There’s crunching underfoot as we stagger out of the house first thing in the morning. Glass on the pavement means only one thing around here: but which car is it?
“They took the disabled badge,” explains Mr Patel. He saw us staring at the mess - and his damaged car window, “apparently they can sell them.”
On our street, in the last twelve months, we’ve had our Jack-O-Lantern taken, a stabbing two doors away, the Christmas wreath burnt off the door, a domestic in the night (complete with crying child as the adults screamed at each other) and, of course, the usual smattering of burglaries. Strangely, no one has yet broken into our discarded-sweet-and-biscuit-wrapper-mobile: a beaten-up Zafira with faded stickers and torn child seats. But we did lose it recently.
Coming out of the house and wondering up and down the street with two anxious children in tow muttering (inappropriately) to myself, “where the hell has Daddy left the ****ing car!” I hit upon, what seemed at the time, the only plausible scenario: Middle One had forgotten to lock it after retrieving something and it had been nicked. I rang husband with news and walked them to school.
Luckily, I didn’t get round to ringing the police before husband rang back saying some smarty-pants in his office suggested joy riders don’t usually go for eight year-old Zafiras. Husband then remembered he’d left it in a disabled bay, he meant to go and move it but forgot. It had been towed.
But back to today. I’m off to get my hair done because we’re going to a recording of Jonathan Ross. We have special passes granting access to the Green Room and the man himself. On the way out I see Mr Patel hoovering up glass from his car.
A very long time ago I was in love with Jonathan Ross. It’s because of him that I married a man with a quiff and a London accent. I resolve to tell JR this - he will be bowled over by my lovely hair and we will run away together...
The visit to the hairdresser is not the haven of tranquillity I desire. My hairdresser (let's call him P), camp as Christmas but not gay - because look, I’m in a relationship and have a child! - decides to unburden himself (and so burden me) with his relationship problems. Isn’t it meant to be the other way around? P gets as much counselling out of me as I get hairdo out of him. Perhaps we should call it quits with no payment necessary?
Later, Television Centre makes me nostalgic and wistful. It was here, as a fresh-faced 25 year-old, I directed my first children’s programmes - back when I had a life - ones with celebrities in them who did what I said. Now I’m mere audience fodder for celebrities.
I go to the loo and pretend I’ve been magically transported back twenty years and like in Tom’s Midnight Garden I will walk out of the cubicle into 1991. Instead of racked seating I will return to the director's gallery and tell everyone what to do. It will be a life untouched by children and domesticity…
But it’s 2010 and I go back in the studio to be told how to laugh.
It’s a good show and JR is charming if slightly weird. Brother and husband are too starving hungry by the end of it to countenance going back to the Green Room to meet him, but we do brush shoulders in the corridor. He’s surrounded by fans, looking slightly weird with wild eyes. Probably a good thing I didn’t marry him then. He doesn’t notice me, or my beautiful hair.
We go for dinner with brother and sister-in-law, getting a cab home very late and disturbing foxes, and probably the odd car thief, as we tumble out noisily into the street.