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LAURA CRAIK IS UPFRONT

Laura Craik on some unexpected visitors, why trolls should lay off Nicola Coughlan and how London is lined with free stuff

When people ask me what my lowest point was during the pandemic, I won’t say: ‘That time I had a meltdown teaching basic Year 6 algebra while trying to file a 1,200 word feature on Kim Kardashian.’ I’ll say: ‘The day I woke up to find two policemen in my house.’

It was 8am. The doorbell had been ringing urgently. I heard my husband answer it. Then he shouted my name. ‘This is a bit weird, but two policemen are here, and they want to see you,’ he said. ‘Can you come downstairs?’ I did, expecting them to be on the front doorstep.

But no: they’d entered the house, climbed up two flights of stairs and were standing right outside one daughter’s bedroom, walkie-talkies and all. ‘Can we go into the kitchen?’ I asked, not wanting her to overhear and feel freaked out.

As I stood there in my pyjamas, half-expecting DC Fleming to arrive and arrest me for failing to feed my kids veg for three days, they told me a passer-by had heard a woman and child’s screams coming from our house and had notified the police. ‘We just wanted to check everything was okay,’ one said, smiling kindly while scrutinising me at the same time. ‘I’ve just woken up,’ I said. ‘There’s been no noise at all here. Honestly, you must have the wrong house.’ I sounded like a bad liar. Or did I? I didn’t know. It was all just too surreal.

“I stood there in my pyjamas, half-expecting DC Fleming to arrive and arrest me for failing to feed my kids veg”

They didn’t stay long but the shadow of their presence loomed long after. My husband, not a violent man (‘You’re more likely to beat him up,’ one friend joked), was shaken: they’d been quite aggressive with him until I’d put their minds at rest. Was it a prank? A fox? The local foxes regularly sound like someone is being murdered.

Was someone still in danger in a house nearby? In London, domestic abuse calls to the police have gone up by 12 per cent during lockdown. They’d very rightly taken the report seriously.
We watched the police van drive off, empty. ‘Oh well,’ I said. ‘At least the day can only get better.’ And then a meteorite landed on the house.

Rude awakening: this sight would be a bad start to the day

Freetown

With the first hint of spring comes the compulsion to lose weight, get fit and throw out everything in your house that you hate, aka all of it. With charity shops closed for at least another month, Londoners have finally reached breaking point in their pursuit of a Marie Kondo-ed home and have decided to offload all their unwanted stuff on to the pavement.

Round my way, I’ve seen open suitcases full of toys, pop-up clothes rails, boxes stacked with books and pairs of shoes lined up neatly against railings, each pile of loot accompanied by a polite ‘please help yourself’ notice. It’s sweet, but don’t forget to save some things for the charity shops. They’ll need the revenue more than ever.

Cardie-knock Life

However much we may have hoped the pandemic would turn us all into kinder people, it’s glaringly apparent that the twats are just as twattish as ever.

‘The fat girl from Bridgerton is wearing a black cardigan at the Golden Globes,’ quoth some podcast host who doesn’t need more publicity, because if that’s the best you can do when talking about the goddess Nicola Coughlan, radiant in her yellow Molly Goddard gown, you’re dead to me. I hope you never have daughters because it’s cheap, careless comments like these that spark eating disorders. Also: there is never not a good time for a black cardie.

HOT:
cold shoulders

Thanks to vaccinations, sales of off-shoulder tops have grown 200 per cent, proving there is no occasion for which people won’t buy new clothes. As modelled by Dolly Parton.

NOT:
heavy winter boots

It’s all about the
ultra mini Ugg, as seen on Gigi Hadid and
Kaia Gerber.