I arrived at Tiverton station and felt a lurch in my heart as I spotted the small figure charging over the bridge. My boy hurtled down the platform towards me, paused and then just threw out his arms and sank into me, in our usual embrace. How lovely that he feels he can still do that, at the grand old age of twelve. I wonder how much longer he will fit so I can (just, with a bit of a stretch) rest my chin on the top of his tousled head? Not that long now before our positions will switch and I will rest my head on his chest.
Adrian ambled behind, looking surprisingly chipper given he’d spent the weekend with the King of Extreme Alcohol Intake (aka Big Chief Sitting Birch) and we commenced the handover. A briefing on what was going on on the home front; what was needed; what might occur. There was I back from London, not even home, and he was going straight off to Moscow. Modern parenting, eh?James hates it. Can’t bear the way we’re always flitting off here, there and everywhere. But, really, what can you do?
‘Dad said we won’t eat while he’s away,’ James said, as soon as we got in the car.
‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ I said. ‘We’ll eat just fine.’
And, when we got back to the Bonkers House, I opened the fridge door and, lo and behold, two vast bars of chocolate and a huge box of chocolates – a present from Switzerland from BCSB, who works over there. ‘See,’ I said to James, brandishing a bar the size of my arm. ‘We’re sorted.’
'I rest my case,’ said James.
‘Oh, that reminds me,’ I said cheerily. ‘Apparently lawyers are a dying breed, as well as journalists. You can get a divorce online now, or so Jane says. And there’s going to be no more Legal Aid. You’re going to have to rethink your career choices.’
He shrugged. ‘They’ll always need private corporate lawyers.’ Ye gods. Oh well, maybe it doesn’t matter that my pension is fecked. My darling son can pay for my retirement grape peelers.
But anyway. London was fabulous. I got massaged within an inch of passing out with pleasure. I met men with prosthetic boils on their heads and bolts through every part of their anatomy. I walked into my past time and time again. I had lunch with my lovely agent and I met an angel (no really, I did) in the British Museum. I ate Japanese, and Lebanese and Greek and French. I scribbled like a madwoman and bought more books. I fell in love with a memory mattress. Oh and I read Bradley Wind’s fabulous novel Bulb on my Kindle.
‘You know what?’ I said to my agent, Judy, as we hugged goodbye on Hampstead High Street. ‘I could just handle a pied-a-terre in London, then we could do this every week. How about a stonking deal for the Samael series?’
She grinned. ‘Now there’s a plan.’
Maybe, just maybe (if the angel was right) James won’t need to sell his soul to keep me in old age luxury…
PS – there’s still time to enter the Ila competition on the last post….just leave a comment here. I’ll close it on Thursday.