You know the "what would I do if I won the lottery" conversation? My best friend and I have it frequently. Sometimes gin is involved. In fact, gin and the lottery game are positively correlated. Me and her bought lottery tickets together the week it was launched in the UK. We were just old enough to play (though technically not old enough to watch the inaugural draw on the pub telly. Ahem.)
So what would we do if we won? All the selfless generosity items have to be ticked off first; pay one another's mortgages (and those of all one another's brothers), buy local pet rescue, make record-breaking charity donation. You know the script.
Once that's out of the way, the selfish indulgences can be debated. And that's always more interesting.
It's taken nearly twenty years to be absolutely sure what my first selfish indulgence would be. It would be The Summer Of All Summers.
On May Day, I'd spring the kids out of school and tell the Breadwinner to quit his job. We'd fly somewhere beautiful and decrepit for a couple of weeks, probably Procida, where there's genuinely nothing to do except eat your own body weight in lingua di bue pastries. Returning to London, having got our heads around being bajillionaires, we'd start a Summer of solid gold-plated wonderment; the Chelsea Flower Show, the Hay Literary Festival, a family-friendly music festival or two, a full fortnight of fabulous seats at Wimbledon. We'd string out the gallivanting until the last night of the Proms in September, and then go to Japan to watch the trees change colour from an onsen in the mountains.
Of course we'd stay in a string of achingly beautiful guesthouses and powerfully inauthentic yurts throughout, the weather would be the colour of a peach, and we would all become gently bronzed and gorgeous. Meanwhile, the traditional Procidan fisherman's house we bought for thruppence would be under renovation by Miuccia Prada herself, and our relatives' bickering (over the value of first brother's mortgage being twice that of second brother's) would have escalated and required arbitration.
It would all be rather nomadic, incredibly indulgent and gently adventurous.
Funnily enough, we're not living that Summer.
Mr Breadwinner is working a very, very long way away for a wee while, so I am currently sole custodian of two small children, an elderly cat, a draughty old house and an overgrown garden. If you're a little bit neurotic (I think I just heard him snort at the "little bit" from nine thousand kilometres. Amazing.) this level of responsibility can make you an eensy weensy bit risk averse.
We're not doing bikes. Or scooters. Or secateurs. Or lawn mowing. Or balancing on low garden walls. Or playing the how-long-can-I-hold-my-breath-in-the-bath game. In fact, let's just not do baths. Too slippery. Did I really say we'd make rhubarb jam? We're not doing boiling sugar. Sorry.
In fact, this week is exactly the opposite of The Summer Of All Summers. As if to underline the point, it's actually just started hailstoning on my clean washing line.
But we are knitting, and reading, and watching coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show on the telly. We're ticking off the days, trading for cooperation in whatever currency seems most appropriate: Merida stickers and playdates for her, carbs and chewy silicone kitchen utensils for him, online window shopping and caffeine for me. Safe safe safe. Well inside the comfort zone. Only a few more days to go.
I want to thank everyone so much who voted for our 'Flatte
But I've done some sums and if everyone who reads my YA posts were to vote, we'd be neck and neck. So, if you'd like to know about how I came to enter this little design contest, click here. Or if you've got a spare twenty seconds to just give me a wee boost, you can click on the 'Flatte
It's not going to be the multimillion Summer Of All Summers, I haven't bought a lottery ticket after all. But you could help me to the runner up position and it won't cost anyone a penny!