5:30 – I Wake up, it ‘s dark, freezing and gloomy outside, and inside. I Continue, pointlessly, to lie in bed.

5:41 – Daughter (12) goes down steps for shower (I hear this very clearly). Shower goes on. I think of the water we’re gonna have to pay for.

6:05 – alarm goes off – F**k!

6:10 – I Ache my way down the steps

6:15 – Tea

6:20 – I Prepeare breakfast for daughter (12) – Rice, fruit, selection of spreads, bread etc. Feel good about that. She complained the other day that she doesn’t like the stuff I give her, so I consulted experts (mum) and got this advice. Mum is – quite rightly – still in bed with 4 week old daughter.

6:34 – Daughter (12) arrives in the kithchen. She has (AS USUAL) exactly 6 minutes to eat her breakfast, make a packed lunch, finish gettng dressed (she’s dressed for summer although it’s -1 outside) and discuss the day with me. I explain the problem of the 6 minutes.

6:35 – Daughter looks at rice and exclaims: “I’m supposed to eat that?”. I explain to her that her mother told me that daughter loves rice with fruit. Daughter sits down and begins to poke rice with spoon. Some rice enters her mouth.

6:36: I enquire why she doesn’t add some fruit to make it more attractive? She replies: “How can I even think about that when I’ve only got 6 minutes

6:37 – I ask daughter tentativley if she needs money for lunch today. Daughter pulls an enormous teenager face and mutters something inaudible while seemingly shaking head in a sarcastic manner. I ask her if she’s going climbing (for the first time today) with a friend. Same reaction. This time I’m suppoed to understand her reaction as “yes”.

6:40 – I explain that we have to go. I go towards the entrance hall and head out into the freeeeezing cold for the car. Daughter leaves all things standing. She has eaten 4 spoonfuls. She grabs fruit for her break-time snack in school.

6:41 – We are in the car, driving the 2km to the bus stop in the village. The bus leaves at 6:45. I ask daughter (12) whether she has got the money for the climbing. I hear a silent “shit” under her breath. Now she has a problem. She has been on about this for a few weeks now, and finally it’s the big day, and now she realises she’s messed up. If she’d got there earlier for breakfast and talked with me, then we could have figured this out together, but this time she’s pushed it too far and there’s no way back. She’ll have to admit I was right…. No chance.

6:44 Arrive at bus, bus about to leave, daughter has to go. Frosty air enters the car as she opens the door. She gets on the bus. As I begin to drive away I notice something in my jacket pocket. My wallet! I think about it. Should I stick the knife in and let her drive off without the money and the chance to go climbing today? Just to show her how stupid she’s being?  I consider it, and although I feel bad at the thought that I’m being so hard, I can justify it 100 times. But then I realise she’ll be stressed about this all day, trying to work out how to get ther hands on the cash to go with her friend…It’s not gonna do her good. I get out of the car, jog to the bus, and just before it leaves, I get on and smile at her as gently as I can given the awkward situation (parent on bus!), and hand her the money. I think climbing is going to do her good – and all of us!

6:49 – I Arrive back home. The sky is vislble. The clouds seem to be lower in the valley today. That encourages me to carry on. I get in the house and am met by son (4) and son (5). I fetch clothes,  slippers, etc etc and begin to look after them in my sleepy way. I put the kettle on again, check any messages and the daily headlines from Brexit Britain. I go out side into the cold to chop some wood for the fire, and notice I’m starting to feel human again. I think of my guitar.


To be continued:


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