Friday, 12 January 2007


I’ve escaped. I’ve been on the welcoming committee for a full half an hour, made sure Amelia has a cup of tea and a shortbread biscuit and is settled in front of Coronation Street and that dinner is coming along nicely. David is bathing Mackenzie and the dogs have taken refuge at my feet. All very nice but I’ve currently got a drooling mouth resting on my bare foot. A small price to pay for some me time.

I cleaned the house, if not from top to bottom, from side to side. The bathroom is smelling nicely of Cif, the guest bedroom is heating up nicely (Amelia can only sleep in sub tropical temperatures, even whilst wearing winceyette pyjamas and bedsocks), the living room is buffed to perfection and the kitchen is pristine and host to my Roast Lemon and Tarragon chicken

I went shopping and got away with just a couple of tantrums which is fairly good, considering I was there longer than usual because of all the extras I had to buy. Amelia only drinks Yorkshire Tea (she took the remainder of the box of 60 when she left after Christmas as she had none at home), she only eats the French set yoghurts because she doesn’t like the bits, will only eat shortbread biscuits and has to have milk roll bread “for the calcium”. Oh, and jam for her Saturday morning croissants, but without the pips. After ten minutes of looking for smooth jam (even the conserves couldn’t promise a pip free offering) I chucked a jar of lemon curd into the trolley and hoped for the best.

To help me out when I get home, I sort my shopping on the conveyor belt at the till. All fridge stuff together, the freezer stuff so it can go in one back, fruit and veg separate, toiletries together and all the squishy stuff like bread at the very end so it doesn’t go into the trolley first and come out flat at the car.

Unfortunately I got one of those ladies who just randomly pick from the conveyor belt and chuck down the ramp at the other end, with only a cursory bleep in the middle. This enrages me far more than it should. Plus the conveyor belt is still running so my items that I haven’t yet packed are revolving alongside each other and behaving like bumper cars. My peppers are getting bruised. And the speed with which she’s beeping is mesmerising, she’s clearly due for a break and wants to get through my mountain of shopping quickly. Obviously, this woman isn’t aware of my shopping foibles so I bite my tongue. It wasn’t until I got the ham from the Deli chucked down along with the baby wipes that I said something. Something like “oh for God’s sake, can’t you just slow down a bit?”. But at a very loud decibel judging by Mackenzie’s awed face and the fact the woman is holding aloft a box of mushrooms with her mouth open. She grunts “sorry” at me and slows down only minimally so I’m still stuffing broccoli into carrier bags when she’s reeling off the total and demanding both my credit and loyalty card.

As if mesmerised by mummy’s bad mood, Mackenzie only had a slight whimper as we passed the jaunty Bob the Builder ride in the front of the shop but pointed at it longingly as I whisked him out into the rain. I feel like such a bad mother at times, the poor kid only wanted a two minute ride AND he didn’t even ask for his usual bag of Haribo minis.

Homeward bound, I stop off at Ayres the Bakers for a pastry fix. Mackenzie is quite cheered by this and asks for a sausage roll. I buy that, one croissant which I eat on the four minute journey home, one custard Danish and a strawberry gateau. The gateau is for dessert, the Danish is for me. Mine. All mine.

And so, at 6.25pm, when I was practically comatose on the (nicely plumped and Febrezed) sofa when David and Amelia arrived in a flurry of coats, rain and “hellooooo’s”. The dogs scurried to me and formed a protective barrier. It didn’t work. Amelia takes one look at the empty, crumb coated Ayres bag, the half drunk cup of cooling coffee, Mackenzie still with ketchup round his face and raises an eyebrow at David and says to me “Oh, I See You’re Busy Then”.

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All about me

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.