Showing posts from October, 2014

How to Spice up a Marriage

I'm discussing reliable waterproofing with a dog walker on the trudge back from school and suddenly we veer on to conjugal thrills. He tells me how a friend was dumped by her partner because he no longer found her exciting. Because of that, he says, he and his wife resolved to inject daily excitement into their marriage. I smile politely and make to flee, but he's still in full spate. 'So what I do first thing in the morning,' he continues, visibly invigorated by the memory of it, 'is make her a cup of tea. Another day I might do the washing up. Today it will be dusting. That's what we call excitement - we don't need no swinging from chandeliers.' As I listen I feel my own pulse quickening. The thought of the Vicar assaulting our black mould makes me dizzy. I picture him running the Miele nozzle over neglected crevices and gouging the remains of last night's supper from the plug hole in the sink. I stumble home in my mud-slimed wellies. The Vic


We modern women expect far too much from marriage says Rosamund Pike in the tabloid I'm squinting at over a stranger's left shoulder. We require our spouses to be our lover, mentor, playmate and best friend, whereas our corseted predecessors expected no more than a dress allowance and an annual baby. I am in complete agreement. There can be no finer husband than the Vicar, but he is not someone I would turn to when I crave a game of aeroplanes on the hearth rug or consult over the latest worrisome sproutings on my chin. This month marks 15 years since we pledged to be all and everything to each other till death parts us and, 15 years, on there's noone I'd rather sip tea beside in the marital chamber. But those 15 years have taught me that friends are a vital ingredient for a contented marriage. Our relationship would have been sorely taxed without friends to indulge my addiction to mud walks and garden centres. Friends shield the Vicar from my fascination with petro


I am squatting in the garage trying to dislodge cobwebs and mouse droppings from my cycle helmet with a leaf. The 9-year-old is watching me. 'You,' he says as I cram it onto my head, 'are the most undignified person on this earth!' I am consoling an ailing check-out assistant with a jelly bean from the pot I carry in my handbag for emergencies. 'Mum!' hisses the 12-year-old, 'don't you realise how embarrassing that looks?' I am watching Downton Abbey with an all-day breakfast on my knee when a poached egg drops into my slipper. The Vicar glances up. He is too kindly to pronounce judgment, but his eyebrows say it all. I am undignified. Middle-age and motherhood rob you of many assets - your rainy-day savings account, for instance, and reliable bladder control on the trampoline. But there is one loss that I do not mourn and that is dignity. Dignity, and the exhausting maintenance of it, dogged daily life in my younger days. When a stranger handed