Open House Weekend

The day is Saturday, the month is September and – joy of joys – it is Open House weekend. This event gives people like the Mother the chance to visit places of interest for free. Places which usually charge an entrance fee of somewhere between £5.00 and “Jesus, there’s no way I’m paying that”. The two-day event gives the general public the opportunity to walk around people’s very expensive and stylish homes. So you get to admire the architecture and design of a property while at the same time thinking, “Fucking hell, why can’t I live in a house like this?” 

The Mother loves Open House weekend as it provides free entertainment for her and her children for two whole days. Today, the plan is to get the children out of the house very early so they can visit as many places as possible.  

This isn’t the only reason for the early start. A few minutes ago, Jason came home after finishing a 12-hour night shift, and it is very important that he gets some sleep. Jason gets very upset when he is woken up post-shift and will shout things like, “Will you two kids keep the fucking noise down? I’m trying to sleep!” 

The Mother is in charge of making sure the kids keep the fucking noise down, and it is a very stressful job. 

“Where do you want to go then, kids?” says the Mother, handing them the Open House leaflet. Esme says she wants to go to the Eiffel Tower. The Mother must explain once again that that particular building is not in Southwark, or in fact anywhere in the London area. Aaron wants to stay at home and chill out. “Chilling out” means lying in bed all day, texting and watching videos. While chilling out, he would fix himself various snacks and as many hot chocolates as he could possibly make in one day before running out of mugs. The kitchen would end up looking like a bomb had hit it. The boy produces washing-up like China produces plastic toys! 

So the Mother explains there is to be no chilling out this weekend and that he should get dressed, do his teeth and pick his bloody clothes up off the floor. The Mother feels certain she has explained the purpose of his washing basket. 

In preparation for the day, the Mother has bought lots of cheap drinks and snacks from Iceland. Her plan, as always, is to show her kids you can have a fulfilling and exciting day out without spending much money. She has made some sandwiches, sliced up some fruit, printed out a map, found an umbrella, packed her bag, and is ready to go. After an hour of pissing about, the kids are ready too. Well, they are ready-ish. Aaron is dressed, not in clean clothes but at least in clothes that still fit him. Neither child has brushed their hair, but Esme has brushed their teeth, and Aaron says he has. “Come on,” says the Mother, “let’s go and see how the other half live.” 

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