‘Good holiday was it?’ I asked, idly watching as Things One and Two carefully emptied hundreds of sugar sachets into Hoxie’s handbag. So nice to see them working on a project together without bickering.
‘Rotten. The coffee wasn’t even as good as here.’ Hoxie waved her hand round Costa’s, her boycott of Bills having been extended to Café Nero and Baltica. Nero’s due to people with laptops hogging the best tables, and Baltica because ‘the mirror in the loo makes me look like my mother’.
‘And I couldn’t relax by the pool because every two minutes someone sent me a tweet or text about this Sunday Times business. Maddening, it was.’
‘Maddening to be accused of unthinking racism?’
‘No, maddening to be so far away from the action. Anyway, the article specifically excluded DFLs from any such accusation. Which is only right. After all, back in Hoxton I won plaudits for my sensitive direction of Hox-Dram’s culturally diverse production of My Night with Reg.’
‘Hard for the children’, I said, thinking of the youngsters mentioned in the article.
‘Yes, indeed. Poor Django: he had nightmares that everyone would be talking about it on his return and him quite clueless. Thank heavens I had my Blackberry so he could Facebook his friends and keep up.’ She smiled, basking in the glow of her superb parenting.
Django and Lysander joined us. Lysander had been charged with supervising his son’s hair-cut in Avant Garde, but had clearly drifted off, for rather too much of Django’s pink scalp was revealed.
Hoxie squealed in horror. ‘Lysander, what have you done? He looks like a Black Shirt.’
‘It’s not that short’, Lysander blustered. ‘I didn’t notice them getting the clippers out.’
‘Just pop into Brats why don’t you, get him a Ben Sherman and some Doctor Martens and your job’s done’, Hoxie said hysterically.
Thing Two looked up from his sugar work and said rudely but accurately, ‘Django’s ears stick out.’
I hastily apologised to Django and reminded Thing Two of our rule that all personal comments must be run quietly past me before being relayed to a third party. This rule has been enforced since the time Thing One asked a very large gentleman if he was pregnant.
But Django leaped to his own defence. ‘You can’t say that about my ears, it’s racist.’
This gave us all pause.
‘How so, darling?’ Hoxie asked her earnest little chap.
‘If you say anything about someone’s appearance it’s racist. It said so in that newspaper.’
‘Hmm’, said Lysander. ‘There’s going to have to be a certain amount of education all round in the wake of this business.’
Hoxie picked up her bag. ‘Lord, this is heavier than I remember’, she sighed. ‘How apposite: as with the burden of kids, one’s load never seems to lighten.’ And off she went to her yoga class.
Beth Miller, 18th August 2010. Published in VivaLewes.com and in Viva Lewes magazine, September 2010.