Anna Tims combines careers as a journalist, mother-of-two and vicar's wife.
Saturday is Caption Day
It's Picture Caption Day over at Mammasaurus and a chance to air the family album. If you are tiring of fireworks, put your mind to a suitable witticism for when I next go to visit my father. All suggestions considered!
Recently a BBC researcher contacted me and asked if the family would be willing to be filmed for a series on vicarage life. Obviously, narcissism urged me to say yes. I could be the next Amy Childs, only in an M&S cardie. The church teas on Fridays would be seething with fans wanting to bond with the Vicar over a Jammy Dodger. And watching the episodes would keep me going through the suspenseful wait for the next series of Rev . Indeed, said the researcher, a real-life Rev is what they are after. A heart-warming, fun-filled glimpse into family life in a vicarage to follow Songs of Praise . It was at that point I knew we had to say no. Any fly-on-the-wall portrait of our vicarage life would have to be shown after the 9pm watershed to protect the nation's children. I myself would find it hard to stomach: Graphic footage of me wrestling my chin bristles with deadly steel weaponry in the bathroom and, sheathed in rubber, delving for the plastic Smurf someone's dropped down
I have ordered a new pair of wellies from Amazon for the daily walk to school. My current hardly-at-all-old pair has developed a fissure along one toe. I only noticed this when I was wading along the stream that flows brownly past bobbing Argos bags en route to the afternoon pick up, and I was not pleased. They are a glamorous pair with pink spots and white swirls, bought to ease my daughter's pain in ackowledging a wellie-wearing, stream-paddling mother in public. I now distrust wellies with spots and swirls, so order a safe-looking green pair. Better to be waterproof than glamorous. Royal Mail gets them as far as my door, thrusts through a 'Sorry you were out' card, and promptly loses them. Amazon is sympathetic and dispatches a replacement pair. This also makes it to my door and again a card is left. This time I decide to pick them up in person from the Royal Mail depot. The man behind the glass screen makes off with my delivery card and probably has a cup of tea and
The picture is the prompt for this week's 100-word Challenge . The orange spot daubs trees that are to be felled to make way for the rest. It's an apt choice as our ash trees are incinerated, but it made me think of a worn leather album that records my family through the 1930 and 1940s. There's the woman in uniform beaming in a field, a teenage Hercules posed in a loincloth and a girl in a garden with dramatic tumbling hair. Each died young and violently - the woman crushed during wartime training and the teenager electrocuted at work. The flowing-haired girl slit her throat. I gaze at their smiles and hunt for a portent - a sign in their eyes that they knew Fate had marked them. But they gaze gaily back, vitality frozen in sepia. And now I fear future eyes finding my albums, studying the smiles of my children with the awful benefit of hindsight.