FQ Expert

Turning Back Time

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Gem Simms, FQ’s resident sex columnist, remembers fun, frollocks and festivals… How different is life before kids? I copped off with Him Indoors 15 years ago this month, when the cheeky beggar asked me for a snog in a nightclub.

Well, we were young, drunk, he was quite fit and I had nothing to lose. Mind you, what I didn’t expect to lose was my singledom. After that fateful night on the dancefloor, the rest is history. For my Christmas present last year, he bought a scanner, sifted through 15 years of photos, and selected the best to create an album of our life together.

I didn’t know men could be so thoughtful. He normally thinks thoughtful is picking his pants up off the floor to save me doing it.

The photos made me realise how different life is now we have two kids. When I look at the album, I find myself comparing certain events with how we would enjoy them now.

I am a West Country lass (think PJ Harvey, only fatter and less miserable) and we loved Glastonbury festival with great photos to prove it. Back then I swore we’d take our future children and parenthood wouldn’t change us.

Balls. There is no way on earth I would trudge through the mud in Michael Eavis’s fields with a whiny seven-year-old and a pushchair caked in muck. And imagine trying to take the kids to the toilet. I’ve seen “matter” down those festival toilets that even Kim and Aggy couldn’t identify.

Then there is the summer we went to Spain. There I was, in skimpy bikini bottoms, sunbathing topless. Now my boobs are out merely to pacify my bitty-obsessed son and are no longer suitable for public viewing.

We have photos from when I took Him Indoors to New York for his 25th birthday. We ice skated in Central Park, got wasted on cocktails in Times Square and ahem, made full use of our hotel room.

This year it was his 37th birthday. We couldn’t get a babysitter; I didn’t find time to cook a fancy meal at home so slung a couple of ready meals in the oven.

Him Indoors did a fake yawn and suggested “we get an early night”.

Tiptoeing upstairs, the toddler started crying for a breastfeed and I found myself torn between two males, each requiring my body for his own need.

Of course the baby won and by the time I’d crawled into bed, Him Indoors was snoring. I was deflated and frustrated.

Yeah, that night 15 years ago has a lot to answer for. But you know what? I wouldn’t swap it for all the festivals and cocktails in the world.