M­­­rs Halloran had six daughters: Handrea, Hannabelle (known as elephant at school), Harlene, Haurora, Hanthea, and Halison. She was a pretentious woman and ensured her daughters names were unique. She was known to all as Mrs Halloran, even her children.

The words mum, mummy, mam, mammy, were anathema to her. Now that was a word she liked, Anathema, and she had it in reserve for another daughter just in case Mr Halloran struck it lucky. The few times Mr Halloran called her Mrs, without the appendage of her surname her face went puce, her tightly permed hair shot up as if struck by lightning and her lips disappeared as she inhaled sharply. There was nothing soft about her. She was a woman on a mission.

She had her steely gaze on a four bedroomed house in the posher part of town. Its main attraction was the en-suite, or NSWEET as she called it. Currently, they lived in a two-up, two down, which is exactly what it says; two rooms upstairs and two downstairs. The bathroom couldn’t really be considered a room as it barely held a shower (Her pride in this was HUGE), a sink, and a toilet. It hung precariously onto the back of the house (the bathroom not the toilet) and it was so small you had to walk in sideways. She was ashamed of the fact that it was downstairs as she considered this common.

Mrs Halloran was a woman who loved her lists and rotas. This was of particular importance as the kitchen only held two people at a time, so the breakfast rota started at 6.00am. Everyone was allocated twenty minutes for breakfast. This included washing their own dishes, also allocated. Every cup (no mugs in this house, not even Mr Halloran) had each person’s name marked on it. Due to circumstances, initials were not suitable. The bathroom rota was of equal importance.

Mrs H, (as I shall now refer to her), did not utter a word before 9am, so breakfast was a quiet affair, punctuated by the occasional slurp of tea and crunch of toast. Surprisingly for a woman with pretentions and great expectations, she did not cut the crusts off. By 9am the house was clean, swept, and all debris, including her family had scarpered to the four corners of the earth.

Well, not quite. They had scarpered to the four corners of Hellman which was where they lived. (No connection to mayonnaise). She then sat down in the drawing room as she referred to it, switched on the television and watched Baywatch, a programme she considered tasteful and modern. Yes, she considered herself a modern woman.

Her daughters were all in their teens and she was planning their future. She intended on sending them to The University of Life. She wasn’t quite sure where it was, but hoped it was near home so she could save on student accommodation.

She had seen this university mentioned on Facebook and it was very popular. (I did say she was a modern woman). The many posts she perused stated, University of Life as their education and she thought this was unique. She practised saying it aloud, until she got the perfect intonation. ‘My daughter is reading at The University of Life.’ She liked the ‘reading’ bit. It sounded posh. ‘My daughter is studying at the University of Life.’ Not quite the same ring to it, but hey ho!

She had plans for her daughter’s careers. Two of them would be air hostesses. Travel broadens the mind. Two of them would be entrepreneurs, but none of that cupcake-making business. They would be inventors. (She watched Shark Tank avidly). And the other two, she was still mulling that one over. Becoming a nun was a consideration, (to pray for her husband’s soul, her soul was fine) or becoming croupiers.

She didn’t know what a croupier did or even what it meant, but she liked the sound of it. ‘My Haurora and Hanthea are croupiers.’ She thought it might be in the medical profession, Croup Specialists. What more could any mother want. Six daughters with fancy professions she could boast about.

The family down the road had eight sons: Hector, Henry, Hubert, Hal, Holden, Hudson, Hayes, Horatio and, last but least, Hezekiah, who was the runt of the litter. She had earmarked six of them as prospective husbands for her daughters, the other two in reserve just in case Mr Halloran got lucky, not once but twice.

Like all the best laid plans none of this came to fruition, although Mrs H sang the same bedtime song to her children every night.

‘When I was just a little girl

I asked my mother

What shall I be?

Will I be handsome?

Will I be rich?

This is what she said to me.

You’ll be an air hostess, mistress of the skies. (They were, but not the skies).

You’ll be entrepreneurs.

You’ll be a croupier. (Downtown Vegas selling their wares which was not part of her plan).

She had foregone the nun career. It didn’t have the same ring to it as Croupier.



When Handrea and Hannabelle were 18 and 19, they became pregnant. Now Mrs H didn’t think this was possible (a woman of naivety) without being married.

But her daughters surprised her. Neither Hector nor Henry were responsible. Handrea and Hannabelle did become mistresses, not of the skies, but of two local married men who had absolutely no intention of leaving their wives.

They became single mums and were allocated a one bedroomed flat each. They named their sons Brexit. As well as their bouncing baby sons they had six poodles, also called Brexit.

This caused great confusion when they were all together, but that’s a Brexit legacy. By the way these are not the same poodles Heidi inherited from Aunt Hedwige. Those poodles were killed by Heidi’s brother. (Don’t you read my blogs?) Anyway, Handrea and Hannabelle poodled along very happily ever after on benefits, including the friends with benefits relationship they had with the fathers of their sons.

Harlene and Haurora became entrepreneurs of the illegal services kind. They had big hearts, always helping those in need: providing loans with extortionate interest rates, running clean homes (brothels), creative accountancy for clients which paid exceedingly well, tax evasion, and contract killing, but there wasn’t any demand for that in Hellman.

Hanthea and Halison did fulfil Mrs Halloran’s dream (almost). They made their way to Vegas. Gambled what little savings they had and ended up Downtown Vegas selling their wares. Make of that what you will.

The moral of this story is: Don’t call your children, Handrea, Hannabelle, Harlene, Haurora, Hanthea, and Halison.

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