They think it’s all over….

Yesterday as I was clearing out the attic at home in France I stopped myself from throwing away one of Leo’s favourite baby toys. My reasoning was that it might come in useful for my grandchildren. At the time, it was a terrifying thought. Not that I am worried about an imminent teenage pregnancy (why do you think I picked an all girls school?), but I have really never thought of myself as even a potential grandparent.
Now it seems, I might have saved the toy in vain. Scientists in Ukraine are predicting the end of the world in 2032. Apparently an asteroid called 2013TV135 is going to hit the earth with the force of 2500 nuclear bombs. Which has made me wonder, on this rather quiet morning at Sainte Cecile before the children arrive for half term, about all the things I am desperate to get done before that happens. Apart from clearing out the attic of course. Imagine the shame of facing the end of the world with a chaotic attic.
At the risk of sounding smug, my first thought is that although I may not be a grandparent I have had quite a good stint already and in the main achieved what I always wanted to. I have written (and more importantly) published books. I have had three incredible children and two equally wonderful step-children. I have been very happily married for longer than I ever expected to be (looking at my family history).
I guess if it all ends in 2032 one want to remember the big things? But what about the little things, the details that make life worth living every day? Things like buying your first pair of designer shoes? Having wild sex in a car at a French rock festival? A very small car come to think of it, I’m not even sure I’d fit into it any more. Dancing on tables at a nightclub in St Tropez (OK so I didn’t do it, but I did think about it). A long lunch in the sunshine with good friends turning into dinner.
And then of course there are the things one is going to have to squeeze in before 2032. Writing a best-seller would be top of my list, but then that’s always top of my list. My husband is desperate to walk the South Downs sway with his daughter. I’d better tell him to get on with it. I need to visit my father before either his demise, or the end of the world. Judging by his tone on the phone recently my money’s on him watching 2013TV135 come hurtling through his window. He ought to have his own TV show. His opinion on the latest winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature? “She won it because she’s a woman and she drinks beer every Sunday.” imgres
Most crucially does the fact that we’re all going to die in 19 years’ time mean I can stop doing sit-ups? See, there is an upside to the end of the world after all.

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