Dear people who live next door, and other folk residing along our once quiet street,
It can't have escaped your attention that the weather has become a bit nice these last few weeks, which in turn will have had several grave implications for you.
And no, I don't mean all the hullabaloo you have to endure now that my kiddos are *playing out* practically every waking minute, screaming their heads off, riding their bikes noisily up and down the footpath and hitting any hard wooden surface they happen to pass with a plastic golf club.
As annoying as this must be (and trust me, it is - I have to deal with it too), I wasn't referring to this, or the fact that from now until the end of September, or possibly into October if the clement weather continues, you will have to put up with random outdoor toys - namely footballs, Frisbees and other pieces of plastic tat - winging their way over the hedge into your well-kept garden at 90mph.
No, I was actually alluding to the noisy, shouty fishwife who takes over my body, during these heady summer months, now firmly residing next door.
All I can do is apologise profusely - I don't know why it happens, but the sun shining in the clear blue sky appears to have the same effect on me as the full moon on Michael J Fox in Teenwolf. I just can't help myself.
I've never been a shouter. Before I had kids, I barely ever raised my voice. I don't like confrontation, and even when I ran a busy newsroom, I don't think I ever really shouted at anyone. Even when we were on deadline. Ever.
Now I have two teeny tearaways in my charge I seem to have found the volume button and it's got a bit stuck - on the LOUD setting.
In my defence, we have quite a large back garden. And when my children are right down the bottom hacking at my roses with a croquet mallet, smashing their bikes into the shed, flicking sand out of the sandpit or just generally beating the c*ap out of each other, I often find it a damn sight easier to throw open the kitchen window and yell at the top of my voice for them to 'jolly well pack it in', or words to that effect.
Sometimes it has the desired effect, although more often than not it becomes necessary to repeat my request several times before it reaches their delicate little ears, which is what you probably heard today. Really though, it just saves me the trouble of continuously yomping down the bottom of the garden - because, let's face it, as soon as I have chastised them for one heinous garden crime, you can guarantee their devious little minds will go into overdrive trying to come up with another.
Please don't shop me to the council for anti-social behaviour - I spend all day running round after them, you can't begrudge a knackered mum 10 minutes solace to read a tacky magazine and drink a warm cup of tea fold the washing in peace - can you? Besides, I'm sure it will start raining again soon, which will see them - and me - confined to barracks,
PS Can we have our ball back please?Suggest a correction