Hello people of the new era. We are 48 hours in and it turns out that being a single parent again is jolly hard work. I had become far too used to being able to run out of the house at a moment's notice, organise things without worrying about childcare and far too reliant on yelling 'k' when things got tricky with the children. I had also forgotten how much forward planning is needed when you are alone. My first day back on the job, I was cooking sausages for the children's supper and to my horror, I realised we had no ketchup. My children have not been raised particularly well and therefore there are very few foods they will eat without the red stuff to enhance the taste. G once even insisted on having it with his sliced apple. That grossed me out and I am a huge ketchup fan. I am not ashamed of it though - it is for health reasons. As a former smoker for many years I am medically in need of the anti-lung cancer lycopene which ketchup contains (look it up but I totally believe it). Anyway, sausages cooking and extra child picked up, I was left with my three, no ketchup and no helpful neighbours to borrow ketchup from. So, I did the unthinkable. I put Ted in the buggy and left the others in two different rooms in front of two different telly programmes, and ran up to the shop at the end of our very short road. I had briefed Bea not to move from her chair and hadn't bothered telling G anything. I was out of the house for about four minutes and when I got home Bea was shocked as she assumed I hadn't yet left and G hadn't noticed anything at all. I did feel huge guilt, naturally, and it didn't help that Bea's eyes widened considerably when she asked if the police would take me to prison if they ever found out what I'd done, but quite frankly I have spent longer away from them whilst having a shower upstairs without consequence. I knew that my absence from the house wouldn't cause them to spontaneously combust or anything ludicrous but I did worry an opportunist child snatcher who might have been monitoring our house for weeks could have used my absence to swoop in and get them to answer the door by offering them sweets or something, so I did feel relieved to find them both exactly where they were when I left. It was risky but there is no need to ring the NSPCC, I shan't be doing it again. I will get back into the swing of things again soon and make sure I have ketchup in stock at all times. I should have learnt my lesson on the ketchup front last year when, in a similar situation, I sent Bea over the road to ask our 90yr old neighbour to borrow his bottle, but as he opened the door to her, he fell over and couldn't get up again so poor Bea was stuck at the front door slightly ajar with a very tall and very old man stuck behind it. Luckily I came to our door to see what was taking so long and we quickly swapped places. More luckily, the relatively sprightly 80yr old neighbours to the 90yr old arrived home and took over the situation so that I could go back to the children around the table refusing to eat. After a few minutes of shutting the front door, the unfazed 80yr old knocked on our door very concerned that her 'babies' weren't eating and proffered a napkin, inside which were about twenty sachets of ketchup collected by her over the years from various pubs. We were terribly grateful at the time and quickly ripped off the pesky corners and squeezed them on to plates, but as I was throwing the sachets away I noticed that some of them had expiry dates which caused alarm. Most of them were at their best many years before Bea was conceived. Still, they didn't appear to cause any harm and the 90yr old got back up and drank his tea. All's well that ends well.
Oh God it's 10 o'clock already. I haven't even got to the point I wanted to make. I shall have to try and remember it for another time. It won't be tomorrow night as I'll be busy writing the final talk for my Weight Watchers training (I can no longer refer to it as wibblies as I used the term in front of my trainer and almost in front of a group last thursday). It will no doubt be Thursday when I shall write to you as an official WW leader. I'm not sure I shall be excited so much as bloody relieved the whole process is over. Roll on Thursday night and a bottle of wine.
See you there. x