“You look like a mum” she says, following the trail of undigested milk down my top. “Great” I reply. Knowing I’ve now got to change. Change, yes, but not just my top. I posted the above photo three weeks ago. Some two weeks after Harry was born. I hadn’t shaved for most of those two weeks. I hadn’t had my hair cut for nearly three times as long. I was a mess – and not just because of the sleep deprived state of mind. I was digging around in drawers looking for things that didn’t really need an iron – even if they were of a state where, pre-Harry, I wouldn’t have dared leave the house without ironing them. I was wearing jeans that stood
Pop quiz due How can you tell the locals from the tourists in Rome? Most of you are going for the trademark cameras or rucksacks. Others, for the gormless look of the lost tourist, nose deep in a map. The true key to differentiate between the two is not necessarily that simple. The real test is in what the person is wearing. Or more importantly – not wearing. It was once explained to me that Italians dress by the season. Only last week did the calendar herald the arrival of spring – and whilst I have been fighting temptation to drag out my hairy, pasty legs in a pair of shorts – resisted thus far – your average Roman adult is still wearing a coat
Goodbye old friend You served me well I shall cherish the times we spent together You protected me You covered me You gave me warmth when others offered only cold You were cool when some would have been stifling We travelled great distances together But as time drew on, you rarely left the house You lived your life, as I lived mine But what now – where will we both end up? I will move on, but never will I forget you Your end will not come, splattered in paint or oil or dirt Valhalla, if such a place exists for your kind Woosh the flames rise as they lick around you Ashes – all that will remain But what if another can love you?
I’m a mess. With each passing week – with each frayed collar, each lost button – every load of washing (of which I am unlikely to have played an active part), it is clear. I am letting myself go. I can’t remember the last time I bought an item of clothing – can’t remember the last time I set up the iron without trepidation of finding another stain, another loose stitch – my favourite shirt giving up the ghost. It wasn’t always like this. I used to take pride in my appearance. I’d regularly siphon funds from various pay packets to ensure that I had a new work shirt at least once a month – had a new round neck, imported American t-shirt – sometimes