One day I will glide calmly to meetings…

Man and women running


It’s been a long week. For various reasons I’ve done lots of early mornings and late nights. There have been quite a few meetings. The weather has morphed from high summer to cool Spring in a matter of days. Only son was going to school smothered in sun cream on Monday and emerging in his snazzy sunglasses and cap, looking like a superstar on the beach. He’s now back in his coat.

Only son has also been complaining about school again. “I can’t believe they charge us for lunch when we are basically working really hard and they are just watching us,” he said indignantly the other day.

The other day I had to go into London. I set out with lots of time to spare. Then I hit a traffic jam. The place I normally park – about 20 minutes from the station – was jam packed. I drove around a bit. Nowhere. The traffic was heaving. I decided to approach the station from another route. The road was closed – road closures seem to be thrown into the mix regularly these days as some sort of extra challenge to getting anywhere.

I ended up down a country lane on the way to a field. Time was ticking. I contemplated leaving the car in the field and running the 45 minutes to the station. I retraced my steps and went back to my favourite car parking place 20 minutes from the station. Bingo. Someone had left. I ran to the tube station. “What time is it?” I asked daughter one as I got to my destination, given my mobile’s clock thing seems to be malfunctioning. “What time do you want it to be?” she replied. She is studying Philosophy and so all time is apparently relative. I told her what time I was due at the meeting. “You have 30 seconds,” she said. Plenty of time. One day soon I will be an OAP. I feel I should be gliding calmly to places by then, but I fear I will still be rushing at full pelt.

I’m not sure if I’ve just got more tired with age, there is just more to do as children get older or the things there are to do take longer, but there appears to be even less time every week than a couple of years ago. I regularly get to the end of the day with 20 vital things still to do. By Friday evening I’m barely able to stand up, although this week I’ve been suckered into agreeing to a swimming session with only son. This follows a discussion with him last night about sleeping in our bed, which I think I can safely say I lost resoundingly. He asked to sleep in our bed [he’s worried about dark spaces]. I said start in yours, he said he couldn’t sleep in his, I said there was no space, but maybe he could sleep in our bed and I could sleep in his, he looked a bit miffed as this and said he would stay awake all night in that case and sat on the floor with his panda, looking very determined. When I went upstairs later he was spreadeagled across our bed…

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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