“After the lunch I will drop you to the airport,” I declared.
“And how will I get back on Friday?”
“I will come and get you.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes I am sure.”
“Thank you, that’s much appreciated,” and so our plans were laid.
“It’s time to go,” I said as I physically escorted Mr from the premises.
Pinkie, Blue and Puppy-Face were comfortable in the back of the car, while Mr came to terms with his impending departure.
“Now that’s a traffic jam,” said Blue as we sped on the opposite carriageway past a stationary M25.
Twenty minutes later we were still passing the same traffic jam.
“Save yourselves,” shouted Pinkie and Blue as every new vehicle approached from the stationary side’s slip roads. “Apple zed,” that’s a term they’ve caught from me that means ‘undo’ in Mac talk.
We arrived promptly at Heathrow with clear instructions from Mr that it would be quicker to carry on our side, and in fact complete an entire lap of the M25, rather than join the jam. To say the journey home took a while is to call Everest a hill, at least we were moving for most of it. Pinkie had school in the morning so I was less than impressed that our favour to Daddy ended up being a five hour drive. Mr was in the air before Pinkie was in her bed.
I got Pinkie up for school in the morning and could see by looking at her that she could have used a couple more hours kip. I like to know she’s had that max amount needed to make big strong healthy bones that can withstand future steroid medication should it be needed. I also like to know that she’s had the chance to have at least five dreams; bunnies, fairies and fizzy sherbet pop butterflies and the like (I’m guessing but as Pinkie is an animated sleeper something busy must be going on in there).
Blue had an extra day off (inset day) so it was vital that we hang out together and do something he wanted to do. On this particular occasion it was the driving range and 100 golf balls. Somewhere around 60 balls, Blue got a blister on his thumb, around 70 the blister popped and around 99 Blue wanted to quit. I hit the last ball, I say hit, I really mean spun in a cartoon style circle and showed myself up. Rory McIlroy need not worry just yet.
On Tuesday I had big plans to actually get on with something very important: work, blockbuster writing, Facebook, admin (delete as appropriate), however as soon as the water board arrived and started digging any productive fever was halted in its tracks as Knobby cut through the phone wires. I went out there,
“Excuse me, is there any chance you have cut through my phone cable as my wifi is dead and so is my landline?”
“Er no, none what-so-ever.”
It turns out that ‘Er no, none what-so-ever’ is water board talk for, ‘yes yes I have’.
By Thursday I was at my wits end, it was like being on digital detox, thrown back to days of old when you had to read and live in black and white. We actually all got on really well without the modern world interrupting us every few moments with a vital bit of celebrity news, or a photo of an extremely cute animal. However, that is not my point for today.
When the techie man came to fix the phone and wifi he did some tests and then said;
“You have an external fault, a breakage in the line, erm…365 metres that way.”
We both looked at the freshly filled hole.
“Would that be exactly where the water dim-wits were digging?”
“Would they have known they had cut through it?”
“Was I the only person to send a message in a bottle to you? (used mobile really, but exaggeration is a writers toy).
“No, the whole area connected to there is out.”
Some time later a shame faced water board man arrived to re-dig the hole so techie man could fix things. I made tea for techie man, and let water man drink from the drain. I was not pleased.
Once full service was resumed I was able to see that I had several new deadlines looming and really needed to crack on with some work, and not go to Heathrow in the morning. I had a great idea that I was pretty sure Mr would be ok with once he’d had time to come to terms with it.
“I have booked you a coach from Heathrow to nearer here,” I announced nonchalantly when he next called, “I’ll pick you up from the coach stop. Can’t wait to see you”.
The sound that followed took me back to my childhood of Dick Dastardly and Mutley (shagafragging unintelligible wacky races mumble).
I sat down with a cup of tea and determination to complete at least a thousand things perfectly in one go. Then the washing machine fused out the house.
“I will be there at 9 on the dot and will only need a max of 40 minutes,” said washing machine man.
I glanced at the clock working out how long I’d have left to get to the coach stop.
“Great, I can just do it,” I said, “see you at 9.”
At 9.45 he arrived and then spent ten minutes explaining his delay, something to do with a neighbour that hasn’t got much to fill her day so if you get collared there’s no escape.
“That’s great but we really need to crack on.”
Mr called to say he was going to be at the coach stop on schedule. I looked at the retired man that fixes stuff to keep busy, leaning on my washing machine, slurping tea and having a think about things.
“I think you’d best get a cab,” I said to Mr.
Unprintable words that would burn the ears of puppies. “I’ve just flown all night from South Africa and now I’m on a coach” unprintable….”next time you offer me a lift remind me to poke myself in the eyes with needles before I agree…”
By the time Mr arrived home, old boy had nearly burst his bladder with tea, I knew all about his lovely grand children, I had made Mr a bacon sarnie and my washing machine was working. Mr was too tired to whinge anymore,
“I’d never leave you at an airport,” he managed as he collapsed onto the sofa.
There was a brief second when I felt a tiny bit bad, but that wore off sharpish and I found it really funny. I giggled silently to myself with the mental picture of Mr’s face on the coach. The freshly repaired landline rang, it was the hospital.
Mr was horizontal, fighting to stay awake, a grim line in place of his usually chirpy mouth.
“The hospital just called,” I said. His eyes flicked open. “Pinkie’s cough swab is back and its negative,” I beamed. We had been waiting for some results, historically Pinkie has grown Pseudomonas at this time of year, and I had been quietly worried in the bottom of my tummy for the last week or so, and God love Mr and his weary bones, he got up and did a little dance.