12.45am: "God," I explain, "is a person, well really a thing, which some people worship because they believe He created the world and has the key to living forever." Suddenly remember to add hurriedly, "in Christian culture, anyway. In other cultures It's more a state of mind, like in Buddhism," trail off pathetically. Wish had listened in RE at school instead of reading rude bits out of "Song of Songs". "Mummy says Kurt Cobain was a God," says Tammy. Nod at her encouragingly. "Did he die with nails?" she asks. Kick Uncle Dylan before he can reply that father of grunge actually blew head off with shotgun.
1am: "What's a spliff?" Tammy again, the little madam. "It's a sort of funny cigarette," tell her, remembering how parents used to tell me tampons were "funny cottonwool in a tube". Tammy nods. "Oh, like a joint." Brat. Tammy's mother away for weekend, celebrating anniversary of her first E in 1988 by taking several more ("of course pills aren't the same nowadays, but, like, maybe I can recapture the vibe, you know?")
2.10am: "What's Auntie Anna putting up her nose?" Look over horrified at Anna, who is doing line of speed off the back of Wham Fantastic CD. "Sorry, it's the only way I can stay awake any later," she gabbles. "And it's a sort of tribute to George because he's had a bad week and I always fancied him. If I'd known cottaging in public toilets was his thing I'd have been lurking round park conveniences all my adolescence dressed as a boy."
2.15am: "Been a bad week for pop stars," says Anna. "To think that the woman who gave us 'Stand By Your Man', is..." "...still singing", I interrupt, glancing over at Tammy jnr, who's playing with spilled sugar on the table. "Quite nice having a kid around, you know," says Anna. "Maybe I'll get pregnant." Shiver. Don't like it when Anna develops determined look on subjects like pregnancy but luckily Dylan is only bloke in room and no way Anna would allow his genes anywhere near hers.
2.30am: "Tammy is not still singing, stupid," says T jnr. "She's dead." Look round to see seven-year-old poised with rolled-up piece of paper, index finger holding left nostril closed, hovering over little pile of ... not sugar ... but "Jesus, Anna," hear myself screaming as grab Tammy. "What are her teachers going to say when instead of playing ironing in the Wendy House, little Tammy's shooting up with the nurse's syringe?" "What's shooting up?" Tammy wants to know. "Is it like skinning up?"
3am: Feeling a bit calmer now. Have managed to a) establish T has ingested no amphetamine, b) get her gender-neutral pyjamas on, and c) make her promise not to tell her stupid, liberal mother about the incident in return for explaining what cottaging is ("two men being silly in the toilets together").
4am: "Can I go to bed now?" Tammy wants to know. At last, a question we finally know the answer to.Reuse content