Monday, 24 October 2011

Chapter Eight

Well the weather has finally changed down here and is giving a good example of summer being over. It tipped down last night with a vengeance. Rain constantly plus high winds. Very nice. Today has dawned as a bleak and miserable morning. I have to confess to being kinda glad that I'm not out on delivery in this.
Saturday was a lovely day but we spent most of it at home putting up pictures and curtains around parts of the house. Needless to say it wasn't my idea. I hadn't thought much further than curling up in a chair and reading a book.
Linda and I have very a very similar yet totally different view on what a day off is for. Our joint view is that you should use your day off to catch up with all the things you couldn't do while at work. There is no argument over this and we are of one mind. It is the application of this view which breeds discontent.
My view is very simple... do very little and take it easy.
There we go; now how difficult is that. In layman terms its very uncomplicated.
Long lie in; get up; lick and a promise from the flannel; give shaving a day off; dress in favourite sloppy clothes and stagger down stairs. Have a long talk with the kettle and instruct said appliance to fill itself, boil itself and make a coffee every hour on the hour. Instruct the mug to arrive within elbow room at appointed hour and to be hot, steaming, and sweet (a little like myself he thought chuckling quietly). Linda to fill in if this proves to difficult.
Now all that is needed is ten hours of peace and quiet to enable the old book to be read  and all is right with the world.
Linda to be quietly attentive to my needs as she waits patiently and in anticipation for any instructions.
Incredibly this day off has yet to materialise and I have never had one like it.
Linda has a slightly more oblique view than mine on days off.
There is a short lie in before launching herself out of bed. She lands at the bedroom door in one single bound, washed, dressed and ready to assault the day. Have you ever seen the trick were someone pulls out the table cloth and leaves the place setting sitting on the now clothless table.
Linda does that with the bed. Somehow she has managed to strip the bed of sheets, pillow cases, and duvet cover...and I am left lying there, on the mattress, with nothing but my book and my glasses for company. It's not a vision of delight I must say.
She hurtles downstairs, hoovering and dusting as she goes before landing in the kitchen; the sound of the washing machine goes on as the hoovering continues in the rest of the house. There is the rattle of pots, the click of the kettle, the swishing open of curtains, clattering in the fridge, followed by a spoon dipping in and out of a bowl of porridge.
To the sound of the radio, is added the sound of the peg basket and washing basket being rushed to the washing line...moments later I can hear a full rotary line of clean washing turning in the breeze.
I finish off the coffee that Linda brought me up earlier and stagger off to the bath room. As I pick up the flannel for the old 'lick and a promise' a Linda shaped whirlwind hits the bathroom.
And as it leaves I find myself standing under the  shower at one end of the bath; a shower gel soaked flannel in one hand, and a razor in the other. Stuck in the centre of my shaving foamed face is a mouth clenched on an electric toothbrush. The toothbrush is whirring madly.
Showered, shaved, shampoo'd' and shiny teethed I walk back to the bedroom to find the bed made and my book and coffee mug gone.
Dressing myself (because I can), I stumble downstairs to make some toast and another mug of coffee. The house is now looking neat and tidy and Linda has launched an attack on the garden. Somehow she is operating 47 tools all at the same time including the lawn mower and the hedge trimmer, both of which are power tools.
Dinner is already prepared and ready in the kitchen...all it needs is switching on at the required time and we can then eat a bit later...and outside the bird table too is set for an avian banquet. By the time I've eaten my toast and drunk my coffee, the garden has gone quiet and the shed is clattering as its door is being closed.
Being a new man I am content to wash up my plate and mug and, once done, I turn away from the sink and head towards my book. Before my backside connects with the arm chair there is a ripple in the space/time continuum and I fnd myself in the car.
The seat belt is on and we are reversing out onto the road. I look across at Linda who turns towards me and smiles before speaking softly and slowly as she does when she wants me to agree about something..."We don't want to sit in the house all day doing nothing Mully do we? Lets go off somewhere.It is a day off after all. What shall we do?"
She's already done more work in an hour than the rest of us do in a day but she doesn't want to be  sitting down doing nothing for the rest of it.
My suggestion of a beach to lie on, or a pub to sit in is given short shrift and I wonder why I am asked in the first place. Linda's suggestion's of lets climb the Matterhorn; or lets swim to France; or lets walk the entire coastline of mainland Britain for the rest of the day, are reduced down to... a good walk across the cliff tops on the one hand...or shopping on the other.
How much of my life is spent being given choices that really are 'no' choice.
So that is why I spent Saturday running around with my drill putting up blinds, and pictures, and curtains. It does look good though. Even more homely than it did before.
We did go to Mevagissey again in the late afternoon and early evening. Breath taking in its role as a fishing harbour it shows off much that is wonderful about Cornwall. Fishing boats bobbed quietly in the inner harbour as the last of the sunlight shone warmly down. Large boats with names like 'Ocean Harvest' from Stornaway jostled with local rowing boats like 'Mary Sue' from Fowey. Crab boats lay alongside drifters as rope, fishing line, floats, and 'pots' lay tidily on the quay side.
A decent harbour quietly waiting for the crews to go out again and hunt for their food; its a humbling thought. Seagulls called overhead and two large swans bustled around the harbour ignoring those of us who took their pictures. You can see how idyllic it can be.
Its only when we walked around to the end of the outer harbour and we saw the sea throwing itself at the sturdy walls surrounding it, that you can see the dangers. I take my hat off to fisherman everywhere and promise to never complain again on delivery when its pouring down with rain. Its not quite in the same league is it?
Sunday was spent at Trago Mills. Favourite home of my two daughters it stands foursquare on the side of the A39 just outside of Liskeard. We got there at 10-30 and it was busy yet peaceful; by midday it was packed out and manic. Linda got what she needed too get , and was glad finally to make her escape with me in tow. I too, bought what I needed to get, and couldn't get out fast enough. Linda spent £130-00...I spent 80p. In fairness Linda did buy for the house or christmas presents...I just bought for me.
Trago Mills is a fantastic place and I do like going there...we just gotta find a quieter time.
A brilliant Sunday lunch was enjoyed at a very nice pub. Two large turkey dinners with loads of meat, veg, and potato's all washed down with a large Pinot and a pint and a half of 'Tribute'...all told £25-00. Very nice.
Sadly, all was ruined on my return home to discover that in the Manchester derby; United at home, were beaten 6-1 by City. Hopefully United will do better against Aldershot next week or I can never return to Surrey again.
I have heard no more about my job at Royal Mail although I have rung and left a message. I have also heard nothing about the missing bed either although I have rung and left a message there. I am assured that this is life in Cornwall...get used to it.   


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