I am obsessive about games. It is a genetic thing. All Nadins are ferociously competitive at everything from golf to Buckaroo (or at least we would have been had Buckeroo not been banned in our house due to other ferocious Nadin traits on grounds of being a) dangerous and b) common.) It doesn’t mean any of us are any good at them of course. Thus follows Nadin trait No. 39 i.e. throw cards / counters / golf clubs down and sulk for several hours if not days.
Anyway it is painfully clear that Millie has inherited the “I will win at any cost or God help you” thing. This morning we are playing “I went on holiday and I took…” (Which is tedious. But is less horrendous than the marathon sessions of High School Musical Top Trumps I have had to endure this week: “99 style points beats your 91, Millie.” “But I have Sharpay and she is blonde so I win”). Millie is not happy with my decision to take “a cup of tea”. “It will spill in the car, Mummy”. “I will be careful”. “No you must choose something else”. “No”. “Yes, you cannot take tea”. “Right, but you have so far crammed our imaginary car with: Gingernut and Rosie the chickens, some eels, a horse, a ladybird in a glass jar and, inexplicably, Afghanistan. The car will be full of chicken poo, broken glass, wet snakes and half a desert.” “Yes, but tea will make it messy”. “Fine then I will bring a dead vole.” “Good, Mummy. That is much better.”
At which point I sigh wearily and fetch the High School Musical Top Trumps.
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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