Have I gone nice? Perhaps I’ve just got sunstroke.
Passing through the foyer of our hotel in the Costa del Sol yesterday, I picked up a book left and forgotten by some previous guest, called “Part Time Working Mummy“, because it looked a bit like the sort of thing I’m trying to do.
And it made me cry. Proper tears. Me. Who has never cried at a book since they took Boxer away in Animal Farm over forty years ago.
This book is published by something I’ve never heard of called ‘Trapeze’, and it’s written in even more childlike pros than mine, but maybe, just maybe – unless I’m suffering from holiday-weirdness – it’s changed the next chunk of my life.
Somehow I have found myself glued to it for the past 24hrs. Why had it passed me by?
Well, now I know. ‘Part Time Working Mummy’ was only published a month ago, and it currently lies second in the Sunday Times Bestsellers List.
It’s written by somebody called Rachaele Hambleton who lives down the road from Dartmoor in the Brixham/Paignton area, who wrote a facebook page a couple of years ago about a Mum she’d observed going to work every day in Shaldon, which suddenly, out of the blue, received 20,000 likes.
Rachaele’s blog now commands 420,000 followers, and her simple little book, clearly written straight from the not particularly well-educated heart, is doing better than all the other books listed on Amazon of similar ilk, eg “Why Mummy Drinks”, “Why Mummy Swears”, and “The UnMumsy Mum” (also written by a Devon-based blogger mother).
Racheale’s story of neglect and abuse is, quite simply, harrowing. She and I come from opposite ends of the spectrum. And yet here we are, both blogging away our day-to-day stories of life as a mother of teenagers in Devon. Racheale has turned her new-found profile into a force for good, her main causes being the abused and the bullied. Well I have recently been discussing with Will the sort of charity that I should be contributing to, and I think this could just be it. I probably wouldn’t even notice £10 p/m, but somebody else might.
I’m also thinking of setting up some organisation whereby the abused might enjoy a moment’s luxuriating in left-over B&B toileteries, and possibly using their old bedding. Maybe some of my colleagues might offer half-price rooms during low-season or something. Maybe I should foster a child or two, once mine have completely fled the nest.
I think I should meet this Rachaele woman and see how I can help. I am fascinated by her world and feel I am in a place now, where I could become involved. Or maybe it’s all simply summer holiday fantasy land.
Whatever – I could invite over her new husband, ‘Bird Nerd Josh’, a policeman who has clearly, immensely bravely, rescued Rachaele, and whose greatest passion is rising at 3am in order to spot some rare bird or other on Dartmoor. No. I don’t understand the attraction either. But I could at least offer him a spare bed.
Just as I did to Dartmoor-lover Sara Cox from Radio 2, who still hasn’t got back to me, and almost certainly never will.