Breakin’ the law

There are laws, i.e. actual real ones, written on pigskin in Norman French or some other inappropriate language and kept in dark and fusty dungeons in the Houses of Parliament, guarded by a withered man in tights. And then there are laws, i.e. totally made-up ones, written on a WH Smith spiral-bound notepad by my mother, and kept by the phone in a lemon-fresh kitchen, guarded by my father, who, while he has been known to wear tights, is more often clad in Pringle golf wear, which is more comical than menacing.

But after 39 years (in three weeks, and counting) I have decided it is time some of these laws are broken (I broke the real sort a long time ago, to no visible ill effect). So, in the next few weeks I will be testing out the following, long-held, furiously-argued Nadin myths. I mean truths:
1.    As soon as you get a cat, you will no longer be able to go on holiday, or possibly even leave the house. Because, of course, neither neighbours, nor automated cat feeders are “real”.
2.    If you don’t consume a bowl of porridge before you go to bed, you will die a slow, horrible death. Or at least wake up in the night.
3.    If you don’t consume calcium, Vitamin C, zinc, iron, fluoride and possibly boron supplements, you will die a slow, horrible death.
4.    If you do consume Wagon Wheels you will die a slow, horrible death.
5.    If you prune a Euphorbia, you will die, though more immediately.
6.    If you wear high heels, your feet will slowly turn into claws and you will be rendered immobile, and possibly die a slow, horrible death.
7.    People with beards are up to no good. Especially ginger ones.

Bring it on…

About Joanna Nadin

A former broadcast journalist and special adviser to the prime minister, since leaving politics I’ve written more than 80 books for children and adults, as well as speeches for politicians, and articles for newspapers and magazines like The Guardian, Red and The Amorist. I also lecture in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and hold a doctorate in young adult literature. I’m a winner of the Fantastic Book Award and the Surrey Book Award, and have been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Booktrust Best Book award and Queen of Teen among others, and twice nominated for the Carnegie Medal, for Everybody Hurts, and for Joe All Alone, which is now a BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated BBC TV series. I've also worked with Sir Chris Hoy on the Flying Fergus series and ghost-written Angry Birds under another name. I like London, New York, Essex, tea, cake, Marmite, mint imperials, prom dresses, pubs, that bit in the West Wing where Donna tells Josh she wouldn’t stop for a red light if he was in an accident, junk shops, crisps, Cornwall, St Custard’s, Portuguese custard tarts, political geeks, pin-up swimsuits, the Regency, high heels, horses, old songs, my Grandma’s fur coat, vinyl, liner notes, the smell of old books, the feel of a velveteen monkey, Guinness, quiffs, putting my hand in a bin of chicken feed, the 1950s, burlesque, automata, fiddles, flaneuring, gigs in fields on warm summer nights, Bath, the bath.
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