‘The best things come to those who wait.’

So said the ad for Heinz ketchup in the eighties, back when we had to pat the base and wait for the blob. Now we squeeze because we’re far too busy to hang about waiting for ten seconds before we can dip a chip.

It’s called product development. When the needs of the consumer change, the product needs to either keep up or die.

I need some development on the product that is me.

Here I am on day one of my six-week incarceration period and, despite having served eighteen previous summer sentences, it has finally dawned on me that it is evidently INHUMANE for one person to undertake six straight weeks of unpaid child-caring.

For those of you about to write in and tell me a) that I should be grateful for the privilege of not having to work, b) that it was my choice to have kids and should suck it up, or c) that my kids would be better off without me; all I can say is a) I know, b) I know, and c) believe me, I know.

Susan Sontag wrote, ‘I must change my life so that I can live it, not wait for it.’

And I’m working on that life-changey shizzle so that next year things can be different, but for now I am stuck in stationary mode, like a rested railway carriage who longs to get back on track but needs a substantial overhaul before she can get up to speed.

The slogan Heinz used in the ketchup ad is adapted from a poem by the late 19th century poet Violet Fane who knew a bit about the virtue of patience. She fell in love with a fella called Vyner and she waited and waited but he never married her. So she wed an older chap called Singleton, but her heart always pined for Vyner. She only found solace when she began an affair with Philip Currie which went on for years and coincided with her becoming the recognised writer she longed to be.

She said her pen name was inspired by the character of Violet Fane in Disraeli’s novel ‘Vivian Grey’ because “she died in the arms of her lover” and a death like that was “worth living for.”

Steady on, Violet. All I want is a bit more time and space. Though I do share her worry as described in the poem:

 ‘Ah, all things come to those who wait / (I say these words to make me glad) / But something answers soft and sad / They come, but often come too late.’ 

Still, while we’re waiting, let me tell you that I am winning at holiday entertainment today. This deeply educational activity is called: ‘Arrange The Pegs On The Washing Line For An Hour So That Mummy Can Write Her New Play And Smoke In The Garden’…


This morning we played ‘Meet The Psychologist And Report On How Mummy Keeps Shouting At You All The Time.’

Later, we will be playing ‘Waiting In The Hospital For Mummy To Find Out If She’s Really Got Rheumatoid Arthritis And Will Soon Be In A Wheelchair.’

Because if there’s one thing I appear to know how to do rather well all of a sudden, it’s piling up loads of stressful life events all at once so that we can achieve maximum levels of shitburger-eating.

Lucky for me I’m always so hungry…