Saturday and I'm going to York for the day to surprise my mother because it's her 75th birthday. I have to get to King's Cross for bang on 10.00 am.
Middle One comes downstairs for breakfast. He has just had a whole week off school with tonsillitis, but he seemed completely better the night before.
"My face hurts," he says, clutching his face, "a lot."
Husband walks into the kitchen. "Eldest has done something to himself," he says, "he is writhing around on the bathroom floor."
"What has he done?" I ask.
I am sorting out my train tickets and trying to track down my Oyster Card in the bottom of my handbag.
"Somehow he appears to have impaled himself on his door handle as he went from his bedroom to the shower," says Husband. "There's a door-shaped mark on his body and he's broken the skin."
I leave my handbag and go up to Eldest. He is indeed writhing around on the bathroom floor, clutching his side and complaining that he feels sick. I look at the wound.
"I think you should go to A & E," I say, "in case you have done some damage inside that we can't see."
I go back downstairs and start stacking the dishwasher.
"I'm in agony," says Middle One, "I've just googled it and I think I have a secondary infection."
"It sounds like a sinus infection," I say, leaving the dishwasher and walking over to Middle One, "you had better start taking those antibiotics. I won't be here, I'm afraid. I'm going to York."
I write out a list of when he should take the antibiotics and then a separate list for when he can take the painkillers and how to alternate between ibuprofen and paracetamol.
Youngest goes to school. Husband takes Eldest to A & E. Middle One goes back to bed. I go up to his room with a glass of water and the tablets and a hot honey and lemon drink and then I finish tidying up and head for the Tube.
When I get to King's Cross I ring Eldest as I'm walking across the concourse, and just as a loud alarm starts to go off with an accompanying even louder announcement.
"How are you!" I shout above the sound of the alarm, and the even louder announcement.
"Please ignore this alarm!" says the announcement.
"I'm okay!" shouts Eldest.
I go into Pret A Manger.
"This is a practice alarm!" says the announcement.
"What did the doctor say!" I shout.
"It's bruising and muscle damage!" shouts Eldest.
"Would you like anything else?" says the girl behind the counter, as I pass her my smoked salmon sandwich.
"Pardon?" I say.
"DO YOU WANT ANYTHING ELSE!" says the girl.
"Yes, a phone call would be nice, or a text, and do you have any miso soup?" I say.
"What?" shouts Eldest.
"Nothing!" I shout back.
"I have to rest!" says Eldest.
"Pardon!" I say to Eldest, "there's an alarm going off!"
"Yes!" says the girl.
"One miso soup as well then, please!" I shout.
"No action is required!" says the announcement.
"I'm going to stay at home today!" shouts Eldest.
"That's a good idea!" I shout back, "you haven't had a day off since the beginning of September, and you have worked evenings and weekends, you are very tired."
Eldest says nothing. I think.
"Is that all?!" shouts the girl.
"No!!!!!" I shout back, "it's absolutely not!"
"Well at least you will be there with Middle One so he won't be by himself!" I shout to Eldest.
"What!" shouts Eldest.
"Never mind!" I shout.
I hang up and head for the train. I have to walk the whole length of it because I have booked a seat in coach B.
It's the quiet coach.
Love E x