My friend Verity (of whom possibly more later) seems to think that now the kids have gone to university, I will be able to have a life, about which she wants me to blog. Seriously! She doesn’t have kids, employs a cleaner and a gardener, dry-cleans virtually everything and drifts from lunch to lunch, so that she doesn’t even need to cook. Why she thinks that kids being at uni will make any difference, I’m not sure, but she does. She also insists that I blog about my day, and has told me to make sure that I have a life to blog about. Now, I love Verity dearly, but good god, she has no idea.
Let me give you an example of the day so far. George made his own way back to Abertay University – thank goodness, since apart from the fact that Abertay, in Aberdeen, is a long long way from here, I can absolutely see why it’s called the Granite City, stony-cold as it is – on the train to London to meet up with some mates who are driving up, but Celeste not only hasn’t passed her driving test but has no intention of learning to drive until after she’s cleared her student loan. Some time next century, then. Anyway, it meant a long day driving round and round Spaghetti Junction with a laden car until she remembered which turning I needed to get to Brummy Uni and then nearly as long again unloading the car. She, of course, had rushed off to meet some other freshers who were doing the same course as her. I was tempted to ‘forget’ the box of food I had packed up for her, but she’d only resort to eating kebabs and pizza, so I dutifully emptied it all over her bed and hid it under the new hypo-allergenic duvet she insisted we buy. I’m not even sure she noticed me waving goodbye, but as soon as I was in the car, I put on some Mozart (“Not that boring old classical stuff, Mum!”) to calm my shattered nerves, reprogrammed the sat-nav to find a route home that didn’t involve motorways or, preferably, Spaghetti Junction, and pottered back along country lanes, swearing at tractors. By the time the OH got back from his oh-so-arduous job, I was sitting semi-comatose with a glass of wine in my hand and a half-empty bottle at my feet. The kitchen was not filled with the delicious aroma of a cooking meal and the table was not laid.
“Great. I suppose you expect me to go and get some fish and chips or something.” He’s quite set in his ways and doesn’t mind fish and chips, just not on a Friday.
“Mmm.” A more coherent response after two glasses of wine is more than I can manage. Even finishing the third would be a challenge.
He was hungry, so he phoned for some pizza. No chance he’d ever cook a meal for himself. Makes you wonder if his mother taught him anything. Still, it meant little washing-up for me this morning as only the OH needed to eat his pizza with a knife and fork. From a plate. I keep telling him to chill out, eat it by picking up a slice at a time in his bare hands, but that’s more than he can manage.
So, the combination of wine and pizza after an exhausting day meant that Saturday started rather late for me. And then Verity phoned and told me to do this blog.
“I can’t,” I told her. “I have to do the washing. And the washing-up,” as I gazed at the mess two boxes of pizza, a portion of garlic bread, a portion of chicken wings and some ice-cream can generate. Damn those pizza companies and their combo-meal offers!
“Leave the washing for today! Go out and have a life,” Verity told me. “You deserve it.”
I’m not quite sure how I’m supposed to ‘have a life’ on a Saturday afternoon in our sleepy little market town, but Verity can be quite forceful and, frankly, a bit of a nag. So I grabbed the local paper, scanned the ‘Town Events’ section and found a school harvest festival and sale to attend. Naturally the OH doesn’t want to come with me, there is football on the TV and some golf tournament, so once I’ve sorted out some sandwiches for him, I shall go by myself. Who knows, I might find some nice apples.