Diary of a busy practitioner, juggling work and family somewhere in England. This week: balancing World Book Day and probate applications.

And so it is that time of year again. The daffodils are coming through, we are stocking up on eggs and flour (to make pancakes, not to throw at people), we can walk down the road without our coats done up, remind ourselves that we don’t need to give up anything for Lent because we aren’t religious, and yet again we can consider stabbing ourselves in the neck with our bodgers to try to get out of dealing with World Book Day.

(For the uninitiated, a bodger is the spiky metal prong one uses to make a hole in a letter before putting it on the correspondence pin. My secretary regularly takes mine away from me).

I am joking really, I love books, I love reading, I love my children reading. I also loved our first experience of World Book Day when Deceptively Angelic Looking Child 1 dressed up as Angelina Ballerina. My dad cried a little bit when I sent him the photo.

Unfortunately almost everyone else dresses up as Disney princesses and even the preschool manager dressed up as Nemo that year. As I checked DALC1 in to preschool, I glared at her and said ’Nemo is a film’. She reached under the desk and pulled out a storybook adaption of the film. Hardly the spirit. There is also generally a plea on all social media platforms the night before asking if anyone has a Mary Poppins book, because everyone had a Mary Poppins costume but not the book. Again, not really the point of World Book Day.

By DALC1’s second World Book Day we had a screaming baby and threw on the red devil’s cloak we had bought for Halloween and thus she was Red Riding Hood.

This year I had it sorted. My friend gave us her old Mary Poppins costume (wait for it…) and DALC1 had received the beautiful Lauren Childs adaptation from Father Christmas. Father Christmas, you see, was already thinking of World Book Day at the end of last year. But no. The school have changed the rules. They want them to go in as a word. A word. ‘Nanny’ was obviously my first thought but apparently nouns are not what they had in mind.

They have sent a list of words we might like to choose from, printed from something called the Vocabulary Parade Kit. There are 100 words on the list, I don’t know the meaning of four of them myself (proboscis, protuberance, knuckleball and xylem), 90 of them are absolutely ridiculous suggestions for costumes (and I am not joking, these include the words gyrate, tributary, yoke, tendril, throng, error, agitation and divergent) which leaves us with about half a dozen possibles. DALC1 has gone for ‘midnight’ and presumably everyone else in the school will just go for ‘Elsa’ or ‘Anna’ anyway.

It is no easier at preschool as DALC2 is apparently having a World Book Week so I am supposed to find a costume each day for her. Luckily her favourite book/film/TV show/toy/everything is Peter. Sorry, Peter Rabbit. We have long since only called him by his Christian name. How many days in a row do you think she can wear a Peter onesie?

I might start one of those online petitions to ban the Vocabulary Parade Kit on the grounds of Stress Caused to Parents. Because I actually have other things to think about too, like work for example. It will actually be the second time in two years I have tried to get all my probate applications in before the end of March when the fees are due to increase, whilst sorting World Book Day costumes and the billion other things that I am expected to do. I know people have bigger problems but I spent the first warm, sunny Sunday of the year in the office completing IHT400s including trying to navigate the awful downsizing provisions for the Residence Nil Rate Band. Last time the court fee increase was postponed at the last minute due to the general election. Surely the knuckleballs running the country have nothing big happening at the end of March this time to interfere with the fee increase?