Sheila Take a Bow.


Sometimes it’s really nice to have a distraction from all the crying; there really is an awful lot of crying. I have cried for 149 days, not non-stop, but crying all the same. Sometimes wailing like a wounded animal of the floor, writhing in pain, sometimes a single tear but always daily tears. Sometimes I could really do with a distraction and they come, like when you are crying but then step on your daughter’s minion toy and it shouts “ Banana.” Or you go to the loo for some quiet and find a Lego guy in the loo attached to some weird blue tack and string apparatus. Here is today’s distraction:

I was picking up Flynn from school at about 3.30. I was wearing the silk dress I had bought for James’ funeral. I pulled up, parked, got out, opened Celeste’s door, undid her straps and began to walk toward his school. There was a woman I didn’t recognise in front of me with a few children on some of those ubiquitous scooters. I walked behind her ‘til she stopped dead in front of me and turned to face me. She looked at me for a few seconds, very seriously, as if she might have some very bad news to deliver and then said- “can I say something to you?” “Okay” I said.

She paused and with an Anne Robinson squeezing of her eye before perhaps offering…’ You are the weakest link’…..she delivered “ Just now, when you were getting your daughter out of your car, we all got a view of your entire bottom!”

I want to report that I thought of something hugely witty and funny to say but I was far too concerned with the realisation that my legs are so much browner than my bottom and then I had this genuine thought: Should I, in future, be putting fake tan on my bottom for the school run?

For Jan.

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