Victoria Hawkins' week

I don't like the way that everyone on my desk at work says how much like her mother my daughter is. They can't be right. Surely I'm not that cussed, forthright and ratty…Now if your phone were to ring at 2.

I don't like the way that everyone on my desk at work says how much like her mother my daughter is. They can't be right. Surely I'm not that cussed, forthright and ratty…

Now if your phone were to ring at 2.28 in the morning (as ours did) and there's someone sobbing at the other end of the line, what would you think? Death, accident, rape… all I can say is that the world suddenly spins in one direction, while you, your stomach and heart lurch in another. Terror floods your bones.

Then it transpires that this call is to tell you that the Dreaded Daughter has just sat in someone else's pee - revolting, granted - then had a row with a taxi driver and that she's actually crying because she's so cross about it AND she can't afford to have her coat dry cleaned. Maybe it wouldn't have been quite so bad our end if Mr H's mum wasn't so frail and unwell and we'd both immediately jumped to a much worse conclusion.

Dreaded D's plight was this: she'd got into a cab late at night to get home from work, found herself sitting in a puddle on the back seat and told the taxi driver that she hoped he wouldn't think she'd wet herself, as in ha, ha.


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Trouble was that the former fare actually had done just that and as soon as she realised, she'd asked the driver to stump up for cleaning her clothes. He refused, she got mad and said that he'd have charged her if she'd thrown up in his car, so why couldn't she charge him for sitting in someone else's urine. He'd still demanded his fare, then chucked her out and had driven off in high dudgeon. And, yes, at 2am in the morning, she'd already phoned cabby command and complained and they'd told her to take a hike as well.

That was two weeks ago and she's since taken her taxi custom elsewhere. So this morning she gleefully called to report that all cleaning bills are now being settled. Her new taxi driver friends told her to report the other lot to the licensing authorities, which she's done and she'd got a result.

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Now, surely I'm nothing like that?

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