I’ve got the t-shirt, but he won’t listen to what I say

Vaping
Vaping
Zella says the Great British Bake Off has been improved by the new presenting line-up of Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding      Picture: PA Wire

ZELLA COMPTON: Give me Noel over annoying Mel and Sue on Great British Bake Off any day

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Isn’t it amazing how quickly your youth comes flooding back to you when your children move through their teenage years?

Key moments like learning to drive – the sudden recollection of your driving examiner having to apply the emergency brakes in your first test (fairly humiliating).

Then there’s learning to cook – the time you added three to four teaspoons of salt to a cake’s mixture instead of three-quarters (hugely embarrassing).

And being sick. Who hasn’t been through that teenage rite of passage? I have rather too many memories of various incidents.

There were ones where I was the culprit and ones where I helped others through the pain of the experience.

Choice moments include obliging my then best friend by sticking my fingers down her throat, scrubbing another friend’s sick off my brother’s car’s running boards and sluicing out a London taxi after my boyfriend’s dinner made a reappearance fuelled by liquor (while he was trying to get into the neighbour’s house).

And yes, I had my choice moments. Indeed so severe was one that I was off alcohol for the rest of my teens – about two years.

I hated being out of control. I hated the way it made me feel.

Now my eldest is in the throws (ha!) of experiencing all this for himself.

And you know what? However many times I say remember last time, or remember work tomorrow, or remember this, that and the other, he goes out and gets pickled in a very short period of time.

I have been there, I have got the t-shirt and I do remember. And yet my experience is as much interest to him as my previous experience with making quilts. So that’ll be none.

I know it’s a rite of passage, but in the deep, black hours of the morning when you’re awake listening to the sound of potentially projectile vomit hitting goodness knows what, you have to ask yourself – should I be more restrictive? Should I set firmer boundaries and enforce them?

Should I get out of bed and offer sympathy or roll over and offer bleach, a bucket and cleaning wipes the next morning?

SMELL OF STRAWBERRY IS MUCH NICER THAN TOBACCO SMOKE

I can’t get over how sweet vaping smells.

It’s such a fab contrast to cigarette smoke.

The scents that I’ve been hit with recently include grapefruit and, I think, strawberry.

It’s a bit delicate, I feel, to go and ask someone if what they’re puffing away on is the flavour you suspect. But it is lovely when I compare that to walking through a cloud of tobacco smoke when coming out of a store, beside the school gates, or going through town.

I used to be the one engulfing other people and I know the saying that ex-smokers are the worst etc etc.

But officially, I’d like to apologise to all those I puffed on. And smokers, please move away from doors so we can get around your smoke more easily.

IT’S NOT SURPRISING TO ME THAT FLY TIPPING IS ON THE INCREASE

Fly tipping is said to be on the increase and it’s not surprising given the costs of taking some items to the recycling centres – and also the waiting times.

I suspect that if you’re the type of person who’s happy to dump your rubbish in a rural-ish spot, you’re probably not the type of person who’ll queue patiently for your turn at the skips.

But get it together. It really, really annoys me that people do this, especially when I pick up rubbish (not as often as I should, but 600 times more than the people who drop it in the first place).

Litter is everyone’s problem.

We really need to buy into every solution offered to help our councils keep collections, by whatever method, free, accessible and moving at speed.