Sunday 29th October 1989   At home 17.00

I told my dad that I didn’t know anything about hormones but, of course, I do. We’ve got hormones at home.
On a Sunday, we always try to have a relaxing, family afternoon. Mum will do a bit of housework and prepare the dinner while Dad and I watch The Big Match.
Mum likes to serve up the food as soon as the football finishes. This can be annoying if there is a lot of injury time or extended highlights.

So there we are tucking into a nice roast dinner when, suddenly, Mum snaps. It’s completely out of the blue. She usually starts on me. My room’s a mess. All my clothes have been thrown on the floor and my school books.
Dad steps in, in a supportive way: “You really should try to clear up, Dennis.”
Then, she attacks him.
“You can talk! You’re just as bad! You’ve got clothes all over the place.”
To be fair, it is true. It’s a genetic problem that Dad and I have. We regard it as an illness. It’s something that we both accept.

Then, we both catch on: Mum’s hormones have kicked in. It’s the same every time. She’s bad tempered and highly irritable. She seems to lose any logical train of thought. Of course, if we try to explain that we understand or say that there’s no offence taken, it just makes her worse. So now, when Dad and I realise what’s going on, we don’t say anything. We just sit as still and as quietly as we can.

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