Work experience

Books and stationary on a school desk


It’s been a stormy start to the new year. Trees are up and signs are down all over the place. I thought daughter one was sleepwalking in the night, but it turned out it was multiple bits of litter being blown down the road.

The car was in the garage due to the lack of heating problem which means you have to drive with all the windows down, which is tricky with all the rain. So on inset day – Wednesday – I was at home with only son and the norovirus, trying to work. Only son, it has to be said, is a very sympathetic companion when you have the norovirus. He had it on New Year’s Eve and he was keen to help me out. He brought me a bucket and decided that what would cheer me up most was a back massage. He got out his creams. They were very cold – and wet. Then he drew a picture of me. “I’ll put in all the lines on your face to make it look more like you,” he said helpfully.

I dragged myself through the day. Only son and I went to get the car when it was fixed. Why does no visit to the garage ends up with a bill of less than 400 pounds? I tried to sort out daughter two’s work experience in the summer. She doesn’t want to do anything. She suggested working for me, which I think she took to be having two weeks of lie-ins. I suggested I would force her to go to long conferences. So worried was she by this prospect that she agreed to a suggestion of working at her brother’s school. “Nooooo,” howled only son. “She’s a maniac.” A great testimonial if she needs one.

We packaged up daughter one’s 18th birthday present and returned it on eBay. It lasted about two days before conking out. Daughters one, two and three lucked out and didn’t get an inset day. Daughter one had exams on the first day back. Due to the sudden return to getting up early, she had a massive migraine in the middle of her first exam. Daughter three returned home from her first day back at school looking weak with period pains and retired to bed.

The day after having the norovirus I was due to have a smear test. Lovely. It’s that warm start of the year feeling.

*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of

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