Legal Widow

Puzzling letter from the nursery this morning. Apparently the other children are having trouble with Deminimus’ name, and could they call him something easier, like David? Or Derek?

I feel the hot breath of the Lord Chancellor on my neck, and feel sure this is just a polite way of getting the assistants off the hook when it comes to signing his name on pictures to take home.

Lord knows anyone could get confused with all those “n”s and “m”s, but I’m certainly not paying that sort of money to be told that my son’s name is too big for modern society to deal with.

In fact, far from being irrelevant, I often think that learning Latin was pretty good preparation for what life has turned out to be; endless repetition and the occasional ludicrous surprise that makes it all worthwhile.

Subjudice came home shrieking the other night because “carmen”, against all the odds, becomes “carminibus” when you get to the plurals and, although I don’t think “cadere” will tickle her as much as me (how can you take a verb that eventually turns into “Kiki Dee” seriously?), there’s lots of fun coming up with “regere”, which has the rudest supine you ever saw (and if you have to rush to the dictionary to look that up, then you obviously weren’t paying attention when it mattered).

Apart from the usual routine in our house, the endless following me around, the plaintive “Where did you put my tie?” (you know I wasn’t talking about the children), it is our youngest, my beautiful little Liability, who has developed the new habit of climbing into bed with me at around 3am.

My main concern is that the Lawyer, who has a big presentation coming up and who has started grinding his teeth in his sleep, will thoughtlessly gnaw at the top of her head during a long, dream-land speech and remove her hair.

Liability, I am glad to say, can give as good as she gets, and has a distressing habit of biting little boys at the toddlers’ group.

It’s only distressing to them, I must say, as Liability and I both think they have it coming, but we conceal our radical policies under cover of the Terrible Two’s get-out clause. No jury in the land would convict.

The other night she wriggled her way up and gave home the most ferocious bite in the neck, obviously lost in some dream-time ball-pool savagery of her own.

As the Lawyer spent the following day enjoying client entertainment at the FA Cup fifth round, he could bask in some pretty admiring looks from the hosts, who probably never dreamed that lawyers had such an exciting sex life. But I’m afraid that’s the only Valentine’s Day entertainment he got.

I was fretting over him as he set off, making sure he had scarves, gloves etc, when he reminded me that he would be in a centrally-heated box, and hence the suit and tie on a Sunday.

Obviously, supporting Midhurst and Eastbourne Rovers as a child on an infinite, muddy, winter touchline is no preparation for the modern game.

Today you can expect white linen, waitresses in French maid outfits, steak and chips and – such is the nature of modern corporate entertaining – to be sharing your exclusive box with a couple of charity raffle winners.

Still, nice to keep in touch with the common man. Perhaps the Lord Chancellor was not too far wrong after all.