Bath bombs and counting snails


Only son has gone bath bomb crazy since he got a set of bath bombs for his birthday. Asked what he wanted for his birthday, he had only put two things on the list. A fidget spinner and Lush bath bombs. He can literally spend hours in Lush watching the bath bombs fizz and froth and he has recently found a website where a man jumps into a bath full of every single Lush product. The bath looks like a pea green soup. Fortunately, there is no Lush near us.

However, I was going to a Lush hotspot the other day for work. Only son looked at me with his big brown eyes as he got ready for school. “I’d sooooo love it if you could get me a Lava Lamp,” he said. “I’ve never had a Lava Lamp. I bet it’s amazing.” I said I’d think about it.

I parked in the town centre where the Lush shop is. I had an interview to do, but the office I was going to was 10 minutes away. There was not enough time to pop into Lush then get to the office to do the interview. So I chose, wisely or unwisely, to do the interview in Ed’s Diner, a stone’s throw from Lush. I had five minutes to get ready so I ordered a drink. It was only then that I noticed the background music was slightly loud. I considered doing the interview in the toilet where the music might be less pronounced, but it was too late. I had committed.

I have done interviews in considerably worse conditions, I thought. It is just a question of focusing carefully on what the person is saying to the background of the disco beat. I managed to get through the interview okay and had only taken a few sips of my Diet Coke. “I’m a slow drinker,” I said apologetically to the Ed’s Diner man when I went to pay. Not only did he pour my drink into a takeaway cup, but he topped it up and threw in some ice too. “It’s on the house,” he said. No-one has ever given me anything on the house. It actually made my day, even my week, which says something about the sad [non-existent] state of my social life.

I managed to buy the Lava Lamp and presented it to only son in the evening. He was overjoyed and immediately decided to jump into the bath. People are still emerging from the bath days later with traces of Lava Lamp.

Meanwhile, daughter three was having a bit of a meltdown about some pasta she was cooking and had stomped off. Daughter three is heavily into stomping off at the moment or breaking down into tears. Her hormonal activity must be off the scale. She just needs a big hug, but it is hard to hug a person in full stomp. I’ve tried.

Meanwhile we have been receiving updates from the shores of Wales from daughter one’s biology field trip. “Can’t believe you paid for this, mum. I have spent the day counting snails,” went the latest one.

“Just two more Spanish clubs till the end of term,” I told only son as he went to bed, slightly more Lava Lampish than before. Only son hates Spanish club with a passion despite the fact that he is half-Spanish or, more accurately, half-Catalan.

We have been much immersed in the impending referendum on Catalan independence of late. My partner has the Catalan radio on all the time and I constantly hear the word “referendum” as I walk into the kitchen. I have to admit that it’s a word that does not inspire me with a great deal of positivity. Our lives seem to be tossed around on an endless sea of referenda these days.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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