I am a bit hacked off this week. I seem to be both the Whipping boy and the Office Junior and its making me cross. So cross in fact that when I had to nip out to Lidl this morning, as my Sainsbury Delivery hadn’t arrived, I bumped into one of my host families who asked if I was crossed as I had such a scowl on my face. Well, lets face it, if you had to attack Lidl on a Sunday morning, you would be cross.
So the other reasons ( and yes, there are many this week) why I am hacked off are this;
1 I don’t like Rita popping over to ask me to run errands down to the Luvvies shop for her because she has been banned by them. ( You may recall she got dressed in a hurry one morning in just her over coat and did it up in such a clumsy way, her ample bosom popped out across the counter whilst she was paying. Pete almost disappeared in a puff of smoke ( well Rita and her bare boob at 7am in the morning is probably not a good look. )And Lyn was convinced that Rita had done it on purpose to lure Pete over to the dark side. So they permanently banned Rita from their shop and consequently when she forgets something she knocks my door to go and get it. ( those of you with time on your hands, can read about it here…)
To say its getting inconvenient would be like saying, Donald Trump has a bob or two…a huge understatement!
2 Annoying fact number two is that I may have lost a host family of thirty plus years and its all because of LM. Mrs T, ( not Margaret Thatcher but funnily enough they do share the same initials) had asked us over for one of her very famous Curries and we set off after the ” Rise in Terrorism” speech at the Ropetackle. Now I don’t know if the Talk on Terrorism, which by the way was rather good, had made LM feel bilious or it was the 2 pieces of vegan banana cake that he had consumed in the interval, but by the time we were knocking the door, he had begun to complain of stomach pains. I told him to ” man up” and put a smile on his face because even if he was feeling under the weather they had invited us for a meal and I wasn’t going to cook that night if he decided to cancel.
Now at the home of Mr and Mrs T you cant fail to recognise the oil paintings on the wall. The paintings are of their previous dogs who, sadly, have passed away. Both of them were toy poodles and both of them were called Fleur. Well, that’s not strictly true. One was called Fleur and the other was called Fleur Deux ( as in Fleur the 2nd!). Anyway Fleur and Fleur Deux are positioned in such a wall that they can see what you are up to where ever you may be in the sitting room, or dining room. In truth, its slightly odd but there you go and I guess I should be pleased that they are only painting and not stuffed animals.
And yes, before you ask, there is a replacement. Only this time, she wasn’t called Fleur but Poppy, although she does still continue to be a golden toy poodle. Its a bit like they have cloned them and when Poppy passes, then they will take another one out of the cupboard and continue as normal. In any event I am not sure they have room on the wall for a third oil painting, even if they do reduce the size of them from 4 foot square to only 2!
I also have to report that Mrs T is a stickler for a clean house. And by default, Mr T is a stickler for a clean garden. In fact he told me once over the Harvey’s Bristol that he liked to get up in the morning; sweep the patio and drive and then, if necessary, hose it down as well. I thought LM should take note as the only water our driveway has seen is when it rains and currently we have a range of foliage to rival Kew Garden growing between the bricks.
I digress…… ( opps sorry for ellipses, but I am setting the scene )
So there we were. LM on a low alcohol blond Bier and me on the Harveys and the two Fleurs, watching our every move in case we were going to run off with the silver (plate!). I kept looking over at LM hoping that he would enter into the spirit of things, but he was ominously quiet. Luckily, dinner was served and we took our places. Mrs T had really got into character and had worn a sari for the night. When I remarked how pretty it was and asked her where she got it, she told me that her neighbour ( who does happen to be Indian) bought it from Southall Market and had given it to her as a Christmas present on account of Mrs T having a lot of “Curry Nights”.
So there we were, making polite conversation and admiring both the Mango Chutney
( Sharwoods of course) and her freshly fried poppadum’s and tucking into the curry with a haste that could border on rudeness. Well, we hadn’t eaten a thing that day since breakfast. As LM had eaten most of his dinner I started to relax and looked for second helpings. It really was most delicious. The Fleurs x 2 continued to observe. Silently ominous, or should that be ominously silent. They must have ” seen it coming!”
Suddenly and without warning, and during the sweeping of the crumbs from the table by Mrs T and her brass dustpan and brush, up jumped LM from the table and rushed outside. Mrs T looked nervous and puled the sari around her face a bit more and Mr T stood up. It as one of those moment when you don’t want to watch but you know you have to and there, in between the potted begonias; the miniature golden fir trees and the dark oak steamer chairs, LM vomited. Oh yes, almost projectile vomiting I would say. Right across the patio; the chairs and the perennials. Oh F -U-C-K!
Of course there is that period in life when you think you have been standing, watching for at least a day but in truth its probably a nanosecond and in that nanosecond, Mr T had rushed out in the direction of the shed to get the hose and clean things up.
However, in his rush to reach the shed and hose the curry down before it dried hard in the sun and attracted the blue bottles, Poppy had also rushed out and headed straight for the curry mess. I assumed she was going out to comfort LM but with him rolling and groaning on the grass ( not sure if he was even allowed to lie on the grass, but he did) and Mrs T still dithering with crumbs and her dustpan, Poppy got stuck in. Yes before all of our eyes ( well not LM’s of course as his were closed whilst rolling on the grass) Poppy let her snout get stuck into that trough and ate the curry. Every last bit of Balti and Vegetable Fried Rice.
It suddenly went very quiet. I started to sweat. Mr T had still not returned from the shed with the hose and in that time Poppy continued to eat the curry and even lick the slabs clean. A screech went up from behind me and Mrs T rushed out, carrying her sari in one hand and the brass dustpan in the other, shouting at Poppy to ” leave leave, oh Poppy be a good girl and leave”. That journey through the door to the garden was not particularly speedy with Mrs T because the sari was , if I am honest, wound a trifle too tightly around the legs and she ended up waddling and throwing her legs either side of her as she rushed past the still perfect Lupins ( ie not having been vomited on) and up towards the wilting begonias.
Of course by the time she reached Poppy, and Poppy had indeed ” left” ,the curry was gone. Mr T emerging from the shed with hose in hand wondered what on earth to do but never having a minute without a task to complete, he calmly connected up the hose; lifted Poppy up under his arm and hosed down what was left of the curry sauce ( very little, I might add) so that the patio looked as good as it ever did, even if the smell still lingered in the evening warmth
As you can imagine, the evening rather lost its zing after that and we made our excuses and left. In any event, when I glanced into the kitchen, I saw that Mrs T was putting cling film over the sherry trifle and placing it back into the fridge. Obviously we weren’t going to be offered anything else after a performance like that. Poppy had also incurred a Red Card and her bed had been moved to the Laundry Room ( “in case she does a whoopsie”, Mrs T confided to me, ” and ruins my Axminster” )
The journey back home was slightly depressing.
Just as we got in across comes Rita again. ” any chance of getting me some milk from The Luvvies?” she asked
I looked at Rita. I looked at the drive ( yes, still dusty and full of weeds) and looked back at Rita again. ” Not a snowballs, Rita. Not a bloody snowballs!”
And with that I went inside and slammed the door.