well. I read her (published) writings regularly.


  1. Is paragraph four a revelation that very few knew about before it was published in this post?

  2. Well I think there were eight of us in the dorm, and then Dave obviously.