Verity Lush is a 36-year-old mum-of-two who lives in Portsmouth.
She is a tutor in philosophy, English and maths and has written a book for newly-qualified teachers, plus textbooks and articles for teaching magazines and supplements. Follow her on Twitter @lushnessblog
My average night out circa 2004, pre-children. Spend two hours minimum preparing self. All external bodily surfaces pummelled with sea salt scrub with hands clad in wiry gloves to aid exfoliation. Slather self in scented unguents and apply make-up carefully. Walk through cloud of perfume.
Leave house after a meal consisting of one packet of Walkers’ crisps and a glass of dry white wine. Skip into taxi, sporting high heels, no coat, low-rise jeans and a boned corset. In mid-winter.
Arrive in Gunwharf at 9pm and teeter down to Tiger Tiger. Head to the main bar, consume own body weight in Archers & lemonade, dance to S-Club 7/Michael Jackson mash-up, teeter back out at 2am and head home in another taxi.
Fast-forward a decade. Sneak up the stairs commando-style, back against the wall, eyes rolling madly in head for sightings of the tiny enemy.
Once path is clear, dive into bedroom and throw some products at face, while dragging a Hello Kitty brush through hair, praying it (both hair and brush) doesn’t contain any living creatures.
Place foot in slipper only to remove it, wincing. Find a small plastic rabbit with ears like razor blades residing in slipper.
Resolve to write column about the injuries inflicted upon parents via over-priced children’s tat.
Escape from house at 6.15pm. Shut front door on two weeping daughters fighting over ravioli and try to ignore voice in head that whispers: ‘You’re letting them eat horse meat. NEIGH!’
Feet are clad in attractive, yet sensibly low Russell & Bromley wedges. Outfit consists of cardigan (it could be chilly later) and high-waisted jeans (holding stomach in).
Meet friends Emma and Leanne and go to bingo.
One bottle of rosé, three plastic glasses and a packet of Marmite Cheddars later and we’re ready to roll.
Lose bingo virginity, realise that nobody actually shouts ‘bingo!’ and get a full house. Sadly don’t shout loudly enough to be heard by the caller, who gives my win to someone clad in a tracksuit.
Walk home, zip up cardigan due to slight chill in air and discuss after-school clubs.
Arrive home at 11.45pm to find husband worried that I’ve been out ‘so late’ without checking in, and make self coffee and toast. How times have changed!