Woo-woo wins out

I’ve succeeded in keeping Will in London… for now

Hot House

This article is taken from the November issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering three issue for just £5.


Right girls, crisis averted. Will’s campaign to move to the shires has been conveniently stymied. Basically, all three of our married friends who left London last year have simultaneously announced their divorces and, rather sweetly, this seems to have put Will off.

Either that or he’s having an affair himself and has clocked that it would be a major ballsache to continue long distance.

Joking. Will’s always been embarrassingly grateful to have me. It’s actually quite off-putting. He literally hash-tagged our anniversary photos #punching. Anyway, panic over — we’re staying put.

As a concession, and since it looks as if travel is going to be limited to Cornish staycations for the foreseeable, I’ve said he can look into a holiday place. Obviously, this isn’t genuinely happening. We’re still borderline bankrupt by tutoring, mortgage, nightly Deliveroo, etc. But researching anything makes Will as happy as actually doing it.

So the big question now is which London girls’ school Lyra should apply for this time next year. Will can’t get his head round this timescale (which is frankly Zen by NW8 standards) and keeps saying, “I’m just not sure that this is a key decision, right now, Clauds.”

If we could combine our daughters we’d have the perfect child

But obviously, you can’t just rock up with your application a week before the deadline. The PR push for your child needs to start a year prior, minimum.

I actually started the soft-grooming process with various heads months ago, via sneaky emails about joining the board of governors, but now that open days etc are imminent the campaign needs to begin in earnest.

Also need to get onto Lyra’s teachers to put a good word in for us. Poor Will is still genuinely under the impression that the selection process for these schools really does boil down to the exam and interview. Why? Why does he think Highgate has parents fill out something like a Ucas form just to get into the fucking nursery?

Anyway, after Hector’s spectacular failure to get a place at a Westminster feeder at seven-plus (breathe, let it go) I’m not risking anything. The thing with Lyra, OK, is she’s super bright but the fact is she’s not prospectus material like our oldest, Minnie.

I knew Minnie could go anywhere, even though she sadly takes after Will academically, because she’s so ridiculously photogenic. If we could combine our daughters we’d have the perfect child. Anyway.

In other school news I’m enjoying the drama at Bluebell Cottage going viral. Google it. I’d never heard of it either: it’s a random private nursery in Kensington presumably for people who didn’t make Wetherby or Thomases, or Americans who don’t understand that there’s no point going to a nursery nobody’s aware of, no matter how much the fees are.

Basically the owner/head is being sued by parents for allegedly combining Mandarin with cookery, instead of teaching them as separate subjects, failing to offer adequate menu choices and charging during lockdown (hardly unusual, guys).

Apparently this led to the head screaming at a mother in the foyer, cue mega Mumsnet threads. Although TBH I remember Will getting fairly irate when Hector’s nursery swapped tennis for mindfulness without consulting us. I kept trying to explain to him that meditation now holds more social currency and extra-curricular kudos than tennis. Definitely would have been worth putting mindfulness on that sodding seven-plus application.

But Will can’t help being pathologically unwoke. As far as he’s concerned, kids doing yoga is not standard issue, even in state primaries, but hilariously woo-woo. Another reason to keep him in London before he atrophies entirely.

Enjoying The Critic online? It's even better in print

Try three issues of Britain’s newest magazine for £5

Subscribe
Critic magazine cover