Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Three Hours

For three hours on a Saturday morning, I escape.

I leave the house alone and I drive into town without feeling any compulsion to talk aloud or sing. I park the car without worrying whether there's space to disentangle a baby from a car seat, and I run quickly down the street just because I can.

I walk into the little room behind the gallery feeling lighter than I ever have done in my life and I greet the group assembled there without anyone calling me 'John's mummy' or greeting me in an unusually high-pitched voice.

Then for three blissful hours I concentrate solely on tiles. I cut them and shape them, I arrange them and stick them. I smother them with grout and then I polish them with a cloth. I work carefully and slowly, assembling my mosaic methodically, and smiling as each new piece slots neatly into my design.

I don't once think about anyone's bodily fluids or worry that they might be horribly injured. I don't watch the clock to see how much of the day I've passed and if I need to use the bathroom I simply get up and go.

As we work, the absorbed silence is peppered only with the satisfying clip of tiles being cut and the occasional shards of conversation, and when we've finished the tile table is slightly lighter and our boards are ever so much prettier.

It's just three hours in a week but I leave feeling refreshed and fulfilled, calm and contented and I rush home as fast as I can because it's been three hours since I held my baby, and suddenly I miss him terribly.


  1. Helen, you describe the feelings of being a mother to a baby so well. I can remember escaping without my little ones. I always used to feel I had forgotten something - no huge bags to hold or contraptions to push. I would love to see what you made.

  2. Aww thats lovely...i escape now and then with out iris..have to say i always feel weird walking without the pushchair,changing bag etc...just me on my own..not having to explain what every item is about 20 times..and then baby talking as i walk..i miss it..but then i meet my friends and its almost forgotten til i suddenly remember i'm alone and her chatty little voice is missing..so i almost run home and grab her give her a big hug..i miss her but i think she has too much fun with daddy and her sister fern to even notice i'm not there...
    What are you making by the way,,i'm intrigued by it..