Ronnie and I had a quiet day today; the OH had to go on a business trip to Exeter, so he was up extremely early to drive to a station, his sniffles forgotten.
“I’ll be back rather late,” he told me, after suggesting that it was too early for breakfast and he’d get something on the train. “I certainly won’t be back for dinner, I might even end up on the last train. Don’t wait up.”
I’d had no intention of waiting up for him, but thanked him for the permission anyway before turning over and going back to sleep for another half hour.
Ronnie flicked through recipes with me as I decided what biscuits to produce for the 24 empty boxes currently sitting on the dining room table. Ronnie kept picking out biscuits with interesting names rather than mass appeal.
“What about rich jumbles?” she said, showing me the picture.
Hoops of icing-sugar-encrusted biscuit had been stacked next to a bowl of home-made ice-cream, for which they were apparently ‘an excellent contrasting accompaniment’. “I’m not making ice-cream, though,” I told her.
Her next choice was a variety of cookies from an American cook-book I had bought while on holiday in New York some years ago. “Though I don’t think I’ve ever seen ‘semisweet chocolate chips’ in the shops near my home,” she said mournfully.
We skipped past the various cakes and éclairs and finally settled on chocolate cherry cookies, ginger snaps and, to placate Ronnie’s need for fancy names, almond petticoat tails. Ronnie then stayed home while I whisked round the supermarket. The afternoon was spent making the products, filling the house with an aroma of sugar, ginger and chocolate.
Excitement in the evening was provided when Verity phoned, the first time since the day she arrived. I heard panic in her voice when I answered.
“Hello, Verity, what’s wrong?”
“There’s no answer at home! I’ve been trying on and off all day and Mum’s not answering. It may be nothing, maybe she just can’t hear the phone over the TV and the radio, but I need you to...”
“She’s not there,” I interrupted.
“She’s not there, she’s here,” I reassured her. “I wasn’t happy leaving her in the house by herself when she’s supposed to be convalescing, so she’s here.” Privately, Verity shouldn’t have been happy leaving her in the house by herself either, and I can say that here because I’m pretty certain that having started me off on this blog, Verity isn’t reading it any more.
“Oh. Well, that’s all right then. Does she want to talk to me?”
I looked over at Ronnie, who promptly paused the Agatha Christie and then held out her hand for the phone. They chatted quite happily for nearly half an hour while I pottered in the kitchen and then I was summoned back to the phone.
“Now, listen,” Verity said, once she’d reclaimed my attention, “I’m going to be stuck out here for a while longer. Max’s ribs are healing fine, but he had some sort of heart thing while he was here and they’re not happy about letting him home at all just yet.”
I made sympathetic noises, but Verity seemed quite matter of fact about it. “He’s in the best place at the moment, and the staff at the hospital don’t want me hanging around all the time, so I’ve been spending time with his boss’s wife and her friends. The shopping here is amazing!”
That was all right, then! Verity had evidently found the correct environment even in Spain. I made some encouraging noises about not needing to speak Spanish to connect with the locals, because Verity certainly wouldn’t be bothering with either of those if she couldn’t help it, assured her that Ronnie was no trouble at all, and then she had to go, because they had a table for dinner booked at 10. It seems very late to me, but Verity was certain that the restaurant would only just be opening.
The OH was right about the last train. He phoned shortly before boarding it, just before I went up to bed. “It’ll be after midnight by the time I’m back,” he said.
“That’s ok. I won’t wait up.” So I won’t.