A Love Story

The school hall is booming with music and murky yellow lights swirl around.

Under the lights, your Bambi legs twist and stumble. You fall over and they bend at angles. An older boy helps you up and the roller skates scrabble to take hold.

With dignity, you adjust your cowboy hat and fall again.

On the floor, legs bent about, kids whizzing past, you roll your eyes and tut.

You scramble up and in halting awkward moves make your way across the rink.

Push push fall fall up down sigh huff.

You don’t give up. The rink quietens. You catch the eye of other children and smile.

And even though I’ve never been brave. Even though when I was your age I sat out of a roller disco birthday because I was afraid I’d fall. Even though I’d sat at the sidelines and watched all the children I was desperate to be friends with twist and spin and laugh. Even though I just knew I couldn’t be like them.

Even though.

I strap on a pair of roller skates. Inch my way to the rink. Hold tightly to the edge. And feel the breeze as you swoosh past me.

In Place of Insta

Since deleting the app, I’ve filled my time in the following ways:

-gardening.

That’s it.

I’m obsessed with a nest of birds in our rose bush and cried actual tears when a hatchling died.

Studied this longer than I studied parenting manuals.

I’ve grown sweetcorn from seeds and nurture them with Prince Charles levels of nursery rhymes and affection. Just planted them outside and it was like watching your child go off to school.

Good luck, my sweet!

I’ve become OBSESSED with a mouse hole that’s popped up in my strawberry patch. I mercilessly set out bait then wept when I found a baby mouse dragging its back feet and shitting blood. Got dad to smack it with a spade and euthanise it.

I’m now googling what’s eating my strawberries: the mice are dead- now I’m out for the slugs.

And don’t get me started on my tumultuous relationship with the tomatoes. #needy

They even grow in a co-dependent way