Tuesday, 16 October 2007


Domestic bliss, I can highly recommend it. Seriously, we’ve only had one serious row, a mild squabble and an evening long impenetrable silence. For Hubby and I that is some achievement.
Of course it all kicked off when he unloaded the car last Friday. Good Lord, there was a lot of stuff – duvets, bedding, another cafetiere, microwave, digi-box, DVD player and a humongous television that has seen better days and now which sits on our son’s chest of drawers, temptingly.
“Don’t you hear me when I say that I have enough trouble with him and that MSN stuff?”, I reproached Hubby as he stuck scart leads and heaven knows what into the back of the box.
“He’ll be alright.”.
“He is in year ten. He needs to concentrate on his school work and there are just too many electrical gadgets in this room.”
“Chill out mum”, added my son, who was valiantly addressing the tuning in instructions. “Yeah, chill out love”, repeated Hubby
Chill out? I was feeling positively frosty when ten minutes later Hubby came downstairs and joined me in a cup of tea.
“Alice love, you must turn off the lights when not in that room. Not only is it extremely unfriendly to the environment but no bloody wonder our fuel bill is so high. Where are the digestives?”
“Who gives a flying fig”, I spat.
“What’s wrong with you now?” I took umbrage that he added ‘now’ to his question. Did he honestly think that by installing gazumpingly great pieces of media equipment into my son’s already crammed room, followed with a dismissive put down, then a chastising for my irresponsible attitude to the utilities bill and carbon footprint was going to put me in a jolly mood? He was delusional.
“Look, don’t start asserting yourself all of a sudden. We have managed quite well thank you very much without your advice and general wisdom. The house is just about standing and the children are fairly well adjusted, clean and fed. You are my husband not my commanding officer”.
“Alice you are being hysterical. I was only suggesting, due to the alarming nature of our bills that you be aware of switching off lights when you leave a room.”
“It’s not just about the lights”, I was standing up now and facing him, my finger wagging furiously.
“What then?”, he asked.
“It’s about being tyrannical and making me feel that for the last two years I’ve been struggling and that now, hallelujah, you have come to save me from collapse”.
“But Alice, you tell anyone ready to listen, how hard it has been for you these last two years, coping on your own with four kids, running a house, doing everything, blah, blah, boring bloody blah”.
At this point I was about to launch my new NEXT winter catalogue at him, which, as it is a very heavy tome, would undoubtedly have been fatal. A very judicious entrance by our eldest daughter however made me rethink my actions especially when she looked so condescendingly smug.
“That’s right, have a go at each other. I told you didn’t I that it would be hell for the first few weeks. If it were just you and Dad you wouldn’t have to worry about it but as you have four children, could you find it within yourselves to be mutually respectful if not of each other then at least of us? Oh and by the way the Red-Head is in the kitchen making a milkshake”.
Mortified, I replaced the catalogue on the sofa, smoothed the seat and then, with every bit of self control I walked past Hubby and into the kitchen.
Of course what met me was a scene of such utter devastation, that I could have fallen to the ground, a crumpled heap. Two glasses, which were almost filled to the brim with chocolate powder, had then been topped up with milk from a four litre carton evidently far too big for a three year old to control, which is why she had missed the glass almost entirely and why two litres of white, sticky liquid was running off my work surfaces and down the kitchen floor.
The three year old was paddling amongst it, a roll of kitchen paper in her hand, dabbing ineffectually at the mess, repeating, “Oh-oh, mummy tross. Oh-oh, mummy tross”.
“You can bet your bottom dollar that mummy is cross. Just look at this mess for heaven’s sake. Just look at it”. She of course burst into tears and Hubby came to inspect the scene.
“So, you are managing just fine are you?” he asked. Just as I was about to spit an abominable profanity, the door bell rang and Mags walked in.
Her customary immaculate dress further illustrated my complete lack of any sort of class, wearing as I was, a filthy skirt, stained sweater and holy slippers over my ankle socks. My hair was scraped into a pony tail and my complexion was ruddy due to earlier events. I expected the typical intake of breath from her and a lecture on letting myself go, instead she picked her way over the mess and opened the fridge.
“Any wine?”.
“Only red”.
“Oh that’ll do”, she replied. As Hubby poured her a glass and I got down on my haunches to mop up the floor and looked at her. She looked even more serene than before, quite expressionless.
“Are you ok?” I asked, “Only you normally screw up your face in distaste when you come here”.
“Well, I can’t today”, there was a pause, “I’ve been botoxed.”
I was rooted to the spot, even Hubby was taken by surprise.
“My husband”, she went on, “Asked me why I looked cross even when I wasn’t”.
Hubby snorted, “Mags, give Alice the botox guy’s number. Only get him to inject her mouth. She won’t be able to move it then”. And that is when the impenetrable silence began.


Lisa said...

High praise for not drowning the husband in the "milkshake!"
All other comments are unprintable.

Sally Lomax said...



I'm surprised that it only lasted a night!

I laughed alot at you in your "domestics" so to speak, welcoming your smart friend. I remember once, in our old house, us with solid fuel heating, me cleaning out the fire, covered in soot from head to toe..... and then of course the doorbell rang. Smartest woman on earth at the door.

Hey ho!!

Mopsa said...

Alice B - my Saturday mornings are inevitably laugh out loud zones, post reading your column. I so wasn't expecting the botox - girl, that was brilliant. Suggest husband has a dose on his tongue to stop his remarks for a while.

Mary Alice said...

Oh.My.God. I think I would have had some remark about HIM needing a few shots of Botox in some area that seems exceedingly inadequate in size.

enidd said...

fantastic, alice - that throw-away line about that's when the silence started had enidd in stitches.

Alice Band said...

Lisa - the husband continues to exasperate!
Sally - It was great to talk to you. Hope all is well. Thinking of you x
mopsa - Good suggestion.
mary alice - In fairness to Hubby that is one area where he doesn't need botox!!!!
enidd- hey! Where've you been? Glad you are back and so very sorry about your engagement ring. My heart went out to you xx

Domestically challenged said...

Dear Alice
Mag's is such a dear friend!
Did she explain that in fact this treatment was actually a new form of Botox, discovered in a clinic in Belgium?
Instead of using Clostridium botulinum they use a much more natural, herbal alternative. It has a quite uncanny similarity to Gin and tonic.
And thus her serenity is assured!

Alice Band said...

Dear Domestically Challenged - Only thing I like about Belgium is the chocolate, that helps to keep me serene - up to a point..

Alice's Son said...


your arguments to make me laugh

until of course you take it out on me, and so I hide in my room on msn for fear of you

understand now?


Anonymous said...

lost in the naval wife world. help me!

Anonymous said...

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