You’re a Hard Habit to Break

My family have a ‘whistle’. A code. We do ‘the whistle’ and we know we are in the vicinity of each other in public areas. To be fair, my dad was the originator –  I think it began as a ‘call’ for our cat ‘Tiddles’ when it was time for his ‘Whiskas‘. However, over time it became the family call-sign.


Here, Kitty Kitty…

It signalled Dad’s return home from work, whereby I would eagerly race downstairs and shake his Evening Standard open in the hope of a Walnut Whip falling out, which was usually on a Friday.  Mid-week I might get a small paper bag selection of a white chocolate fish and chips, a foam banana and a squishy mushroom. Penny sweets = simpler times.

‘The whistle’ has forged its way into my own family, although the kids find it hard to get the exact tone right, especially the youngest who is still struggling with whistling full-stop. A replica high-pitched ‘wooohhhhh-hoooohhhhh’ is sufficient to get the ‘call sign’ out though.


What’s your call sign?

In a busy shopping centre, or in a public toilet it’s super useful, particularly as I have kids entering the ‘Mum, you’re sooooo embarrassing’ stage:

“Are you still in the toilet, darling? Did you put paper on the seat?”

This vocal check is apparently unacceptable to my eldest whereas ‘the whistle’ is fine and thankfully met with a responding ‘wooh-hooh’, so I least I know she is still in there somewhere.

So that’s how it goes – at busy airports, theme parks, on a packed train, on holiday.

To me, there’s nothing more special that watching a loved one who is unaware that you’re present. I love seeing that instant recognition upon on their faces upon hearing ‘the whistle’ when they click that a key member of their crew is close by.

So this is one of my habits. My ‘thing’ which I brought to the family table. When you live with others you tend to adopt each others ways – my youngest now says ‘anyway’ a lot, as apparently picked up from my use of the word. People have even started to comment that my husband and I have have begun to resemble each other. (His boobs are thankfully smaller than mine.)

I’m not saying I surround myself with a bunch of circus freaks, but all we have our weird ways, habits, nuances. Am listing a few anonymously for fear of losing friends and alienating people….


See if you can recognise yourself in any of them:

…saluting an ambulance.

…speaking directly to magpies with the whole ‘Hello Mr. Magpie, how’s your wife and kids?’


Where’s your mates at?

… the need to peruse a menu online before eating anywhere.

…feeling genuinely upset if someone else cleans out the lint drawer of the tumble drier. (ahem…)


*Must peel away in one swipe for maximum satisfaction*

…the inability to eat a biscuit like a normal person – jam sandwich creams get prized apart, marshmallow teacakes get dissected and my heart goes out to a Tunnocks caramel.


… having to touch a plane exterior upon boarding. (Okay so that’s me, but you know that from reading previous blogs, so pointless me hiding it.)

…can only buy things in pairs, ensuring you never run out of something. Deodorant, fabric conditioner, Diet Coke, bin liners.


This is her utility room. Joke… (ish)

…never walking on cracks on the pavement. (Standard. Who DOES that?)


nB. Not my actual shoes. (Although ideal for crack-avoiding)

…won’t walk under signs. (It ruins your sex life, apparently. Watch people avoid them whilst wandering down a road. It’s hilarious)

…saying ‘Wed – nes – day’ in your head when saying or writing ‘Wednesday’

…no carbs after 7pm. (Definitely not me and I know some of you adopt the 6pm cut-off.)


…enjoying carrots cooked, boiled, roasted, chopped. But if you grate them, forget it. (Also me.)


Shouldn’t be allowed

…won’t dip into the new eye cream, moisturiser, whatever is in the pot, until the protective lid bit that has excess product on it has all been used up. (Would you believe it if I said this is me as well?)


Lid product is life

…if you buy something online and it’s no good, no matter your plans the next day, IT MUST BE RETURNED!!! There are no exceptions even if it means dragging the kids to Brent Cross at 7:30 at night. Yes, even if it’s Zara.


Photo credit: AAP IMAGES

…morning alarm can’t be set for ‘on the hour’ or ‘half hour’ (Yes. Me)


Alarm bells ringing…

…will never wear an item of clothing again until it’s thoroughly washed should it have made direct contact with public transport. Nor would I they sit on their lovely, clean bed in said clothes.


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