Oh God. Kate Reddy says, in I Don't Know How She Does It, 'I think giving up work is like becoming a missing person. One of the domestic Disappeared. The post offices of Britain should be full of Wanted posters for women who lost themselves in their children and were never seen again.'
Yes. I am lost. Only I'm worse than a domestic Disappeared. I am an undomestic Disappeared. I seem to have forsaken the art of washing up, the art of cooking, the art of bothering to turn on the Rayburn (which has remained off since the day I bought up armfuls of Thai cooking ingredients to feed my Passion for South-East Asian Cuisine), the art of putting the washing in the washing machine and hanging it on the line (due to fact that reaching washing machine requires the art of removing coats, hockey stick and Hoover from the cupboard first, while avoiding tennis racket and hessian shopping bags falling on head).
The only thing I'm lost in these days is ferrying. Ferrying Dusty to and from the vet. Ferrying Lily to and from school. With detours due to road closures. (While I have been criss-crossing the countryside to get home so that I can stare at my house in dismay and spend an hour or two plucking up courage to switch on the computer, other Manor mothers, it transpires, went to the beach yesterday, only to be surrounded by tattoed nudist males. Why? Why doesn't this happen to me?) The upshot of all that ferrying and criss-crossing being that I don't get to my computer cupboard until 11am at the earliest, and then it's nearly time for lunch. And then I look at the mess that surrounds the kitchen sink, the unwashed Le Creuset with the encrusted chilli con carne that has been sitting there since last weekend, and opt once more for a garden lettuce (yes! One small success in my life is that I have Grown My Own lettuces from seed, planted on the last day of their Plant By date, 31 July) and a couple of oatcakes. Practically the fat of the land.
Anyway, so disgusted with myself am I by the extent of my daily lack of achievement (exacerbated by listening to Arthur Edwards, The Sun's royal photographer, telling us on Desert Island Discs that he has a wonderful 50-year marriage, three wonderful children of whom he is proud, and No Regrets, oh, except for photographing a pregnant Princess Di in her bikini) that I am now making myself apply for 3 jobs, as instructed by Meredith.
1. Baby photographer/sales rep at maternity unit in Canham (inspired by Arthur - well, you've got to start somewhere, and one of those babies may grow up to be a prince or princess - nice little retirement package!). I've taken some sweet snaps of Lily, and it's all about being nice to new mums, which I definitely would be. Hmmm. Says 'must live close to the hospital'. Wonder how fast I can safely go through the 30 limits? Anyway, people travel for hours to get to their jobs round here, so surely 45 minutes must rate as 'close'?
2. School cover supervisor at Canham Academy. £9.23 an hour, 18 hours a week. Hmmm - £166.14 a week. Pathetic, but less pathetic than pizza delivery. 8.15am start. Meaning 7.30am departure from home, or 7.20am to allow time for forgetting things and having to re-enter house. Hmmm. Unlikely, but might be achievable.
3. Part-time administrative assistant in an art gallery near Candlebury. No mention of hours or pay. Of course, am highly qualified for this - in fact practically over-qualified, having worked in a London art gallery for two years - if a little rusty on skills. Must take a look at that Excel for Dummies Meredith sent me.
Ta-da! On way to becoming gainfully employed. Initially tempted by job as Customer Services Assistant to William Hill, 'focusing on delivering a great gambling experience for our customers'. But put off by the paltry remuneration of £6.08 to £6.22 per hour. Suspect William Hill pays himself somewhat more. Perhaps gambling is the way to go? Click William Hill. Yes! Online poker! No, no, no. It's the casinos and bookies who make the money, not the punters. Click Wikipedia, William Hill. Deceased. Started out with an illegal gambling den. Hmmm. Maybe I could run a stall as an add-on at Mistlebourne Market? Will run the idea past Meredith.