It is not the right time of year for having the children at home. With Valentines smack in the middle, I predict the divorce rate will rise…
Instead of braving a range of elements: rain, wind, snow … we set up pillow forts and hid under blankets with our devices. I worked out I could watch Netflix on the laptop with my headphones – score! The kids morphed wing chairs into gamer chairs by moving them in front of the TV, and built more forts, this time in the Minecraft ether.
We’re economising due to the impending house move, so we treated ourselves to Morrison’s make your own pizza instead of takeaway, Next in Fashion with the curtains closed instead of the cinema.
Valentines worked out OK for me: Mr HB was off to Aldi. I received a bunch of reluctant roses.
This is a pretty accurate representation of my favourite jumper.
It fits me – well, if there was one and a half of me!
It has a hole in the sleeve I keep picking at.
It is more shapeless than I have drawn it.
It is Shetland wool – the place I holidayed every year as a child and where my mum lives now.
I bought it in a shop across the road from where one of my dear friends lives. In Manhattan.
Yep that’s a lot of airmiles it has – Shetland – New York – East Lothian.
It is the jumper equivalent to a warm bath, clean sheets on the bed after two weeks away, a mug of hot chocolate, that floaty feeling you get at around 3am on New Year’s morning when everyone is still singing: half asleep, half-cut and cosy.
Don’t judge me for shopping for school shoes three weeks after our term started.
OK, judge me if you like!
But I just had to share – especially after the whole dolly-babe nonsense – that we had the best surprise when we went to Clarks yesterday.
I was all for going to JD or Schuh, but it turns out my children are creatures of habit. So in we went, to the shop we’ve gone to since my oldest was getting their first walking shoe. They have gravitated to the ‘girls’ side since they could toddle.
Yesterday, I looked at the ‘girls’ side. And there was no girls side.
Clarks at Fort Kinnaird have mixed their shoes – they’ve got a trainer wall, and the smarter shoes are on the right.
To some people this would mean nothing. To me it means so much.
Leaving the supermarket, I noticed a pile of cardboard boxes in a little fenced off area at the back wall. I wanted to take one but I didn’t understand why. I didn’t need any of them. Then I remembered: the Cupar Co-op of my childhood. Food shopping with my dad on a Saturday morning.
He would always get a box. Pack it with precision, try to get as much in as he could. That time we fitted all the food into one huge box: enough for the seven of us for a week. But it was made for cereal and I can still remember his rage when he lifted it out of the car and it came apart in his hands.
It was twenty years ago when my Dad died. Little things remind me now. Cardboard boxes in a supermarket.