I finally finished work yesterday – that is I took a half day. I had intended to have a day pottering and adjusting to not getting up at 05:30! Of course I was wide awake at 05:30 trawling the Bulgaria blogs for new posts, Facebook messages in case the kids had contacted us and email in case any student was under the misapprehension that we are working on Christmas day – I kid you not! However my feelings of bonhomie extended to getting up, letting the dogs out and making a drink. Having discussed the results of my mornings cyber admin with Terry and about to snuggle down for a secondary zizz when Terry informs me that we’re taking both the cars to Hayling. He needed to finally rid Claires front driveway of the building rubbish pile almost eclipsing her sons bedroom window. I hasten to add the home is a bungalow. My first emotion was rage if I’m honest – the good old fashioned passive aggressive type. Whilst I deflected questions asking me, yes asking me, what was the matter, I ran through a pretty impressive mental diatribe about my feelings on being the rubbish removal operative. Any passive aggressive types will recognise this behaviour. However, given that the local recycling centres will be charging for rubble and building waste from January 1st I knew it had to be done. I made us both another hot drink to go and a slice of marmite toast. Aberrant behaviour by any other name and an indication that I was not happy. I have eaten the same breakfast, Mon-Fri for years unless in another country, then I change it accordingly. I get into work early so I can eat it at my desk whilst perusing my emails and calendar; a ritual let’s say.
It was an horrendous couple of hours. I am not joking about the time span. Terry works like an automaton until the job is done and I have to too. There were urine soaked carpets and underlay where the dachies had been peeing secretly for months. All the tiles, porcelain and rubble from the bathroom, wood, metal and general wet dirty stuff. I grabbed a chat with Claire and Roger and a big old hug from Noni whilst Terry shortened and rehung the wet room door. We will be spending Christmas Eve there with them tonight so it was good to know their drive way is clear and they have a toilet door before the guests arrive!
We made a hasty and malodorous retreat home and ripped off our clothes and jumped into the shower at the same time – we were pretty desperate for a sluice down. And with wet hair and Terry holding the door open, 20 minutes later we were out the door. The dogs with chagrined looks on their little faces slunk off to their bed, tails between their legs. But, we needed to go Christmas shopping, only Williams present had arrived. By the time we’d arrived at the Hypermarket it took Terry about 32 minutes to be queueing at the till. I was out of the store before realising that we’d done most of the Christmas shopping. A task that would have taken me hours! Terrys parents were due round at 7 so he said lets go eat something; it was 3pm by then. Without a further word he made my day by driving to a drive-through MacDonalds. Knowing that I’d rather eat an excrement baguette rather than a Maccie D, he, without compunction ordered for himself, paid for it, picked it up, drove to a carpark and started to eat it. I got out of the car and went into B & M to see what they had on offer and to let all that passive aggressive crap out. Terry was absolutely clueless and cheerfully tried to run me over as I returned to the car. And to top off my day he drove like a boy racer round to James’s to drop off my tablet so he can get his business plan started.
When we finally got home we were making sure the house was looking good for the upcoming visit when Terry, being a stickler for form, rings his parents and says “we’re on our way to yours, I can’t wait around till 7”. So for the third time in 12 hours I sat through the purgatory of Terrys driving in the Focus. I will soon have muscles in places that I never knew because I am as tense as a scaff pole for 97% of any journey undertaken with him. I have learned to dissociate till the engine shuts off. Maybe it’s Top Gear – I should write a strongly worded letter to that team of buffoons for inciting and reinforcing boy racer behaviour in grown men. Terry can handle any vehicle with expertise – round a race track! Dani looked beautiful, absolutely glowing and we sat and discussed her University offers. She thinks it’s going to be Trinity St David but wants to see Liverpool before she makes a decision. Denise and Tony were in fine spirits and the conversation simply rolled along. We left at 7, with presents and a fine collection of their beautifully homegrown parsnips, brussels, leeks, all still with a light covering of soil and picked that morning. So everything was beautifully convivial and the drive home was a delight! I sat relaxed and able to enjoy all the lights around me as Terry drove with consummate skill and absolute comfort all the way home.
We fed the very grateful dogs, plied a tray full with cheeses, crackers of many types, butter, cherry toms, relishes and beverages hot and cold to our mattress. We discussed the days events as Terry buttered crackers and cut cheeses of my choice. I couldn’t even tell you what was on the TV, it was so nice to know we’d accomplished quite a lot and that neither of us had to get up in the morning. The dogs sat watching and remembering the fall of each and every crumb that fell. When we’d finished eating they dove in like canine hoovers and cleared the area of debris. As we sat, post cheese fest, I listen to a voicemail from the agents confirming a house viewing on 29th December. Let’s hope it’s not just someone curious and a bit bored. All in all it started of as a bit of a “fixed smile” type of day and if I’d given in to all that passive aggression I’d never have had such a good end to the day. Merry Christmas everyone, especially those who are not with us in body but in soul!