Tuesday 17 June 2008

A bit like Five Boys chocolate

I may have lost or gained a pound since yesterday but cannot say for sure because the LTCB’s bathroom scales have lost a whole foot, thereby rendering them inoperative. I had 6.0 units of alcohol yesterday; have 1,327 days of life left; and have been mainly (not to say exclusively) in Chester.

Another day of house husbandry followed much the same pattern as yesterday, only without the moderately industrious bit writing a newspaper column, and with turkey rather than ham for my lunchtime sandwich. I noted on this afternoon’s walk around the Meadows that many other dogs had been much less careful about training their owners than mine has.

Determined to create a better impression than I did yesterday, I made a point of going out in a timely fashion and buying the few things I had been asked to procure for a dinner party this evening, before someone else happened along and offered to do it for me. By the time that the LTCB burst in noisily with the rest of the shopping, I was absolutely starving and demonstrating an infuriating lack of enthusiasm for hanging around until 8.30 to eat supper. I also failed to show an appropriate level of interest in the proffered briefing on her guests, reasoning that I would be able to ask them anything I wanted to know myself when they turned up. I suppose, on reflection, that I would have been a bit miffed in my active PR days if a client had adopted a similarly cavalier attitude to my meticulously prepared briefing notes on a journalist before I introduced them over lunch.

So I grumpily manoeuvred a hoover around, as instructed, while the LTCB conjured up another delicious meal, majoring on baked trout. The procurement of the principal ingredient had proved an unexpected challenge as she had had to get it past a supermarket checkout operative with a pathological fear of fish. Yes, even dead fish safely enclosed in plastic. There is, as my late mother used to remark, nowt so queer as folks.

The LTCB’s guests, when they turned up, proved to be perfectly charming and the sort of sound people who bring a bottle of wine with them when they come to supper. In fact they were sound on many levels, agreeing with me on the inadmissibility of using the term “train station” in England, one of the few points on which I have been in profound disagreement with the LTCB since we met. One of the party was a recruitment consultant by profession, and she duly bombarded me with questions designed to expose any lies in my CV, but I think I got away with it. Another was a farmer with whom I proved to share a prejudice against imported fruit and vegetables, and a liking for alcoholic drink. Quelle surprise. By the time the party broke up I had had the most cracking evening, allowing the LTCB to make another one of her astute observations about my habit of grumpily anticipating that I am going to have a rotten time at events which I then thoroughly enjoy. She’s not wrong, you know. But then, on the evidence of the last couple of months, she very rarely is. Except on the crucial question of what to call those big sheds with platforms and railway tracks.

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