Wake at seven fifteen with very cold nose. Decide I must be a healthy dog and creep downstairs before Finley wakes up. Set domestic machinery ago-go (washing machine, tumble dryer and kettle) and wander around lighting candles and bringing life to a grey morning. Carry warm milk up to sleepy son and embark on search for bear who has gone AWOL in the night. Talk to Mum, reassure her we are up, alive and well, then take shower and try to avoid naked reflection in the cracked mirror. Dress in Mummy uniform and skip downstairs to make breakfast. Eat while doing a rather excellent impression of Spider-mans Mum. Insist child brushes his teeth then hurry out to car without library bag. Strap child into shed and run back in for book bag. Drive to school, cursing striking postmen, old men in decrepit cars, Labour politicians and life in general then pin on a smile, avoid the mummy who wants to be my friend and pass the time of day with irrationally happy nursery staff. Get back in car and drive to petrol station. Struggle to remove petrol cap. Ask passing man with moustache and bizarre dicky bow to remove it. Fill car with miniscule amount of petrol and drive to library. Experience short term bliss despite old woman with yucky cough. Resist the urge to hit her or clamp hankie over her mouth. Rent Notes On A Scandal DD and new Elizabeth Berg book. Agree with bearded librarian that yes the nation is in a state but thank goodness for Marks and Spencer’s and proceed there forthwith. Purchase apple juice and consume. Nip to Woolworth’s and buy Doctor Who Pig for Finn’s stocking. Worry a little bit about Christmas. Worry quite a lot about leaky boiler, so much so I forget to stop and buy paisley doormat I’ve been coveting and find myself at giant Tesco’s instead. Recycle plastic bags and buy milk, Method grapefruit surface spray and stupidly cheap Barbie pink blusher. Realise I’m late for school. Drive back like Schumacher. Find myself accosted by mummy who wants to be my friend and teacher who wants a word. Decline lunch invitation politely and reassure teacher that Finley is an actor par excellence and occasionally just wants a little symphony and yes general air of sadness is just a passing whim. Catch clearly manically happy child disguised as Sherlock Holmes, complete with magnifying glass and small boy pretending to be a dog and shove hat over his curls. Drive home for snuggle and cup of tea. Try not to breathe in as I enter house for fear of inhaling mouldy carpet fumes after boiler fiasco. Don’t feel at home. Refuse gift of slimy snail. Watch Curious George. Laugh harder than I should. Find friend on doorstop. Wave to her sick babbas in car. Commiserate with her and find nudey child standing behind me. Shuffle back inside and clear out blanket box for Christmas gifts. Put chicken in oven, dress Finn again and walk to Kath’s for pizza party. Watch three demented kids fight over scissors and decorate pizza bases in kami-kase fashion. Drink glass of good red wine, eat tortillas, lay hands on the babba kicking inside Emma’s stomach and discuss previous nights altercation with estranged Father of my child. Agree castration is probably the only answer and experience the joy of mild hysteria in the company of friends. Splash home. Shower son. Read Mr Tickle for 93rd time. Ask him if he’s sad. Feel happy when he says it’s OK Mummy, some days I just miss you and anyway I wanted a cup of tea. Tickle him. Laugh till we cry. Say goodnight. Phone Dad and insist he comes and removes stinky bathroom carpet. Quietly despise myself for being so thoroughly dependant on him. Get down on hands and knees and sieve baking powder over offending smelly patch. Find myself faintly ridiculous. Light candles and air bedroom. Eat chicken with bacon salad. Watch Eastenders and then Jamie Oliver do something ugly to a pigeon. Feel faintly bored. Feel faintly appalled at feeling faintly bored. Pluck eyebrows. Fill dishwasher. Hang out clean tea towels. Feel cold. Decide upon bed and put the house to sleep. Kiss slumbering son and fall over Lego tower on way out of bedroom. Swear. Giggle. Brush teeth. Snuggle under too many quilts with the exquisitely beautiful pain that is Someone At A Distance. Answer the phone to a friend who tells me our other friend is in hospital with malignant tumours. Weep. Ring Mum. Get up and kiss Finn goodnight all over again. Put socks on cold feet, invent nose warmer and resolve to have it patented. Curl into a ball, hands tucked under my chin. Whisper my thank you’s. Sleep. Scratch. Sniff.