Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Boredom

Appearances can be deceptive.

I may be sitting here in my pyjamas, sipping a lemon and ginger tea and peering through a pair of reading glasses at the laptop, but please, don't let that fool you. The highlight of my day may well have been a cowboy puppet's rendition of the Toy Story theme tune at a 5 year-old's birthday party, but don't let that mask the more sophisticated interactions I have most recently been involved in.

In fact, during this particular month, you could even go so far as to assume I had a social life - one that expands beyond the usual soft play haunts. Amazing, but true.

I was starting to show the first symptoms of a very serious yet astoundingly common disease which, in the soft play circles we call 'The Boredom'. It happens to us all. Even if your children are brilliantly entertaining and continuously surprising (which my two are, fully certified), The Boredom can still set in. Even if you're well up on your positive psychologies and can meditate your way out of a nuclear holocaust, The Boredom can still hook in its claws and drag you down. And it's not pretty.

Kids aren't the only ones who get bored

So I was just starting to feel that familiar clawing when I decided something had to be done. I needed to clock up some serious anti-boredom points. And what better way than to start with my birthday?

I used my best bossy voice to insist the hubby got the day off work and packed the family off to the seaside and the aquarium for the day. I decided nothing would stop us from having fun, not even the weather, the overdraft or the potential for tantrums. We had cake (the detox is over, after all), we had wind in our hair and we had sand in our boots. Me: 1, The Boredom: Nil.

Not long after that, I spotted another opportunity on the horizon. My Mam was driving up to the Highlands of Scotland to visit family and really, how much difference would it make to her if I tagged along with her two grandsons? Surely the 8-hour car journey would be made more interesting with a few sugar-induced screaming fits and a record-breaking game of I-Spy? And her X-Trail does an easy 70mph so we were outrunning The Boredom good and proper.

Back home and back to reality. But not for long. I'd spent the last millennium (or so it seemed) organising a trip of the most professional nature for me to go to London Book Fair. I'd been advised by my lovely business mentors to do it, to find some exciting opportunities for my utterly marvelous Cool Rule Book. So off I went. I mean actually on my own, sans enfants. Can you believe it? I spent a whole four days away from the family nest and went swanning around with literary types at Earl's Court, grabbing goodie bags and learning about hybrid authors. Get me.

The Boredom was re-thinking its game plan.

But I had another trick up my sleeve. The theatre. And not just any old show. I was going to see my very own brother in The Reduced Shakespeare Company's Complete Works of William Shakespeare! There was much hilarity, much beaming pride and much in the way of after-show dinner and drinks.

That's my brother, in the middle

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's, Me: 4, The Boredom: Nil.

And just to put a very succulent cherry on a gorgeously sticky cake, on the last evening of this month, I am off to the theatre yet again. And my succulent cherry will be . . . Derren Brown. You know, that marvelous bloke who is otherwise known as a dark manipulator of magic and mind control. He is most definitely one of my favourite people to watch. And watch him I will! Whilst The Boredom shivers outside in the theatre's gutters, I will be marvelling at the mind tricks of Mr Brown in his brand new show, 'Infamous'.

Oooh, exciting!

I may have had a whole year's quota of social activity in only one month but it was worth it to remember there is a world outside of dirty washing and difficult meal times. Now I am ready to smile at the splattered yoghurt and laugh in the face of the broken washing machine . . . I took on The Boredom and I came out on top.

Oh, and I remembered to count my blessings. 1, 2, 3.

Go well,


Find out the ultimate way to fend off The Boredom with your toddler by visiting

Check out the tour dates for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and see my brother be very, very funny!

Find out about the next London Book Fair at

Marvel at the mind tricks of the master that is Derren Brown: 

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