The Great Es­cape

A busy mum takes some time to her­self in this charm­ing short story by Eirin Thomp­son.

The People's Friend Special - - PUZZLES 35 -

no fill­ing in his sand­wiches and I found my­self pour­ing Chee­rios in­stead of dog bis­cuits into Doc’s bowl.

Tak­ing Doc for his twice-daily walks had be­come harder, too. No longer could one of us pop out with him for a quick stroll, pos­si­bly with a child in tow.

Now, I had to get all the kids into their coats and out­door shoes be­fore break­fast, and again af­ter tea, as I couldn’t leave them in the house with­out su­per­vi­sion.

Mum vis­ited as of­ten as she could, but she lived over 50 miles away, and had to get two buses, so it wasn’t fre­quent.

“Let me pay for your iron­ing to be done at least,” she said on the phone. “That’s the sort of thing I’d be do­ing for you if we lived nearer.”

I wasn’t too proud to ac­cept.

Even though Olly had moved out, it came as a shock when I dis­cov­ered he had con­sulted a solic­i­tor.

“I’d thought we could just sort things out be­tween our­selves,” I told Lisa. “I don’t want to fight with him, so why does he need a lawyer?”

“It’s hor­ri­ble, I know,”

Lisa said, “but if he’s us­ing a solic­i­tor, you need to get your­self one, too. It’s great that things are civilised be­tween you, and you want to keep it that way for the kids’ sake, but you have to pro­tect your­self legally.” I knew she was right.

Olly had gone to the guy we’d used for the con­veyanc­ing for our house, so the next time Mum was due to visit, I made an ap­point­ment with an­other firm in town.

I was as­signed to Cather­ine Crabtree, who looked a lot like Velma

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