Little Brother, I need a live in nanny who is too ugly for my husband to f*$k about with.

31 March, 1995

Dear J,

Well don’t fall off your perch but I have finally put pen to paper to detail my very uninteresting life for you.  Truth is, that man who genetically contributed to our beings had a go at me on the phone the other day to say that you had told him how disappointed you are to be continually writing to me and not receiving anything in return, I figured it was bullshit but the bastard still has enough influence over me to make me feel guilty (it makes me so sick that he can still do it to me), but then he also said that you had asked him to take you on a skiing holiday with him and Damian Green, so I figured it must definitely be A1 bullshit. Regardless I should write to you more often, I know.

How are you my sweet brother, first let me tell you how much I adore your letters, they keep me sane and so happy, you are the only person (other than Nana) who writes regularly to me but then I shouldn’t be surprised by that as I never seem to have time to write back to people so I guess they have given up over the years.

Well don’t expect this to be an exciting letter at all, my extraordinarily dull domesticated life just seems to coast along.  Eight weeks should see an end to that though.  The “Shrimp” (that’s what it looks like on the scan) is due Friday, 2 June.  Mum should be here two weeks beforehand which ties in nicely with the start of my maternity leave.  Then it’s sit back and wait time.  I’m beginning to get seriously worried about just how “it” is going to get out. They make you write up a “birth plan” well that all seems a little ridiculous to me – a watermelon is planning to exit my body via my vagina not sure what effect anything I write down is going to have on the whole process.  Only thing I know is I am definitely not having a “natural” childbirth – I will take every drug on offer, the whole goddamn lot, thank you very much, twice!

Up until now I have been focusing on Mum getting here.  I’m quiet excited to see her and keep forgetting that two weeks later I will be giving birth to my own child, it all makes me wish our Nana (Mums Mum) was alive.  I’m looking forward to seeing my baby’s face, I can’t begin to think what a combination of Jack and I might look like heaven forbid.

Jack has been convinced all along that it is a boy, I’m not so sure now. If it is a boy we think we might call it Jack Maximillian, known as Max.  As for girls names – forget it, we cannot agree to the point of seriously falling out over it.  I like Ruby, he likes Holly or Molly.  A couple of weeks ago Jack was talking in his sleep, he said “Over here everybody, she’s in her cot over here, we call her “Baby Girl”, I laughed at the time but it may not be so funny eight weeks from now.

I guess I still have a lot to do to prepare for this kid but problem is I’m not sure what, haven’t decorated its’ room or bought much so I’m looking for guidance from Mum when she is here, I hate that she has missed out on so much already.  Jack’s Mum and Dad have kindly left me alone, which I am grateful for.  I just can’t stand all the ooohing and aaahing that goes with being pregnant or a new Mum.  It seems that as soon as people know you’re pregnant all other topics of conversation are sucked from their heads, they can’t talk to you about anything else – it is so frustrating!

I think one reason I many not have bought much, decorated etc is out of respect for Jack’s sister Georgia and our brother in-law.  Our dear little nephew is not expected to live long.  They are just living their lives in limbo, it is heart wrenching.  And even in my present condition I just can’t imagine what they are feeling and going through having to make the decisions they do, the pain and grief.

We had snow three weeks ago, two feet of the awful stuff.  I couldn’t get to work, terrible shame but they have set me up with a PC and modem at home, so I can do a lot from here now.  I already work from home two days a week.  After the “watermelons” expulsion I will have three months maternity leave, then back to work three days in the office one day from home each week.  So I only need a childminder for three days a week.  That is going to be one of the hardest things, to find a child minder, one I trust and all that.  That wont stick beans up it’s nose or stub out cigarettes on its face etc.  I’d like to have an “Alice” you know from the Brady Bunch – a live in slave who doesn’t question anything you say and is too ugly for your husband to fuck about with.


Thank you for sending the photos of your house, it looks great.  You’ve developed a great style my dear brother, not something I thought I’d ever hear myself saying.  I have bought a couple of things for your house which I will send home with Mum.

The rest of the house is almost finished now. You wouldn’t recognize the place.  Since you were here we have put in a complete new bathroom and kitchen, decorated down stairs, put in a new patio, replaced all the doors. It seems these things excite me.  Sad, I know, but being a home owner yourself now you know the feeling of content to sit down in a room you’ve created from an idea and feel comfortable in it.  When you come over I will take you to Tring Auction House.  Oh you will love it, all old antiques, furniture, nic nacs, pine chests etc so cheap you will cry.  We just don’t have anything like it back home – nothing old enough I guess.

I’m off sick today, I have had an awful cold which I just can’t seem to shake and I just have no energy, which is to be expected, I guess, considering there’s a human being growing inside me, although I have my suspicions that it is a cow considering the amount of milk I must be making, my boobs are HUGE!  I can’t believe my skin can stretch so far, I fully expect it to split at any point and all my insides come spilling out.  It’s revolting and I hate it, but it’s important I share all details with you.

The baby and I will be home to “Poo Town” on 11th of December (95), Jack will follow a couple of weeks later and we will all fly back together mid Jan.  There will be so many people to see but I am going to try and plan everything before we get there so I don’t waste any time and spend as much time as possible with you and Mum.  So save up some holidays bro, I couldn’t stand coming all that way and you having to work the whole time.

The night before last I had a phone call from one of the German couples (remember they were at our wedding, I met them when travelling through Egypt). They are planning a tip to OZ and NZ in fucking December, can you believe that?!  I had sent a type of newsletter out with our Christmas Cards with our news, Christmas plans with baby etc and they have picked up on it and worked it into their holiday plans. Typical me sat there saying “Great, yeah, terrific, can’t wait” and then screamed every obscenity possible at Jack when I got off the phone.  He just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t “straight” with them and just explain that it would be too difficult as we have so much to do and so many people/family to see.  But you can’t just do that, can you? I can’t.  So I will now spend the next eight months trying to come up with some elaborate plan to get out of it.  Why can’t I just be honest and assertive.  This makes me think of your last letter about friends.  As I get older the value of friends just gets less and less, it all just seems like too much hard work.  I can’t seem to turn down their requests for help but would never contemplate asking for their help in return, ever.  Maybe I should just start demanding, demanding, demanding – that should send them running for the hills, well I can only hope.  I once read that being assertive is saying no without giving a reason. Good god is that even possible?  I always say yes and then just work myself into knots trying to dream up elaborate excuses and plans to get out of things.

So glad to hear you are an “X Files” addict too.  I love it, can’t live without it.  Jack hates it. There is a guy at work, Kyle (he reminds me so much of you that I feel a real love for him) he is an addict as well, we have continual email conversations (Jack calls it an affair) about X Files and all things supernatural.  I watch it twice a week as we’ve got cable so I’m watching the first and second series simultaneously.  What series are you up to? and Just who is that smoking guy and what is your interpretation of “the truth is out there”?

Well my darling that is all my dull, boring news for now.  I promise to write soon and again, thank you so much for your letters, I love them and I love you, I can’t wait to see you and kiss your cute face.

With all my love,


PS I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Magnum ice creams too!  I have one every day without fail, always the milk chocolate with almonds one, weird huh?  See, we are inextricably linked my dear brother.


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