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JENNY ECLAIR: CYCLE SUPERHIGHWAYS MEAN TRAFFIC CHAOS

Camberwell comedian Jenny Eclair contemplates getting on her bike and the terror of toddlers on holiday…

Someone seems to have their hands around London’s neck at the moment, casually squeezing it, strangling it, road by road. Sure, I understand the argument, Cycle Superhighways are a good idea… for cyclists. For the rest of us it means traffic chaos and a massive recalculation of the time it takes to cross town in a car.

‘Then get on your bike, you lazy cow,’ I hear you chorus. I’d love to, but cycling to gigs really isn’t an option, I have to take clothes, make-up, a microphone and, at the moment, a massive flipchart-cum-whiteboard thing (don’t ask). There isn’t a rucksack in the world I can squeeze that lot into. So well done all of you who can happily commute to work on two wheels, but for some of us, it really isn’t an option – grrr!

And breathe… I should be feeling quite relaxed at the moment considering I’ve just got back from my holidays, but the truth about middle-aged women is that we only truly relax under anaesthetic.

Cycle Superhighways are a good idea… for cyclists. For the rest of us it means traffic chaos

FYI we went to Greece for a week. We thought we’d go before they board the place up or hand it over to Germany and maybe help out with the debt by splurging our Euros somewhere that could really do with them. And it was truly lovely. We landed in a pocket-sized paradise with a soft, golden sandy beach and still, shallow waters, the ideal spot it seemed… for three year olds. Never have I been in a more beautiful crèche in my entire life. There must have been 30 toddlers staggering around in sand filled pull-ups, dribbling and dropping ice-creams, losing their sun hats, bashing each other with plastic spades and wailing.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate it. Most of the children were rather sweet, their parents were endlessly patient and, because we went before the schools broke up, there were no bigger, bossy siblings to stir things up. In fact it was a bit of an eye opener as to just how delicious the toddler can be.

But not after 9pm. Call me a spoil sport but I don’t want to be sitting in a glorious beachside restaurant (not a café) while the sun does her spectacular setting routine over a silvery sea, dithering between ordering swordfish or lobster, while a couple of toddlers in highchairs scream, ‘I’m Micky Moon’, ‘No, I’m Micky Moon,’ ‘No, I’m Micky Moon’, at each other until they were both literally blue in the face.

Toddlers should be in bed by seven

Toddlers need their tea at five o’clock (preferably jam sandwiches or fish fingers) and should be in bed by seven. Sorry parents, but dragging them out for dinner at nine isn’t fair on anyone. And besides, I am Micky Moon.

Anyway, back to work, and my new novel is out at last, it’s a big old fat thing of almost 400 pages called Moving. I might have told you about it before, but there’s no harm in reminding you, especially as you might be packing for your own holiday at the moment. However, if you’re worried about weight (you shouldn’t be, really, you look just fine), then there’s always the Kindle option…

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