I can’t help it, I worry.
That’s pretty much what I do now, worry, and now the school’s have turned our all the more so. For I worry about my sprouts as I hear them play because I know that the sound is that of starlings mobbing a cat.
Seven years ago and Tolly Maw (I discover from Michael the post master) saw every woman and a shop window mannequin fall pregnant. Born in the usual fashion and much to everyone’s delight the children were healthy, quiet and apart from the sound of the BBC radiophonic workshop using a theremin* whenever they caught one another’s eyes, all then was well. I did wonder on taking my sprouts to their new school at the universal stark white hair and burning eyes of the year between them, but you don’t like to ask do you?
I worry now because it’s our first summer here and the sprouts out and playing, are playing with these children. Children whose growing similarity to the crowds of sticky Tilda Swintons weighing down the telephone wires is hard to ignore. As the children play the Tildas most uncharacteristically bellow. Like fat mothers stuffing burgers through the fences of a school within a mile of Jamie Oliver they bark, they call, their bones rattling and their eyes setting small fires amongst the bus tickets and ration coupons that still blow about the high street. I see now why the Tildas gathered a month or three ago, these virulent cuckoos with claws of Prada chitin and sharp teeth of new urinal porcelain, still wrapped.
With such do my sprouts play.
But it’s not my daughters screams I can hear. It’s their laughter.
*Look it up.