Dancing with salesmen.

I still remember my first slow dance.

It was at the Excel summer camp disco, circa 1992. During the day the boys had all decided who we’d go for, so when the evening rolled around, it was just a matter of plucking up the courage. She was a 7, and I was a 6 at best. I was punching above my weight and I knew it – but a bunch of her friends had already been asked to dance, and I figured she didn’t want to be the last one standing. So, I took a deep breath and asked her to dance. She half-shrugged/half-nodded, and then we quickly assumed the position: my hands on her hips, hers on my shoulders. As we moved woodenly from side to side, I spent the duration of the song trying not to stare at her chest. Which was tricky, given how bloody tall she was.

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Carlifornia.

Every morning, I step out of the house into brilliant sunshine and a clear blue sky.

In the background I hear the excited morning chatter of birds. My friendly neighbour greets me with a wave from behind his white picket fence, and as I embark on my 11-mile drive to work, I smile broadly as my girls line up at the door and bid me a fond farewell, like the cereal box family we are.

Well, that’s the vision.

In reality, I make a run for it just as Ava has a meltdown over the consistency of her porridge. I close the door as Daisy freaks out about a torn page in her Mr Men book, and make for the safety of my car. I do this without so much as a glance back at the house, just in case I catch Alex glaring at my escape with envious hatred. And then, when I’m safely inside my car, I begin another beautiful day in California.

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