Both were sitting down at the kitchen table with their second cup of tea when David and Mac arrived home from the golf shop. “Hellloooooo!” trilled the OAPs. Mac threw himself at Amelia and showed her “what we paid for in the shop granny!” whilst David did an impression of a surprised halibut. A hissed conversation then took place in the utility room during which I confirmed to David that he and I were on the sofa bed whilst Margaret made use of our Queen sized bed with goosedown duvet. This had been decided during the first cup of tea “anything less than a proper mattress dear and I’m stiff as a board. I’m a martyr to my back I am”. Mac’s bed wasn’t big enough for her as she’s used to a double and she felt she couldn’t sleep that close to “that many stuffed animals”.
She also came out with a gem of a comment: “I only eat kippers for breakfast I’m afraid” said the woman who arrived uninvited to a kipper-free house having failed to bring her own which necessitated a trip up to Sopers. Who had just sold their last pair. David escaped to Sainsburys when my back was turned with my list and his son.
I’m wary of letting David out to do the weekly shop because I know that, even with a comprehensive list, he will forget something very important. The last time was when I had written “chicken for dinner tonight” in huge letters. He came back with no chicken because he “didn’t see it on the list”. The time before that, where I had lovingly detailed the list of herbs (fresh and dried) that I was planning to use to restock my herb and spice cupboard, he came back with salt and pepper only. And then complained when his roast beef “didn’t have any rosemary on it”. Still, he’d gone and, other than ringing him every five minutes to track his course round the shop, I could do nothing but trust him.
The intrepid travellers were comparing tour guides and giggling over their planned visit to Dublin zoo and the Guinness factory when David arrived back. The first thing I noticed was the bag of Haribo jellies Mac was clutching in one hand, the second thing was the distinct lack of shopping.
My beloved husband had taken one look at my list, another look at the “sheer amount of people crammed into the aisles” and decided that, this week, we could do without toilet rolls, milk, butter and yoghurt and we’re unable to eat salad for the foreseeable because “women were going crazy with cucumbers” and "don't even get me started on the breadstick aisle". He managed to negotiate the deli counter with no problems only because Mac had charmed the lady behind the counter. He also got the kippers, shrunkwrapped when I think Margaret was expecting so-fresh-they’re-still-smoking. I shoved them at the back of the (strangely empty on a shopping day) fridge and hoped for the best.
I asked my family and house guests to decide whether or not to have an early, hastily thrown together dinner as I was going out at half past six or I’d eat at Saskia's and they could please themselves once I’d gone. The camp was divided. David and Margaret were happy to eat early, Amelia couldn’t see why they had to suffer just because “I was out gallivanting at a highly dubious party with a bunch of women who should know better” and Mac didn’t want me to go but I could go if I brought him back a present. I fudged that one and retired to the PC to mooch through Blogland.
From my comfy swivel chair I can hear the debate raging in the kitchen: Amelia is digging around the freezer and tutting loudly, Margaret is keen on making omelettes for everyone and keeps asking Amelia where I keep my eggs, Mac is stuffing his face with Haribo and David has just wandered through to ask me where the Spices takeaway menu has gone.