It’s a viciously cold Tuesday. My working day is enlivened somewhat by a midday workshop which features a free Subway lunch, so things aren’t too bad. I head home for what I think is going to be a typical evening.

Shortly after the Kinderbesten have settled, my phone rings. It’s the Elderbeast’s best friend’s Mum–which almost certainly means it’s the Elderbeast’s best friend. Which it is. He apologises for calling so late, then explains that his Mum has been puking her guts up all evening and wonders if he can come over and stay at ours. Being able to imagine all too well what it’s like to be incapably sick *and* have children to watch out for, I don’t hesitate to say yes. Naturally the Elderbeast is terrifically excited at the prospect of a sleepover.

I go and collect his friend, who is already in his pajamas, and bring him home, with strict instructions for both children that it is bedtime and sleep is expected (I don’t really expect sleep: I’m not completely stupid, but I have to keep up appearances here). I end up having to go in to keep the peace, literally, on several occasions, but otherwise the sleepover ends up not being too traumatic.

I do, however, observe that the Elderbeast smells particularly rank and vow to hose him down in the morning.