This is pure novelty for me, having worked in sales for so long I can’t remember the last time I had the whole weekend off. The whole weekend but absolutely nothing to do.
Anyway; where ever I have worked and whatever day it is, as soon as I finish my shift before my days off, in my mind it’s my weekend. Be it Tuesday/Wednesday or whatever I treat it like a Friday and what do we like to do on a Friday when we finish work? Go to the pub.
Being the proactive chap that I am, I have arranged a group video call with some of my friends from the motor trade in our virtual pub. We chew the fat for an hour or so over a few beers; chat conspiracy theories, ask when this will all end and general talk the sort of rubbish blokes do when left to their own devices.
Nicely chilled from a couple of beers, I am quickly reminded that I am still alone in these 4 walls. Lola shows no enthusiasm for a walk but will be dragged out anyway, I need to at least to see other real people. It’s a pleasant surprise, there are a sensible number of people out and about enjoying an evening stroll. By and large all keeping a sensible distance but happy enough to wave and say hello.
So now I am quite chilled, I have found a couple of funnies on the telly to watch and eased the top of a nice bottle of red. Content in my own little world. Until the wife calls! Now we are lucky enough to have two bathrooms so for the foreseeable future I am in the ensuite and she gets to use the main bathroom. All uniforms etc. are stored in there and washed separately, regularly. All sensible stuff. There is no getting away from the fact that the chances of her having Covid contact are greater, so for as much as possible we are keep things separate. So here’s the cracker, now she is worried about the bedding! It’s like quarter to 10 and she’s lucky I am not already under the duvet let alone thinking about doing a full bedding change. But being the dutiful husband that I am off I go, nicely warmed by the earlier beers and a good slosh of red, I’ve got this. Stripping the bed is no problem, all straight in the washer. Well not all of it, I am not a heathen. For a bloke I am fairly well domesticated and can not only recognise the difference in colours when loading the washing machine, I know which end of the vacuum cleaner does what and I have been known to cook the odd dinner. Dusting still remains a mystery though.
Anyway the bed is stripped and now I am looking for a new set of linen. Now from my limited experience of the order of things, woman like it all to match. But mine doesn’t like to help this task by keeping each set together, oh no no no. We have different boxes for sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases, so now the hunt is on. I don’t really care what it is as long as it looks the same. After much sifting I find a set that looks like it fits the bill, only to discover now I put everything away again that this set isn’t your normal button up or pop together set. No I have managed to pull out the only set we have with little tassels on that you have to tie you duvet and pillows into, the faff begins.
I’m done the bedding is clean and all tied nicely with little bows, I am hoping there will be extra brownie points for that. I have had my shower. The program I wanted to watch has long since finished, I am off up that wooden hill to Bedfordshire.
Now I always like a clean bed and fresh bedding always seems like a treat every time, so I am ready for this. I have lifted off the fancy little tasselly pillows that I know from experience are just for show and not for your own personal comfort. Just as I am reaching for the bedside light I spot it. The bloody pillowcase on my side is different to the other! Too late, good night.
Saturday the wife has a rare day off and we end up doing all the practical stuff you have to do when you have days off. We’ve cleaned, vacuumed, washed. I thought the place was pretty tidy but apparently no. I also get growled at for not doing the ironing which is now building up. I try to explain that although I’ve been at home, I have been working. It’s too late for that game though, she has read my diary!
I dodge the ironing a little bit longer by taking us all out for a walk. New Zealand is a beautiful country and I dare say you could walk almost anywhere and be astounded by nature. But up here we have nature and a golf course. The course is closed sadly but this does mean that like many other folk are doing, you can take advantage of some outstanding views and walks. I listen to the wife wittering on about the state of the health system and what will be the next stages, should the worst happen; while I play a round of imaginary golf in my head and Lola checks the hedges for the golf balls I will inevitably lose.
We have planned a curry night, normally we like to treat ourselves to a little Indian indulgence of a weekend. If you ever make it up this way we are lucky enough to have one of the best curry house I have tried in New Zealand just around the corner from us, but we are trying to keep it a bit of a secret so please don’t all come and once.
I am gearing up to start preparations for this Indian banquet when the idea of a gin and tonic is presented to me, I mean what harm can it do? Its mid-afternoon the suns out. We have a very sociable garden to sit it, go on just the one! I should thank at this time the purveyor of said gin, you know who you are. We are very grateful and it’s very good. I don’t think the wife will be quite so grateful in the morning but tonight it’s the best thing ever! As always it’s never just one drink, especially when the neighbourhood spot as and join us for a social distancing drink from behind the fence. Maybe over the garden fence drinking isn’t so bad after all.
Sunday, amazingly enough tippy toe nurse has got up early for work. Last night’s gin showing no lasting effects. It also appears we have a new rule in this house; one up all up! So once my beautiful clodhopper wearing wife finally winds her way out the door and away, I am wide awake. The only one who appears to be immune to all this is Lola. When it all gets too much for the old girl she tucks herself in the back of our walk in robe and this is where I find her. Doing her very best sleeping and showing no signs action at all.
So now I am up. It’s still dark so I spend a bit of time writing this. Prior to popular belief this doesn’t come naturally to me. Talking rubbish, no problem; I have made a career out of that. But when it comes to writing it, I am not so sponny. I have never been tested but over the years I have come to consider myself slightly dyslexic. I came from the school years where dyslexia, ADHD and a like were not recognised. If you had a problem and the resolution couldn’t be beaten into, you sat at the thick table! Now I suppose with hindsight I never really sat at the thick table, but I got pretty close a number of times. This I think is why I couldn’t wait to get out of education. Over the years I have had plenty of opportunity to go back and do different things and each time it’s been met with the same reticence. I didn’t enjoy it first time around when I didn’t have a choice, now I have a choice so keep me away! Please don’t get me wrong further education has its place just not in my life. I watched with absolute amazement, pride and ore as my wife complete a Law Degree through the Open University. Five years of pure determination earned her an LLB with honours and I couldn’t be more proud of her. But that’s her and not me, we are all different and we all cut our cloth a different way.
What I should tell you is why she ended up doing said degree in the first place.
First of all my wife is a Facebook addict. You’ve read about me calling her my Facebook PA well its true, but she’s not trawling through endless tosh (well not all the time). She uses it to keep in touch with people and not just keep in touch, speak to. She has an absolutely massive friends list and I bet she talks to best part of them at least once a month. It might only be a little message on a post, but she is in contact. So when its school reunion time, she’s the girl to organise it.
Now this is no mean feat, at this time we are living down in the South West of England, she was dragged up just outside of Manchester and at this present time is working in London. So as you can imagine, it has its challenges. But with the help of a few of her old school friends, little miss hundred miles an hour gets it done.
The big day arrives, we’re all crammed into a room of the local working man’s club. With a cracking bar, bit of a disco, buffet and a draw. Everything you need for a night out in the North of England.
As you can imagine the drinks are flowing, everyone is catching up with everyone. I end up having a long conversation with a bloke who is convinced he used to sit next to me in maths and generally everyone is having fun.
I leave my new best calculus buddy to consider his next equation and am just pottering around looking for someone else to talk to. Generally speaking everyone knows everyone else but there are a few partners of classmates mingling round the edges so I head off to chat with my brethren. I talk to a few and end up talking to a nice German lady, we’re only talking rubbish. The normal polite chit chat people who don’t really know each other make at these forced social occasions. When out of nowhere her husband appears, I don’t know him. He doesn’t know me but it’s very clear he doesn’t like me talking to his wife. It an odd arrangement as the whole purpose, or at least for me of going out to these sorts of places is to talk to other people. Anyway it’s quite obvious this is a man of some substance, his whole demeanour is different to everyone else I have spoken to that evening and it’s at this very moment my lovely wife choses to wobble into view. Now there is a golden rule with my wife don’t argue unless you 100% right, it’s probably true for most wives but with mine its 1000% true. This guy clearly didn’t know the rules of the game or didn’t care and I think it was probably the latter. But proceeded to tell my wife she had wasted her education and would never amount to anything. Spouting “you always wanted to be a lawyer but you’re just a nurse”. This to the lady that has worked at the very highest level of nursing. Anyway for one of the few times in my life I have my mouth shut, I can’t see how this is going to play out but I don’t want to miss it. Then it comes an explosion of white wine, adrenalin and fury that would change the next five years of both our lives. The immortal words from my wife’s lips “Just a F@#*ing nurse and what the hell have you done with your life, your just a glorified pharmacy worker, I could get a law degree if I wanted” and so it’s decided. In a working man’s club in the North of England my wife is going to do a law degree just to prove a point!
Oh and our “glorified pharmacy worker” works for a multinational corporation that develops medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods. She knows how to win a fight my girl.