Half-way through the school holidays, some revelations are occuring…

You are a hamster. Everyday you plot escape, gnawing at the bars of your cage until you resolve to just get back on the wheel and continue to go round and round and round until you die, interrupted only by cleaning shit out of your bed and pee off the floor and getting the occasional cuddle from your owners (the kids) when they remember you exist.

Your marriage is exactly like the one in ‘Butterflies’ (under 40’s look it up) except your partner isn’t as posh or as funny as Geoffrey Palmer and doesn’t come home at 6pm to read the paper and slag off your cooking. Instead he comes home at 10.30pm so as to avoid your cooking and cannot possibly get up from the kitchen table to do some parenting because he’s just got in from doing his VERY TIRING JOB which renders him unable to do anything other than watch elite athletes do brilliant things on the telly (the Olympics) while you carry on doing the full-time parenting you have been doing for the last EIGHTEEN YEARS so he can do his VERY TIRING JOB.

Watching the Olympics makes you want to throw a javelin at your partner. When you are mourning the loss of the last EIGHTEEN YEARS of your life, watching other people at the top of their game will not help with your reality of not being at the top of any game for the last EIGHTEEN YEARS.

You must become a truth-teller. From now on you will dedicate your life to advising younger women NOT to give up their careers for motherhood because they will find themselves in EIGHTEEN YEARS time, drunk in the back garden, feverishly trying to smash their personal best time at Solitaire on their phone.

Solitaire is BRILLIANT. You must take your self-esteem wherever you can get it in this life, and beating your best time on a random three card draw is where you are at right now. (1min 44 seconds btw)

The hottest day of the holidays must be ignored. That the sun is finally out today should in no way interfere with your plans to sit inside writing a book while youngest spends all day dying and respawning on Minecraft.

You wish you could respawn. You would return as a seven stone, eighteen year old Olympic athlete who will earn a fortune and never hear her partner saying ‘haven’t you had enough wine already?’ or ‘well you could always go to work while I raise the kids’ without acknowledging the EIGHTEEN YEAR career break you have endured so that he could do his VERY TIRING JOB.

Spending the fruits of this VERY TIRING JOB is a brill way to symbolically throw a javelin at his face. You buy crucial school holiday survival items such as a special thermos flask which keeps your coffee at optimum temperature for hours…


You buy an essential decorative installation for the kitchen seating area which brings a most festive feel to the twilight hours of excessive wine-drinking and symbolic javelin-throwing…


You buy hundreds of scratch cards and lottery tickets in a bid to close the pay gap caused by the last EIGHTEEN YEARS and smoke at least two packs of fags a day because they are grotesquely expensive and carcinogenic and make your partner worry about your imminent death and the huge loss that would be to his ability to do his VERY TIRING JOB though not enough worry to make him actually GET UP FROM THE KITCHEN TABLE AND DO SOME PARENTING AT 10.30PM.


This evening I am breaking out of the cage to go to the pub with other hamster-wheel-spinning mothers. We will drink goblets of wine and practice our javelin-throwing skills. We will return to the cage with our pouches full of kebab and our hearts full of hope. We ARE at the top of our game, albeit a solitary one that nobody wants to watch…