This is ground control to Major Tom
When you hear creaking from the bedroom above should youa) Investigate orb) Sing along loudly with David Bowie's greatest hits?
It's strange, watching your children lead independent lives.
Is it just me or do all mums with grown-up kids think of their children first as the tiny, trusting little things they used to be?
A time before it was too embarrassing to hold your hand crossing the road?
A time before they wouldn't be seen dead in your clothes?
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A time when they asked if they could have your clothes when you were dead?
A couple of weeks ago, I was in the sitting room doing killer Sudoku with one half of my female brain and watching telly with the other when suddenly I heard, with the other half of my brain, a loud, rhythmic creaking noise over my head and I assumed it was my son.
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You will recall that he and his girlfriend moved in with us for two months last September.
Now, the general advice from the official parents' manual of how to deal with an adult son and his girlfriend when you hear creaking noises from upstairs is to turn the telly up, sing David Bowie hits or hoover.
But this noise was coming from my bedroom (the one I kindly share with my husband) and was indicative more of footfall on floor than bedsprings under stress. What could he possibly be doing?
The manual was unhelpful.
A couple of minutes later the passage of sound extended along the landing and back into the bedroom.
I needed to know what was going on. In the same way as I needed to know what was going on when my son was in the bath, aged seven, and water started to drip through the ceiling.
Upstairs, I put my head round the door and realised he was talking on his mobile phone - but the mere sight of me was enough to send him out of the room and downstairs where he began pacing the hall.
Puzzled, I followed him, whereupon he immediately went back upstairs and resumed striding around my bedroom.
Resigned to more creaking and half expecting a skinny, though hairy, leg to appear through the plasterwork, I resumed the killer Sudoku until I noticed I had two fives in one section of the grid and scribbled it out. I moved on to the quick crossword.
He would tell me in his own good time.
Around 15 minutes later my son appeared. “I've just been talking to Ken Russell,” he announced.
“The Ken Russell?” I asked, agog.
“Yep,” he said and disappeared again.
The Ken Russell directed the films including Tommy, Women in Love, The Music Lovers, The Devils, The Boyfriend and the TV adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover starring Sean Bean and a bunch of gladioli. Russell is simply a legend.
I managed to locate my son (it's not a big house, he's just elusive).
“So how come you phoned Ken Russell?” I asked, knowing he is in the habit of writing to theatre and film luminaries in order to give them the opportunity to invest in his theatre company.
“He phoned me.”
This is the sort of information that, once given to a mother, requires her to immediately phone all her friends and mention, in passing: “Oh, Mark, he's fine… just got off the phone from Ken Russell, actually.”
But I needed more.
“So he phoned you…. And?” I demanded.
“Oh, just interviewing me for a bit in his newspaper column in ******,” came the nonchalant reply. (I have omitted the name of the national newspaper) (Thank you, Lynne. Ed)
The interview was run last week to coincide with his theatre company's free, outdoor production of Romeo and Juliet at The Scoop, on London's south bank.
Slowly, I am coming to terms with the fact that my son; my youngest child, spoke to film director Ken Russell without the help of his mum.
Clearly my 28-year-old daughter and my 26-year-old son can function perfectly well without my interference.
Not only do I no longer know better, I no longer know as much.
Perhaps it is me that needs a hand to hold when I cross the road.
I am on Facebook and I am, my husband informs me, Jilly no mates.
Facebook is a social networking website. It appears to replace conversation and meeting people. Once you are on it, you can make friends but only if you accept their advances.
It is not the exclusive preserve of the young. My husband is on Facebook and has a number of FB friends older even than him.
I have never had the slightest interest in being on Facebook and, until a few days ago, I was blithely unaware that I am. It seems that someone, hopefully with my best interests at heart, has put me there and illustrated it with the notorious picture of me with one of the country's greatest and most popular stars of entertainment, Sooty.
I was privileged to interview the small bear when he appeared in panto in Ipswich a few years back.
Talk? He thought he'd never get away…
Anyway, there it is. I don't know who did it but I am a little sad I have no friends; a bit hurt. Meanwhile, I remain firstname.lastname@example.org