Four years ago, or thereabouts, squatters moved into our home. A male and female; noisy, ill-mannered and spectacularly untidy. Dismissive of the house rules and incapable or unwilling to express gratitude for their free board and lodge.
They spend many days in the garden, shouting at one another and hurling their belongings across the patio. I have no idea what the neighbours think or whether property prices are affected.
I have spoken to other victims of squatters and it seems that, on average, they stay for at least 18 years. The Daily Mail has evidence that many stay for 40 years!
My husband often reminds me that our squatters were invited. Worse, we created them. The girl – in a hotel in Bruges and the boy – in a mobile home in St Ives.
My little squatters are my dependents. Two lives dependent on the longevity of mine. I am not old enough for such responsibility; I’m still only 9 years old.
I find farts hysterically funny; prefer a weekend in Alton Towers to Paris; prefer pick ‘n’ mix to porcinis; cola to champagne and use childish and inappropriate put-downs such as spastic, retard and gay-lord. I have no interest in grown-up pursuits like dinner-parties and Sunday brunch, unless a game of sardines or hide-and-seek is on the cards.
Luckily, my husband complements my child-like personality perfectly. He is the ball to my bat. The air in my bouncy castle. I recall the fun we had on an ‘adult’ cruise. Most nights, after stuffing our faces with pastries, we could be found chasing one another on the grand upper decks, only stopping to change my wee’d pants caused by the raucous laughter.
Whilst my inner nine year old struggles to stay locked-up in my 36-year old body, I get daily reminders that I really am a grown- up.
Pube like grey hairs are sprouting from my head nightly. They do not subtly mingle with the other hairs on my head. They prefer to stand alone and bolt upright, pointing to the sky and defiantly shouting: ‘Here we are. Look at us!’
I stretch when I get up in the morning (after a night of multiple toilet visits), say ‘aaaahhh’ after sipping a nice cup of tea, drape a tartan blanket over my legs at night and listen to fascinating programmes about bumble bees on Radio 4.
Disobedient eyebrows, rogue chin hairs, crepey hands, achey joints and a tummy with the texture and appearance of a plucked Christmas turkey, all serve as painful reminders that I am not a child. I am an aging adult!
I am confused and in crisis. I’m not a child but not quite an adult either. My body is made up of many distinctively different people, like Dr.Dolittle’s ‘Pushmi-pullyu’. Too many heads pulling the body in different directions.
The squatters make it worse. They’re aging rapidly, which means I am too. Oh balls. Best get the penguins out and ask them to play doctors with me.