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Nearly half term – which seems a little unfair as I have only just recovered from the epic summer holidays (9 and a 1/2 weeks – wasn’t that the title of a very rude film?). It all started with the Ray Mears survival trip and went on in that vein.

I am now fully capable of building a shelter to sleep 10 (as long as someone else cuts down large branches and sources useful bits of rope) and skinning and butchering many different wild animals (as long as someone else captures and kills them first) but completely incapable of actually sleeping in said shelter with bugger loads of children and a couple of Daddies snoring – in counterpoint.

After an amazingly disaster free summer – A&E – nil, Ponds – nil and the house is still standing despite the Pet count rising by one ‘fancy’ mouse and a large (read enormous) Golden Retriever – Harriet has started school. Slight apprehension over new language acquired during the summer as it became apparent that someone (possibly me) had been less than serene. Harriet, on dropping her cup of milk said quite distinctly ‘Oh for fuck’s sake’ and then ‘ that is what we say, isn’t it mummy?’ Disastrous introduction to nice, but v prim nursery staff averted by tiny misdirection – ‘ No darling, its “Foxes” we say “Foxes” when we are cross because they are nasty, smelly animals who tip over the bins in an irritating way’. Phheww!  Primed for rural blood sports and/or urban life I reckon.

Barring a small tussle over v masculine uniform of navy joggers etc which, in the view of my pinkest princess ever, was an affront – brilliantly solved by putting coins in the pockets – Harriet happily skipped off to school jingling and I was left to institute a long awaited and intensive regime of moisturizing and pilates. Hooray.

Coffee mornings have been replaced for me with Riding lessons with some other school mummies so I am finding muscles which have never/should never have been discovered and now hurt all over. Am also rediscovering the class clown aspect of my personality as I am carted – swearing loudly and inventively – by many and different horses week after week. Still, with new found thigh muscles I do look rather splendid in my ‘Jods’ despite the indignities of my riding style. (Offensive Husband keeps humming inappropriate anthems: Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls ;- that one from Shrek – I like big butts and I cannot lie – etc.)

And of course my biggest news – after years of waiting and disappointment I have finally reached the starry heights of Primary School ambition. I’VE GOT A MARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Harriet has done it, she has landed the part distinguished by its utter dullness. Hold a dolly and plod about on stage – speaking not part of duty as entirely unnecessary in female role model – Just don’t drop the baby! Actually the technical demands are increased as she has to do all this on horseback, it being the pony club nativity (no Donkeys as they upset the horses!). So whilst this may be the highest dramatic achievement of her life (so often the case with ‘Marys’) she does stand in danger of being eclipsed by a volley of farts as the ponies have no manners but an impeccable sense of timing.

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