Utter swine

I was looking forward to a full day’s slobbing out, er, feverishly writing up a travel article on my wonderful Disney jaunt , when the first text arrived yesterday. ‘Alleyn’s school closed – seven cases of swine flu!!!’ After countless others in the same vein, I gave in. I had half expected to encounter it in Florida – standing outside Cinderella’s castle with ten thousand strangers all wearing sombreros and imitating Snow White’s friend Sneezy seemed about the best way to catch a pandemic that I could think of – but, as unlikely as it seems, I arrived home from panic-stricken America only to find Mexican swine flu is rampaging through my beloved Dulwich instead.

Though my treasures are not at the affected school, which is called Alleyn’s (their complex house point system seemed a bit too Hogwartian for my liking when I was looking at schools three years ago), they are in a nearby school. And both have friends with brothers or sisters at Alleyn’s. Eeeek!

So it was a lethal combination of terror and idleness that made me turn off my alarm and pull the duvet back over my head this morning. Admittedly, Child One had already been in at 6.30, shouting at me to get up because we were late for school. The cherub said she had misread her clock. Later I nodded off during a Pirates of the Caribbean dvd, and was accused me of snoring. Moi? As if! It’s just a bit of a snuffle, you understand. And many thanks to lovely Digital Outlook for sending me it for answering their questionnaire on something called BluRay. Do I know what BluRay is? Er, no I don’t, but the children want it desperately, so it must be good slash prohibitively expensive slash completely impossible for me to install or operate.

It’s been so lovely seeing the treasures again after my trip away, and the flu is giving them plenty of quality time with their Disney goodies. I wore myself out blundering around a dimly-lit branch of Hollister in a mall near Disneyworld buying them incredibly hip T-shirts, only for them to scrap ferociously over possession of my Disney ‘lanyard’ instead, a choice purple security pass cord emblazoned with Tinkerbells. They are also very taken with my germolene pink mouse ears (my present from Mickey, sob) and love the little pin badges that clip to the lanyard. We saw grown men poring over great folders full of these pins in Florida, and you’re allowed to march up to anyone wearing pins in the park and demand to swap (and cast members have to say yes).

Oh well, I suppose it’ll keep them occupied, as we may never be able to venture outside again. There were lots of concerned mothers photographed yesterday outside Alleyn’s, looking both gorgeous and anxious in their best Juicy Couture (I imagine Question Air in the Village has been completely ravaged by yummies getting ready for their close-ups on the News At Ten) but today the streets are absolutely deserted. I hope the Red Cross are reading this, as I could really do with a large parcel of essential supplies, including bread, milk, aftersun lotion and, of course, a large Louis Vuitton handbag, anything in the epi leather range will do. Thanks!

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