Monday 16 June 2008

Being driven by Stevie Wonder

14st 4lb according to the LTCB’s bathroom scales, whose accuracy I definitely dispute; 4.5 units of alcohol yesterday; 1,328; The Dee and The Wirral.

So this is what it would be like to be a house husband. The little woman zips off to work in her car at 8.30, after an exiguous cereal breakfast, and I am left alone to keep the peace between one dog (mine) and two cats (hers), do the washing up and write my newspaper column. Apart from raising a feeble cheer for the Irish rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, I mainly want to explore the question of David Davis: nutter or man of principle. My dilemma is that I have been tending to come down on the “nutter” side of the fence, and it seems a shame for a Tory to say so in print when there are so many columnists of other persuasions who will be able to express the sentiment more eloquently and with considerably greater self-satisfaction.

It took me until 12.30 to produce something that I found just about tolerable, though it remains to be seen whether anyone else will. After this I felt able to reward myself by making a sandwich with the ham the LTCB had placed in the fridge for that very purpose. Then I took the dog for an agreeable walk through the meadows by the River Dee. He devoted this time to training me how to pick up dog poo, a skill which I have never felt the need to master since I live in the middle of that gigantic animal lavatory known as the countryside.

The Dee's attempt to achieve parity with the Mississippi

Having been set one specific task to perform all day, I was naturally embarrassed when the LTCB’s sister returned home early and tackled the washing up seconds before I had meticulously scheduled my own arrival at the kitchen sink. At least I had the decency to confess my failure when the LTCB herself returned from work, or more specifically from the gym, and congratulated me on having done such a sterling job.

After a healthy salad for supper, offset in my case by a couple of decidedly unhealthy stiff vodkas, we set off in the LTCB’s car to visit one of her friends in The Wirral. I was glad of those drinks, as the journey proved more than a little stressful. It was that time of day when the sun is very low in the sky and for much of the time my driver clearly could not see where she was going. I remarked that it was a bit like being driven by Stevie Wonder, though with a somewhat inferior soundtrack to take one’s mind off the terror. I had to keep murmuring “left hand down a bit” in the style of Leslie Phillips in his classic 1960s radio role as the navigating officer of HMS Troutbridge in The Navy Lark. Another reference, I reflected, that would sadly mean nothing whatsoever to my young companion.

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