I drove to Heathrow in rush hour traffic to pick Nathan up. The 20 mile drive took longer than Nathan's flight from the south of France.
The car is also almost completely out of petrol, which is not a good thing in the present climate. Those reading this from outside the UK will be thrilled to hear that the people who drive petrol tankers are threatening to go on strike, and, as a knee-jerk reaction, the government has told everyone to fill up. One minister went as far as to suggest filling up a few billy cans as well to store in a garage. This practice has been condemned by the fire brigade as potentially dangerous, and possibly even illegal. Apparently the tanker drivers need to give a week's notice before they strike, so I can only assume the government's scaremongering tactics are either an attempt to whip up a bit of hatred for the drivers so that they can be more hard-line when it comes to negotiations, or an attempt to line the coffers before a sudden drop in fuel prices which they know about but we don't. It now costs £82 to fill our car with petrol.
I sat and wrote in Highgate Woods today, and the place was rammed. Heaven knows where all the people had come from, and why none of them were at work.
There were braces of yummy mummies with ghastly middle class children running riot. One of them kept throwing a ball at me. It hit me three times, on my knee, my shoulder and then right in the balls. Every time it happened, my smile became a little bit more forced as I threw it back. I kept looking over at his Mum in the hope she'd bring a halt to the game, but she merely smiled inanely, feeling that special rush of maternal adrenaline because he'd learnt to throw the friggin' ball. Clever Tarquin. You know he's brighter than any of the other children in the NTC? The health worker says he's a miracle. He's actually in the 112th percentile. They invented 12 extra points just for him. You can hear her words floating over the heads of all the other yummy mummies because they're so deeply engrossed in their own worlds, wondering if Mopsy and Froo are eating more than the recommended daily amount of sugar and hoping their breast milk tastes nicer than anyone else's. They try to talk about something else but their previously brilliant minds have turned to mush. They've wanted their babies for so long, and love them so much that they can't possibly comprehend that Tarquin might not be the centre of everyone else's existence. It's understandable, but what these obsessive mothers sometimes forget is that there are women out there, desperate for children of their own, some of whom have lost babies, others of whom have sacrificed having children for the sake of their careers, and they have friends who want to talk about their own achievements outside the field of child-rearing! I have the same issue with brides - but at least that's just for one day!
What I don't understand is that many women manage perfectly well to exist both as fabulous mothers and fabulous human beings. Many of my friends seem to get the balance just right. I blame books. We can't all be super hero mothers as prescribed by American women who seem to find the time to make quilts and four course dinners for their fat moustachioed, red-faced husbands alongside rearing 5 children. I think the first step towards fabulousness is realising that no one's perfect and the second step is realising that no one actually cares!
Friday 28th March, 1662, was good Friday, and Pepys stayed at home all day, singing and eating by all accounts. I wonder if the sun went behind a cloud at 11am? Or is it 2pm? Does anyone else know this particular old wive's tale? Something to do with Jesus, I think. The sun disappears to commemorate his death. Of course, the one time I thought to check, it vanished right on cue!