Obviously I have kept my school exercise books and projects, dating back to when I was about 8. Well, you never know when they might come in handy – and they have, in a kind of “looked at them once in 20 years” sort of way. I’m going to be so busy as a pensioner; never mind coffee mornings and bridge, I’m going to be looking at all those books, letters and memories I have amassed over the years to save for that very time. You see, being my mother’s daughter, there are just certain things in my DNA. Want a cork? Some string (but not in long enough pieces to be of any real use)? An empty shoebox ? Well we have them in abundance! Our house is a shrine to the goddess of “Just in Case” and sometimes she has come up trumps (with three children in primary school, boy am I glad I keep shoeboxes).
One thing I do remember from reading one of these exercise books was a story entitled: “When I am a grown up”. The last line ends the piece with the fateful words: “and what I will never EVER say is that nothing in life is fair”. Ooops. Epic fail, as my son would say. I have tried to re-word all the little phrases my mum came out with in the vain attempt to avoid “getting like my mum”.
Of course we all know any sort of illness can be cured by turning the TV off (nowadays we’ve progressed to turning the tablet off, but same principle: screens are evil) and any tricky social situation can be lightened by sitting up straight and smiling. But it’s too late – she got their first and her phrases are more succinct than mine. And of course, she was right.