Thursday 9th June

I think I need a holiday.

After a fortnight of teenage roller-coaster-iness, I have reached the end of my rapidly fraying rope.

My telephone conversations have become an endless, repetitive round of discussions with the school, other parents, my friends and family and on one delightful occasion, the local bobby.

I have, as it appears that better men before me have done, resorted to rocking backwards and forwards on the sofa, shaking and making a low-pitched humming noise.

On that basis, I believe it could be time to crack out the ‘Rough Guide to Europe’ and spend a few weeks living in the moment, on an odyssey of selfishness and sangria.

My ‘respite-retreat’ would involve a great deal of aimless ambling with, what I can only imagine to be, a delightful sense of not knowing what might happen next.

To an outside observer, this desire to clamber out of the rut that I seem to have constructed for myself may sound unutterably selfish. In my defence however, I have spent the last fortnight not knowing what the hell was going on anyway, so really, doing it in Europe instead of the ‘shires is just a small matter of geography.

I want to take a bike with me. I want to eat bread by a stream in central France. I want to lie in the grass for an entire afternoon with just the sun and the lazy sound of bumble-bees for company.

I don’t want to think about anything or anyone because, right at this moment in time, I feel like I’m suffocating under the weight of all this responsibility.

I suppose that there is actually nothing stopping me doing it, except of course for the fact that I’m a mum. The bonds that tie you to your children are not of the tangible kind but are an invisible golden thread that follows you wherever you go.

Thinking about it, I’m not sure how alone I would really be even if it were just me and the bumble-bees.

I’d miss the Teenager falling over stuff that isn’t there. I’d miss the ‘Best Mum in The World’ pictures that Annabelle is always sliding under my bedroom door. I’d miss beating the Teenager at Swingball and helping Annabelle with her lines for the upcoming school play.

I’d miss Annabelle’s sheer enthusiasm for life and the Teenager’s woodchipper-esque enthusiasm for food.

No. Thinking about it, they are my best friends and undoubtedly the true loves of my life, so on balance, I think I’ll put the Rough Guide back into its drawer and go and peel the potatoes for dinner.

Selfishness and Sangria will always keep for another day.