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Hot House

Eat, pray, hate

Claudia Savage-Gore threatens to call the divorce lawyers

This article is taken from the October 2021 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issue for just £10.

It started in the summer, in Norfolk. Long story short, I set fire to the Airbnb and we then had to spend two nights with this nightmare influencer mother from Lyra’s school, Talitha Loveday. Who Will has always had a thing about.

I said there was no lower move than cleaner-blame, and that he should check his privilege (lol)

Talitha’s basically a poor man’s Gwyneth: blonde, Californian, divorced, yoga instructor, having a permanent Eat Pray Love moment. Anyway, when she’s not in Maida Vale she has this barn near Holt where she runs sodding wellness retreats, so we were not only subjected to her positive vibes but also her plant-based menus.

Looking back, that was when I knew. It was the way Will was really going for her vegan “kebabs”. Not in a standard “I’m trying to eat less meat” way, but asking Talitha loads of questions about gut health and doing his listening face (which, fyi, looks constipated). He actually took a kimchi-making class! Why the fuck didn’t we just go to Cowley Manor, like I said we should?

Even once I’d sorted a new Airbnb he kept mentioning Talitha and finding random excuses to meet up with her and her terrible only child, Isadora. We even had to spend our last evening at The Barn, with Will and Talitha Namaste-ing each other all night, while I was essentially unpaid childcare.

Driving back to London I commented on his newfound enthusiasm for yoga, and he began mansplaining the power of “kindness” and the toxicity of my outlook. I mean, come on! I left it, because the kids were in the car, but let’s just say we were “not in a good place” by the time we got home.

The clincher was the bloody Delta variant hitting us. Basically we both got pinged when we got home and I knew it was Talitha, because her Instagram had gone mysteriously quiet. Will kept implicating Vaida the new cleaner, just because she isn’t vaxed. I said there was no lower move than cleaner-blame, and that he should check his privilege (lol). Anyway, cut to two days later, Will’s complaining that he can’t taste his meat-free bacon and sure enough, the old two lines popped up on the lateral flow.

I threaten to call a divorce lawyer. Will says I have a brain fog

I let Talitha know, purely to find out if she was the source, and quelle surprise she sent me back a guilt-ridden essay about how she’d been feeling too rough to let anyone know but that yes she’d tested positive two days earlier. No wonder Will had it, they were doing fucking lion’s breath at each other (Google it) for a whole morning on Cley Beach.

Will then spent a week behaving like he was en route to ICU, while I was downstairs with all three kids and no nanny. NO NANNY! When he finally emerged from the spare room I checked his phone on the pretext of Dettoling it, and found loads of messages between Will and “Tali” swapping symptoms, commiserative emojis and — worst of all — alternative remedies.

Literally every one of her messages mentioned sodding CBD oil or ginger. All of which Will was lapping up, while in reality mainlining codeine and Pepsi.

Once the rest of us had tested positive I had to cancel Hector’s tennis academy, Lyra’s Kumon camp and Minnie’s filmmaking course. We spent two weeks in our private lockdown hell, just as Will recovered and announced he’d be seeing Talitha for some Reiki. She then sends a bloody care package, via Wheezy, full of aforementioned ginger and CBD. I threaten to call a divorce lawyer. Will says I have a brain fog. To be continued.

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