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Witches, Cinderella, Mabel & Mice

I was away for the weekend, on a restorative and much needed trip to see my friend Jonathan for our annual ‘meet in the middle’ trip to Dubai (he lives in Singapore). I am extremely lucky to be able to do this, I know that and I don’t take it for granted for one minute. Having a friend like that is a remarkable stroke of luck and can really help me gain perspective when the long dark nights of the soul get too much.

So anyway. Today I came back. I arrived at Heathrow at 7.20am and knew that if the cab put his foot down I’d get home in time to see the girls before school and nursery. And as luck would have it he did. And I did. And it was the single best moment in my life since the last time I came home after being away. The sight of those two little girls, the look in their eyes when they see me, the hugs and kisses I get will never fail to remind me of what’s important.

The girls were in the living room this afternoon, making a speedboat out of cushions, as one does, and I was in the kitchen pottering about and clearing up. Eliza came in.

“Mummy can you come and sit in our speedboat?” perfectly normal request.

“Yep, just got to wipe the kitchen table.”


“Well, because if you leave bits of food on the table we’ll get mice.”

“But how will they get in?”

“Oh they can get in anywhere, they can get through really small places.”

“How small? This small?” she said pointing to the gap between the dishwasher and the cupboard.

“Yes that small, that’s why we have Mabel, she’s good at keeping mice away.”

“But she’s a scaredy cat.” She is, poor Mabel.

“Yes but she’s not scared of mice or birds, she chases them.”

“But Mummy why don’t we want mice?”

“Well because they’re small and well not very clean.” Poor mice.

“But some people like mice, like witches who can use them in spells.”

“Yes witches.”

“And Cinderella, she needed mice didn’t she?”

“Yes she did.” So mice are not wanted unless you are a witch or Cinderella. I am neither.

“Will you come and sit in my speedboat now?”

“Yes of course.”

And there goes another piece of Eliza’s growing up history I’ll never forget.


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