I made a serious school girl error yesterday. As a woman of questionable age (too old to be a trophy wife, too young to wear purple) I am now far, far away from those years spent with young children. I'll be honest with you, and I'm sorry if I offend any of you here, I had forgotten how bloody awful they can be (especially when they are not your own, if you know what I mean).
As daughter number one had very kindly offered to take the hairy hooligans out for a walk yesterday, I decided to take a drive to my local town to do the weekly shop and have a coffee in one of my favourite cafes.
The car park looked like the M25 in rush hour, ie a still life, and having done several painful laps of the car park without finding any space big enough even for my itsy bitsy car, I eventually decided to leave my car with the car wash guys. At least it was in the same time zone as the supermarket, and there was the added bonus of my car not resembling a skip for the weekend.
They didn't want me back for an hour and a half (this tells you had bad it was), so I went for the coffee first. The pedestrianized shopping centre was busier than usual, and was full of small clumps of children, looking around 15, but probably only 11. It was only then that the penny dropped. It was half term. What was I thinking....
My favourite cafe was rammed, with an isolated table for one (yes, one) being the only option. Naturally it was still covered with the detritus of the previous occupant, drinks carton, half drunk coffee, crisp packet and a small, red Suzuki motorbike. Pushing it all to the back of the tiny table, I sipped at my coffee and wished I'd brought my noise cancelling ear phones. Kids were running everywhere, and mums looked like they'd rather be necking a bottle of wine rather than a cup of tea.
I lasted as long as I could but eventually caved, gathering up my belongings and heading for the door. Just as I reached it, a very loud voice (to be heard over the record breaking noise of the cafe) shouted out to me.
'Excuse me love. You've forgotten your motorbike'.
I could have turned round. I could have explained it wasn't mine. I did neither, choosing instead to get out of there as soon as possible without a backwards glance. Not surprisingly, the supermarket was even worse, full of whinging kids telling their poor mums what they 'needed' her to buy.
I know exactly what they 'needed' and it definitely wasn't Easter eggs.
It's February for goodness' sake. Someone tell the shops please...