Monday, 12 January 2009

Dirty Pursuits.

“Oh I don’t know Alice, you have your moments” said Hubby, interrupting my phone-call as he came in through the front door.
“D’you mind”, I said airily, putting the receiver under my chin, “I’m on the phone to Mags”.
“She’s never frigid? Never had her down as the sort”.
“Sorry about this Mags, one moment” and putting my hand over the receiver this time, I even more haughtily said to my husband, “we are talking climatically not climactically. Her plumbing has frozen and no, that is not an euphemism”, I quickly added as his mouth was open to utter yet another, what he considered, droll double entendre.
For the next twenty minutes I tutted and gasped and sighed and said “Oh no” at all the appropriate junctures when a good friend informs you that, so cold is it in her house that the pipes have frozen solid and she has no water whatsoever.
“So I’m left with having to go to the supermarket to buy industrial sized flagons of mineral water just to wash a cup up. Honestly, neither has my hair nor my china ever been so soft”.
“Well, fair play to you Mags, you are hanging on to your sense of humour. I can’t imagine not having running water. Dear God, our son would move out if he couldn’t ponce around for hours in the bathroom attending to his daily ablutions”.
Hubby, given that he was impatiently hopping from foot to foot and sighing every time I said goodbye, then continued the conversation for another 5 minutes, obviously wanted my attention. He might as well have just got on my lap and repeated my name incessantly until I’d lost my temper with him but at least hung up. It works for the children.
“Mags I’ve really got to go. If you need a bath, or washing done, come on down. Bye, bye, yeah, bye”.
I clicked the red button on the phone and looked at Hubby.
“Well, what is it?”
“I’ve got something to show you”, he said, smiling broadly and handing me a padlock.
“Ok. That’s just weird. I’ll never be into stuff like that!”
“No, Alice. Don’t be ridiculous. Do you honestly think that once I’ve got you in the mood, I’d risk locking you up and keeping you still? I’m glad to get a response. It’s not much fun making love to a plank of wood.”
“Well just thank your lucky stars you’ve never had any splinters then” and with a slight huff I walked into the kitchen.
“Alice, please. This is all going wrong. I genuinely have something to show you. Get your coat on and get in the car”.
“The kids?” I asked.
“In front of a DVD. C’mon, we won’t be long”.
“Since when did Meryl Streep become our babysitter? One minute and I’ll get our daughter to come and look after them”.
Minutes later a very grumpy teenager threw herself onto the sofa and pulled one of the cushions onto her head.
“God I hate this film”, she said, as Pierce Brosnan started to, well, sing.
I got into the car very warily. What was Hubby up to? His personality is not renowned for its element of surprise.
We drove for only a minute. And then he got my wellies out of the boot.
“What’s going on? I asked, “We could have walked here”.
“You’ll see”
He pulled a scarf out of his pocket and instead of wrapping it around his neck; he tied it around my eyes for a blindfold. Padlocks? Blindfolds? Wellies? I was getting seriously worried. Al fresco shenanigans have never been my tasse de thé in July, let alone in the frozen wastes of Torpoint in January.
My balance compromised, I gingerly wobbled into my wellies and with a beseeching, “Come on”, Hubby led me across uneven, hard, frozen ground.
Finally we stopped and with a ta-da, he whipped off the blindfold to reveal a patch of earth and putrefying thereon, a few straggly looking sprouts, a square of spectre-pale corn and a rickety shed.
“That’s what the padlock is for”, he said following my eyes, “Your shed! And this is Alice”, he added rather dramatically, through the use of a sweeping arm, as if to indicate I now owned ‘land’, “ your allotment”.
I was silent.
“I’ve had you on the waiting list for two years. The Allotment Association called me just before Christmas to say your name was at the top of the list”. I was speechless. I’ve only ever grown wild strawberries and that was down to God and not me. They just grow haphazardly in my cracks on the terrace.
“Well I don’t know what to say”, I said, not knowing what to say.
“Look in your shed”. Hubby’s excitement was so enthusiastic, that I had to find the wherewithal to make appropriate sounds when he showed me my rake, hoe and fork.
“And the piece de resistance – some seed catalogues”.
“Wow. You’ve thought of everything”. He really had including a woolly hat, thermal socks and fingerless gloves.
“Well I’ve been worried about you since you got fired. Thought you needed to get out of the house, but well away from retail therapy”.
So that is where, on Wednesday morning, when all my peers were in rewarding jobs in, more significantly, warm offices, I was trying to dig over the arctic tundra that is my allotment.
As my nose dripped rather unattractively down my fork handle I received a text from my son.
‘Ma. Not such GR8 results in my mocks and forgot that A level consultation 2nite’ .
More like A level confrontation. There is no escaping them it seems, even whilst digging for victory.


It's just me said...

Oooo! I've just got one too! Although mine wasn't a surprise at all.

Mary Alice said...

Honestly that sounds great. I love a good garden.

Anonymous said...

You crack me up! Literally: I spent the first half of your post howling with laughter then in slight horror at the thought of my husband surprising me with my own garden. I do hope your response was tongue in cheek and that it is an appreciated surprise. :)

(Not a lurker, just a bad irregular reader)

DL said...

Thoughtful present!

Don't ever let it be said, Romance is dead!

D. :)

Sally said...

I'm with you Alice. My gardening skills extend to having grown a herb patch a couple of years ago, which has now been overtaken by triffid mint. Getting the lawnmower out is a huge job for either hubby or me. As such my brother accused us recently of having a field... Like Mary Alice I love a nice garden too.... but gardening is just not my thing...

Eloise said...

Well, it was a sweet thought...

Let us know how the garden comes along, dear Alice!

Anonymous said...

Hubby here, please youhonestly think I'd give an allotment as a present? Alice's announcement was the first I'd heard!!

Sally said...

oooh... The plot thickens.... Myabe she'd like one. Would you ALice???

Alice Band said...

Ok. Bit of artistic licence! I got the allotment for myself!