Wednesday, 18 January 2017

A stupid list.

We all do stupid things from time to time, but I excel at it. On the plus side it's nice to have something to excel at. Here are a few of the stupid things I’ve done over the years.

1982 - leaving a nightclub in the south of France and walking the coast road back to our mobile home at 1.00 in the morning, alone. Let’s just say I had a close encounter of the groping kind, but on the plus side I got away.

1984 - going for a summer job interview at The University of York and flirting with the student sitting next to me waiting to go in, getting up and heading for the door still flirting, walking straight into a filing cabinet. On the plus side I got the job, and he didn't.

The University of York, full of stupid cabinets.

1986 - boarding a train from Bordeaux to Lisbon expecting to arrive at 8.00 in the evening and arriving at 8.00 next morning instead. Consequently spending the worst night of my life sitting bolt upright, sandwiched between two Germans, with nothing to eat, not even a sandwich. On the plus side I got to practice my German. "Sie stinken, aber ich glaube ich liebe Sie."

1988 - going ahead and buying a studio flat in Streatham despite some City guy telling my dad in the lift of the Lloyd's building that there was going to be a property crash and I shouldn’t. On the plus side… hang on... nope, there definitely isn't a plus side to that. Streatham is a shithole and I was stuck there eight years.

A great glass elevator.

1994 - directing a shoot wearing a brand new pair of GAP chinos (it was 1994) with the size label still stuck on my arse. The cameraman was kind, though, he did tell me, after we wrapped. On the plus side they weren't plus size, they were US size 4.

2003 - taking the boys to fencing class for the first time and thinking the teacher's first name was Salle. On the plus side I never let him know.

2004 - taking the bins out in my dressing gown on a rainy day and getting shut out. On the plus side I got to bond with the neighbours, and learnt I could crawl through a cat flap.

2005 - being so hungover I had to get a friend to take two boys to school while I violently wretched over the loo and peed myself at the same time, with the toddler clinging to my skirt, anxiously repeating, “Mummy, okay?” On the plus side I haven't done that since.

2008 - telling my wide-eyed little son that the tooth fairy would come in the night and put a shiny new coin under his pillow, then forgetting all about it. On the plus side that tooth fairy is sneaky, she then hid it under the sheets and said it was there the whole time.

A fairy.

2012 - contradicting Lorraine when I went on Lorraine on ITV. My one and only time on live television and I was petrified. I was introduced as the mother who regretted having kids because it killed her career because of some stupid thing I’d 'written' for the Daily Mail. The daggers behind her eyes when I corrected her will stay with me forever. She’s not real by the way. She’s animatronic. Her back is hollow. There’s a whole team pulling levers. On the plus side they paid me £50 (I’m clutching at straws here).

Lorraine Kelly - actually made of cardboard.

2012 - ‘writing’ a thing for the Daily Mail about women, careers, and being a mother. On the plus side they paid quite a bit more than £50. 

2013 - taking Youngest to the opticians for the first time and asking him if the glasses were helping. They were the frames. The lenses hadn't been made up yet. In my defence no one in our family had glasses before. On the plus side it's given me something really stupid to put on this list.

2013 - telling a hot shot literary agent who invited me to visit him at his office that I would write a synopsis and a couple of chapters but not the whole thing because someone told me this is what you should do. This is not what you should do. You should keep your mouth shut and smile winsomely, especially if you're a woman. On the plus side I now have a lovely agent, who is a woman.

2014 - telling another hot shot literary agent I couldn’t speak to her on the phone as arranged because Eldest had a high temperature and I had to drive him to his A-Level English examination. She never did get back to me. On the plus side he got an A*.

Now - wasting time thinking it was stupid always putting my family top of my list, when it wasn’t.

Love E x


P.S. Don't be stupid, remember there’s (nearly) always a plus side.

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