Seven doses of medication, five days away from school and one sore throat ago, my son had Whooping Cough.

How was this possible I asked myself, as I stumbled over the carcasses of my other two children who were also sick with some dreaded mutation of winter’s sickly gift.

Three days in, it was as if a dormant monster had awakened…..

There I was, cursed by the incarceration that comes with such diseases. Not because I had not immunised my children but because someone else hadn’t jabbed theirs.

The irritation grew and festered along with our germs and it wasn’t long before I had an extensive list of subjects who, I fantasised, would be the unfortunate recipients of the vile letters I was energised to write. These tirades would be solely to spit out my long-repressed frustration at their collective idiocy. And because I had nothing else to do but wipe noses.

I would start with the health system.

Those pathology geniuses who take five bug-spreading days to test for such epidemics whilst we blindly continue to share it. Surely they realise it’s too late by the time their twice-weekly testing schedule produces results?

Then there are the parents. Those, apparently more informed than the rest of us, who choose not to vaccinate for fear of contaminating their pure child, only to risk little Johnny’s nuts swelling up and dropping off when he is fifteen and suffering from mumps.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for free choice – parents prerogative and all that – but don’t bring it into my house.

Which brings me to just that. My house.

A rental. In a nice suburb. Full of charm and mould in the roof.

There’s certainly some bitter penmanship due my landlord.  Cheap rent is apparently supposed to keep me grateful and quiet about the fact my kids have allergies and water drips through cracks where the mould has eroded the ceiling. But what about the razor-sharp tin roofing left in the yard for us to impale ourselves on, or the breeze that sweeps through my kitchen when I open a drawer?

I could also complain about our morally-tainted garbage bin that was stolen from some unsuspecting neighbour so that said landlord didn’t have to pay council for a new one but I would prefer to aim my typing fingers at another good cause. Still on the subject of bins but targeting those who complain to the local paper about bins left out too early or too late – get a life! Try dropping your kids off to school after the Council has discarded every bin onto the road, abreast of parked cars. Loser! Now that’s irritating…

Oh, and Council. Yes you. You have stupid garbos and stupid road markings. Or is it stupid residents? Those who don’t know the difference between an unbroken line that marks a Keep Clear intersection and an unbroken line that marks a Give Way.You ignorant drivers, I hear you screech, honk and burn rubber all day long outside my house and await the time when your fancy but soon-to-be-dented Volvo is blocking THE KEEP CLEAR INTERSECTION and the council gets the picture. And I may tell them so in an email.

However, it won’t be today. I will be too busy firing off vicious messages to the Government about how public school isn’t really free or how they haven’t fooled me into believing they have women’s issues in mind when they make it so difficult for us to afford to work when we have small children to raise.


Whooping Cough has passed. As has isolation. Take breath and move away from the computer…..

…….but not too deeply in case you catch a germ.