Friday, 20 October 2017

The Parents....

I am blessed with two wonderful parents.

My childhood was, in my memory, a happy melange of butterscotch-flavoured Angel Delight, Space Hoppers, Blue Peter and Cindy dolls.

Throughout it all my parents have been endlessly patient, supportive and accepting.

So I know I really shouldn't worry about being honest with them about my past misdemeanours.

When I told my parents I'd quit drinking they were proud of me, if a little bemused.

When I said I'd landed a publishing contract for a book (The Sober Diaries) telling the story of the year I ditched the booze (and got breast cancer), they were thrilled for me.

But they haven't yet read it.

And because I love my parents so much, I only ever want them to think the best of me. They are the two people in the whole world who I least want to see my dark side.

But it has to happen at some point. So, today, first thing, before I had the chance to talk myself out of it, I sent this e-mail to my publisher:

Dear Charlotte 

I've been putting this off for a while, as I find the prospect terrifying, but I think the time really has come for my ever-patient, supportive and sainted parents (copied above) to read the book. I'm hoping that they won't disown me.

I'd be hugely grateful if you could send two proof copies (so they can read it simultaneously, rather than one reading while the other yells out "she said WHAT?!?") direct to them.

Many thanks,


I told Mr SM what I'd done.

"Really?" He said. "I thought you were planning to keep your head down and hope they never read it!"

"No," I replied, "that's my strategy with your parents. I'll never get away with that with mine."

And now I know I'm going to spend the next few days in a state of abject terror.

It takes me right back to the days I spent, aged sixteen, lying in wait for the postman, hoping to intercept the letter from my headmistress telling my parents I'd been caught smoking behind the squash court. 


Love to you all,

SM x


  1. Now that took courage! To be able to face down every last fear and tackle it head on. Compare this to the start of your journey when Mummy was a SECRET Drinker. Fabulous . Good on you Clare!! x

  2. P.S. My guess would be that your parents are going to be incredibly proud of you! x

  3. Well done. As parents I'm sure they will be very supportive of you, and also hoping like Hell you never find out about their own indiscretions!

    Smoking behind the squash courts - LOL!


  4. Hats and everything else off to you - that is such a brave thing to do and I'm sure they will be as proud of you as ever and as Rob says am sure they have a few indiscretions of their own. You keep continuing to be amazingly inspiring. Thanks so much x

  5. One more hurdle for you! You have exhibited so much bravery in the past and this is one more thing. Also, you are recounting past transgressions! I think your parents will be extremely proud of you-don't be surprised if they want autographed copies! It always seems like such a big hurdle when parents are involved!

  6. I laughed out loud at you waiting for the postman! I used to do that when I knew that a less-than-acceptable progress report was on its way. As for your parents - I am sure that they are going to be SO proud of you. I do not know of a single parent that wouldn't be proud if their child took the appropriate steps to make their life better and healthier. Big hugs to you and lots of positive thoughts that their reaction is better than the best one you have thought up in your head.

  7. I was the person waiting for the postman too. Strangely he never came and I ws always "safe". Paid that piper later in life.

    Im sure, as your parents sound the same as mine, that they will still love and adore you. And really, if yours actually are like mine, they will share their insane, crazy drinking stories once they know yours. Makes for a weird night for all.....

  8. I do understand..... Depending on how open you were with them about your drinking in the past, they may be shocked, but as they will be reading this as a positive book about how you’ve pulled yourself out of you drinking, I think they will be proud not only of your strength but also if your further achievement of being an entertaining and witty writer who has started up a blog and got a book published.

  9. I think they will be nothing but proud of you SM!! Xx

  10. It doesn't matter how old we are or how much we know our parents are fallible too there is something about 'fessing up to our parents which turns back the clock for us all. Butterscotch angel delight! There's the 70s in a bowl, sometimes with a crumbled ginger snap on top. The height of sophistication! Well done Clare x

  11. I love your parents too!
    I didn’t realise you had a blog ...
    Can’t wait for your book ... well done
    Nicky Hewitt (Northway)

    1. Well hello Nicky! It's been a very long time ❤️