One Thing or a Mother: Tales of an embarrassing mum in Worthing
As I was catching up on BBC One documentary Ambulance on Friday night (as you do when you’re as rock ’n’ roll as me) the song Hometown Glory by Adele was played during one of the episodes.
As I was singing along (my husband would say this term is used very loosely), I realised I’d always sung:
‘Round my hometown.
‘May and Maureen are friends’
I’d never thought much of it, but in a sudden moment of doubt, I thought I’d look up the words...
Yep, turns out I’ve been wrong for the past 12 years. How embarrassing! The actual lyrics are:
‘Round my hometown
‘Memories are fresh’
(Frankly, I think my version is better. But I guess award-winning songwriter Adele might feel differently).
But this little mistake isn’t an isolated (poor choice of words?!) incident. It feels like I’m always doing embarrassing things.
A few weeks ago, I was walking out of my front door to put my recyling into our outside bin, when my shoelace got caught up in the door’s mechanism. With nowhere to go but down, I thudded onto my front step, sending recyling flying all over the garden.
Another incident happened the first week my daughter started at primary school, when I was walking to pick her up.
As I got close to the school, one of my flip flops broke. It was too late to go home and get a new pair of shoes, and I didn’t know any of the other parents yet, so I couldn’t ask them to bring my daughter home.
I didn’t really want to arrive barefoot (I’m not that boho, and have you seen the amount of dogs’ mess on the pavements?), so I had a moment of inspiration.
I grabbed one of the buggy clips I used on my son’s pram, and clipped it onto my broken footwear.
A fix, yes, but it was also digging into my toes so painfully it made my eyes water. Oh, and it had the effect of making me walk like a lame horse, complete with pretty accurate clipity clop sound effects as the clip scrapped along the pavement. I then had to spend ten excruciating minutes waiting for my daughter, while desperately trying to hide my offending foot under the pram for fear of all the parents thinking I was bonkers. Cringe!
Then there was the time I was eating a doughnut in Montague Street on a busy Saturday afternoon. A seagull swooped down, clonked me on the head, and stole it out of my hand. I was left shell-shocked, but it gave the crowd of onlookers, led by my husband who was actually doubled over, a right laugh.
One of the first jobs I was sent to as a junior reporter was to interview people waiting to get on the Waverley paddle steamer when it used to dock at the end of Worthing Pier. But when I got there, I realised I’d forgotten my pen. There wasn’t time to go back to the office, so I had to improvise, I found an eyeliner in my handbag, and got to work. I thought I’d got away with it, until at the end of one interview, the man looked at me deadpan and said ‘nice eyeliner’. I was mortified.
Years ago, I interviewed Mark Little (Joe Mangle from Neighbours) when he was doing a pantomime in Worthing. I’d stubbed my toe on the way to the interview and it was bleeding, and I spent the first five minutes going on about it to him before I realised he was probably thinking ‘who is this crazy lady?’
In short, I have embarrassing form. But please tell me I’m not alone. I’d love to hear your embarrassing tales, and might feature them in a future column. Email me at katherine,[email protected]