Hampshire Mum


The radio alarm goes off and we are treated to Vanessa’s cheery ramblings on her Radio Two early morning show. Bless her she’s been up since four and is remarkably chirpy, unlike ‘The Husband’, who at the very sound of her voice launches into his first rant of the day,

“Oh shut up being so bloody happy” I assume he means the exuberant Vanessa as he slams the alarm off, and groans as he gets out of bed and stumbles toward the bathroom. Ah, welcome to another day!

It is said that the kitchen is the heart of the home but snuggling down beneath the velvet eiderdown for just a few more precious moments I conclude that it is in fact the bed. The bed is a place of privacy, love and passion. A place of nurturing, healing and rest; a sanctuary from children’s nightmares and fear of thunderstorms. There’s nothing quite like your own bed is there?

Ask any parent and there will be times when your bed appears to be no longer your own,
“Mummy I feel….”
Sick- yes all over your bed of course – all those midnight linen changes! Then there’s years of “Mummy I can’t sleep there’s something in my room”.
Ah yes the monster under the bed routine which can mean for some years they snuggle in with you and steal all the duvet.

But the years quickly pass and in no time your offspring’s rooms become strictly out of bounds and neither wild horses or the chance of coffee and cake will entice them out of their beds much before lunch time.

Lets not forget that the bed for some can mean nothing but boredom and incarceration a place to end up in when all else fails. Our smelly teenagers are fortunate to have an option. At least your own bed becomes that familiar comfortable place again, (if you haven’t had to buy a new one!) where you too can lie in with tea and the papers on a Sunday morning. And with your kids out and about at parties or sleep overs you claw back a spare room that can be very handy at times. Or so I thought…

At a recent party thrown by a friend, a guest brought along some rice wine from his recent travels and his latest contribution to the world of distillation, a bottle of rhubarb gin. Now you’d think wouldn’t you that both varieties would require a cautionary sip and a polite smile. The Husband on the other hand knocked it back with gusto then, twenty minutes later, while clinging precariously to the stove announced that he felt he should be going home.

A little later Star II and I returned home.
“What IS that noise?”
Clearly the combination of rice, rhubarb and spirit do nothing for the sinuses.
Snoring the likes of which had never been heard,
“Good luck with that mum”, Star II retreated to his room.
As I slid into bed I knew it was futile, I went through the usual array of anti snoring tactics, the kick, the pinch, the holding of the nose. Pillow over the face? Seemed rather extreme, so as the earth continued to move, and not in a good way, I decided to escape the seismic inhalations and escape to Star I’s room.

Peace, perfect peace.! Until… I was awoke with a start, it was 4am and Star I and chum had returned home, he said he’d be out all night! Mercifully, once you’ve had kids you are prone to be a light sleeper so quick as a flash I scooped up my pillows and sprung like a greyhound from a trap along the landing and back into my own bed where ‘The Husband’ lay dormant like a big brown bear in full hibernation.

Had I not heard the light go on can you imagine the scene if I had been found there!
“Oh hello you two don’t mind me”.

Next time I’ll take the sofa.

Sandra Pagan