The Family Surveillance Unit

Mother left so that she could star in a new detective series and was replaced by another actress, one who looked a bit like her but not much.  The transition from one mother to the next was supposed to be seamless, but new mum had all these crazy ideas about being nice to the spies and reporters that routinely turned up around the place, hiding, filming, taking notes.  Instead of shooing them away, as we did, she made the effort of baking goodies for them and serving cups of tea.

When we got snowed in she invited them to stay in the house and then there was no hiding place.  As far as exciting things go, being snowed in was the most boring exciting thing that ever happened.  There was no television, which meant there was no news, which meant we had to sit around and ask each other what was going on in our lives instead.  And then when it cleared, it felt as though being snowed in had never happened at all.  We staggered out into the world, not quite believing it was there, forgetting all the things we usually did outside.

But we did begin to appreciate new mum’s chumminess with the press – their reports became less intrusive, the pictures they chose to use were more flattering.  They made a kinder analysis of our uneven lives.


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