The other day I was struck by a memory of my own disgraceful behaviour.
‘That’ll be a good story to tell in the column,’ I thought. The tale involved a ski-ing trip when I was overcome with a clammy panic while facing down the dizzying gradient of a blue run.
(In other words, easy. Clearly demonstrated by the five-year-olds whizzing past).
Being a formerly competent, if unstylish, skiier, there was really no excuse for giving into the fear.
Yet somehow I found myself limping heavily to the top of the ski lift, feigning a debilitating knee injury.
The sympathetic lift operator kindly allowed me to ride back down the slope. Unknown to me, he also radioed his (unfeasibly handsome) colleague at the bottom to warn him an injured lady was coming his way.
The colleague couldn’t then be dissuaded from carrying me (skis and all) 200 yards to the nearest bus stop.
Cue the burning face of shame with which I’m very familiar.
Believe it or not, I still have a stack of these stories I’ve not got around to sharing.
Like the day I managed to keep my bicycle helmet on all the way to work on the bus (a 30 minute journey) after deciding it was too icy to cycle in.
Or finding myself on an old school bus in Canada, hitching a lift with two hippie musicians on a quest to find a hot pool in the middle of a forest.
I’ve had a lot of ridiculous adventures, and I’ve relished the chance to share them.
When I first started writing this column, I focused on these tales as a way of capturing the strange limbo I found myself in. Approaching 40, almost all my friends had kids – a role sanctioned by the rest of society in a way that my lifestyle wasn’t. Without my own family, I sometimes wondered where to put myself. Through celebrating the randomness of life and all its absurd adventures, though, I found a niche that made sense (to me at least). Now I’m about to have a baby – due in just a few weeks. It’s a wonderful prospect and I’m thrilled about the new life we’ve created.
I do admit, though, that I’ve worried that my crazy stories will now come to an end. Am I really going to drag myself out of a New Zealand wilderness area with a broken ankle so I can get airlifted to hospital now? The truth is, probably not. But I’ve already got a stack of mortifying tales to go with this new chapter of my life story. My bra snapping and pinging across the bedroom Barbara Windsor-style due to the extra strain of those pregnant boobs. Accidentally pushing my boyfriend over during a breathing exercise at our NCT classes. Once the baby arrives, these absurdities will no doubt increase exponentially. Lucky for the little one, then, that from now on such stories will be part of our private family treasury of tales, rather than shared with all and sundry….