Swigging Wine in the Supermarket Carpark….

When you have a family, even when in theory they have grown up and moved away, there are always unexpected laughs and worries.

One big worry for me recently has been one ‘child’s’ health. I was more worried than him I think, and had a few sleepless nights, before his endoscopy showed he didn’t have cancer or Crohn’s disease. I knew in my head that the odds were good, but mummies worry. It’s what we do. He was very relaxed about the whole thing, was sure they’d find nothing major wrong (which was correct) and even, during the procedure, made them laugh by asking if they could “keep a look out for my car keys while you’re there, because I’ve lost those somewhere.”

The hospital sent him home with a written report, which even included photographs. Why would anyone want photos of their insides? Son assured me it was the male equivalent of baby scan printouts. He said he was trying to decide whether to put them on Facebook to show all his friends, or cut them out to put in a card for his girlfriend. I do hope he was joking.

This worry did not however, lead to swigging wine in the supermarket carpark – whatever you might hear to the contrary. That was something else. We are preparing for the launch of JOANNA, and need some decent wine that doesn’t cost a fortune. So we bought a couple of bottles which were on ‘special offer’ and tasted them with some friends, to check they were okay. They were, so the following day we went back to the supermarket to buy enough for the launch. Except they had sold out. Hence we realised that wine on ‘special offer’ sells out quickly, so we needed to buy it when we saw it. But I was keen to taste it first (so we didn’t serve awful wine to our guests). So, we bought a bottle of each, took them into the carpark, and had a quick taste…It was embarrassing. I don’t really have a self-image of me and my husband swigging wine from bottles in supermarket carparks. But we were. And a few people noticed (but didn’t comment, which made it worse). Son found it hilarious.

One of the nice things about the health scare, was it meant we had Colon-Boy at home for the week. (If you read that name, it means he hasn’t yet! Sometimes I write things which I know my family will tell me to remove when they read it. When you get to my age, you get your laughs where you can, and I see it as ‘pay-back’ for all those two year old tantrums in supermarkets I had to endure when I was young and stressed….) Having a son at home does entail a certain amount of male competitiveness, especially with food. I will ask, “How many cheese and leek pastries will you eat?” First male will ask for two (even though he never eats more than one), second male will then ask for three. I cook them, even though I know both males will be trying to smuggle pastry into the bin without me seeing. Sometimes I pretend I don’t have enough, just to save them. Other times I cook what was requested and then stay at the table while they try to force themselves to finish. Like I said, it’s kind of payback. (If you have young children, hold on to these thoughts – your time will come…..)

The chickens are still shut inside. They’re very unhappy, and keen for the bird flu epidemic to finish (not that it is anywhere near our county), so they can be released back into the garden. I am also unhappy, as I have to clean them out at least once a day. I’m also slightly worried what will happen when I do release them. Cockerels have a tendency to fight over new territory, and when I release them, they will have forgotten they’ve already been in the garden, decide it’s new territory and fight over who is boss. Cockerels will fight to the death. So I’m not really sure how to release them safely. I currently have three cockerels – two are full grown, one is the November hatchling. I may not have three next time I write…..Will do some internet research and try to find a way to release them without starting a war.

The ducks are less unhappy. They are classed as ‘released birds’ (like game birds which have been released) so although I’m feeding them under cover, they’re still on the pond. Which is fenced. Except I keep finding them on the lawn, because they’re very good at escaping. When they see me and Kia, they know they’ve been naughty, so they instantly start to run (even though they can all fly) round to the gate, and back onto the pond. They’re like naughty children!



If you would like be one of the first to buy a copy of JOANNA (and drink some ‘not too bad’ wine) then perhaps you would like to come to the book launch. It will be on 29th March, in Kent, UK. If you’d like an invite, fill out the contact form below:


Thank you for reading.

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