I am very excited to have my first guest on this blog and it’s the lovely author and journalist Janey Fraser. I’ve got to know Janey (aka Jane Bidder and Sophie King) through our local branch of the Romantic Novelist Association. That sounds very formal – we are just a group of writers who meet in a pub in Exeter to encourage and support each other and to eat. Janey is a fantastic writer and I am thrilled to have her on here as she writes about the chaos and intricacies of family life, as I do. (See my previous blog post with a review of her latest novel The Au Pair.)
Check out her website and blog…
AM I THE ONLY ONE
Am I the only one who feels as though I am a parent operating on remote control? Those of you with young children, won’t have got to this stage yet. But ignore this at your peril – for your time will come!
Along with heaven knows how many other parents out there, my three offspring have sort of flown the nest. I say ‘sort of’ because as my newish husband never fails to comment on with a certain amount of bemusement, I’m on the phone to them at least twice a day.
Now I know I shouldn’t and I’m trying to wean myself off it – honestly – but it’s really difficult to bring up your children for twenty odd years and then pretend that it’s perfectly all right not to hear from them for a few weeks.
Of course psychologists will say that this is exactly what you ought to do in order to let children grow up. And I’m all for that – up to a point. But supposing your so-called adult/child is in a spot of bother and they can’t get hold of you? So that’s why I ring them or send ‘R U OK?’ text messages as well as sending food parcels (even though I’m assured that they do sell fruit cake in Elephant & Castle).
Life has changed a lot for all of us in the last year and we all seem to be in different places at different times. So in order to check up on my kids in person and do things I can’t on the phone or Skype (such as check their follicles are washed and their teeth don’t smell), we meet up once a week, usually at Paddington Station where we’ve discovered a nifty little Cornish pasty place by platform seven where you can actually sit down. (Have you noticed how difficult it is to actually sit and eat in stations nowadays instead of standing by a take away bar?)
I then have to cram all my questions in before they head off to some bar and I wend my way home. Have they eaten properly? If so, why are they looking so thin (in one case). Are they drinking too much? (All three of them). Have they rung their grandparents recently (none of them). Are they overdrawn? (Stupid question.)
Once the nagging is over, we can then sit down and enjoy each other’s company for all of a few minutes. And then it’s time to get on with our individual lives for the next week. My mother, who died when she was my age, used to say that you worried about your children until the day you went. Hang on, my mobile is going. It’s my eldest who wants to come back for a week. Fantastic. Except that I’m working……
‘AM I THE ONLY ONE’ is part of a series of articles, devised and written by Janey Fraser.
Janey Fraser’s latest novel is called THE AU PAIR. It’s published by Arrow (Random House) and is about a mum who sets up an au pair business round the kitchen table with hilarious results. The Daily Express recently gave it a four star review, describing it as ‘a hilarious romp’. The author Fay Weldon declared it to be a ‘sheer delight’.
Janey also writes novels and short stories under the name Sophie King. Look out for Tales of the Heart (Corazon Books) available as a download from Amazon. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-from-the-Heart-ebook/dp/B008I5CAEI