Oh! I’m going to L’Ampolla!

Skyscanner – I love you.

I kid myself that I’d have trawled the cheapo flight sites, searching for the travel holy grail: conveniently timed flights for the price of 6 bottles of plonk –  for any more than an hour. So, you have saved me hundreds of pounds and a frustrating hour’s web-search.

Putting my dates and then a generic UK to Spain into the search bar – and there it was: row upon row of £39 return flights from here to there…

We’re off on holiday. Again. 12th – 19th October.

Spain, of course. Again. Tho this time further North – the Costa Dorada, to a little place called L’Ampolla on the Ebro Delta.

Beach just down from the Apt – L’Ampolla, gateway to the Baix Ebre

And because it’s only an hour from Barcelona we’ll get a chance to gasp at the Sagrada Familia again and wonder at Las Ramblas and worship at Camp Nou…

We’ve rented a fine apartment 100m from the beach. The car is hired. Evan, Jamie, Ana, Robert and I cannae wait.

Until then they have school to attend; lessons to learn. Except they are already talking about travelling and what they’ll see and do. Ana’s mildly concerned about the cats – but only mildly. Evan’s slightly worried his passport won’t be renewed in time – but only slightly. Jamie’s sang froid is impressive. Robert knows he’ll need the break because he’s frazzled already and working flat out for an inspection.

As for me – I’ve clients to be advised and represented. Tribunals to prepare for. Professional folk to liaise with. Conferences to attend and speeches to deliver. And that was filling me with a sense of dismay. Except now I’ve something to look forward to…and strangely it’s made me enjoy work more.


Confession – I was a Sun newspaper Page 3 STUNNAH.

I was a Sun newspaper Page 3 stunnah.

There. I’ve said it.

Clearly, I have no shame. Though I do believe that I can justify this sudden and shocking revelation on the basis that my mother has always said Confession Is Good for the Soul.

Ahhhh the memories…(of course, the wags amongst you – those this side of the pond who understand the significance of page 3 – will be saying that should more properly be the mammaries…).

I know, I know, you want an explanation. Maybe even the nitty gritty details…? 

Ahhhh, confession may be good for my soul but digression is not so good for you, dear reader, not when there are vital details awaited. In fact, I can feel your irritation with my prevarication…


The story’s true beginning is sometime in June 2002. Perhaps it was the 13th of June, my birth date, a potential day of excess and rejoicing (at least for me) – though for the record I do accept that the precise date will forever be a matter for joint bemusement.

…WARNING. And before I proceed any further I feel that I must warn the sensitive males amongst my readership. The following contains scenes of a graphic and biological nature. WARNING…

As expected, July followed June, and as usual we decamped en masse and en famille to anywhere but Scotland. In fact it was to an 8 berth caravan in deepest, darkest, slate-mining, miserable Wales – but that doesn’t really matter.

One day, in the middle of that holiday – the holiday that Robert saw, in the raw, my Mothers full moon derriere – the holiday that I forgot to pack any clothes for myself – the holiday that middle boy managed the fantastical feat of pissing a four foot high parabola of wee, hitting his sister who was sitting in the third row of the big car and all whilst I was tanking along the motorway at 90 mph… Yes, it was in the middle of that holiday, whilst miserably chugging through the miserable Welsh countryside in a miserably slow steam train on the way to the utterly damnable and miserable Blaenau Ffestiniog slate mine, that I turned to my husband and said If I didn’t know any better I would think that I were pregnant and that he responded, saying Don’t be so bloody stupid. How could you possibly be pregnant.

Thus are our moments of idle abandon casually forgotten. And so it is that the baby of this house is ostensibly my immaculate conception. Or – speaking somewhat less sacrilegiously – a product perhaps of coital amnesia. The consequence of me, or he, or both actually managing that miraculous feat of procreation whilst deeply asleep.

Fast forward to the pharmacy isle of good ole Tesco’s, sometime in late July 2002 and the purchase of a home-testing kit. Thence to the 3 minute wait for the single blue line to confirm that I was suffering phantom pregnancy symptoms. And to the final twin blue lines screaming loud and clear – Pregnant. Pregnant. Pregnant.

I remember Rs face as he peered at the stick.

Eh? Whits this? What? Youve got it wrong. This is faulty. Do another test.


How the f*** did that happen?

To which I, disgusted, not-so-calmly responded (shouted really) – well, if you don’t know after 4 wains, you’ll never bloody know.

And if you have read this far, dear reader, you are bemused. Nay, I have conned you. Where are the sordid details of page 3-dom you are pursuing…

Dinnae fash. I’m coming to that. Bear with me. All will be revealed…
(to be continued…)