Wednesday 25 March 2009

The blonde with the body to die for

14st 12lb; 4.4 units. Yes, well that’s what two bottles of Thwaite’s Lancaster Bomber and an evening on the sofa scoffing the excellent Lancashire cheese from Mr Edge the butcher and half a box of mini-Toblerones can do for you. At least having access to this confessional means that I probably won’t do it again today. And unlike some potential routes to absolution, this one won’t ask me if I’d like to see some racy pictures of altar boys while I’m waiting in the queue.

In fact, if I do say so myself, I regrouped rather well after yesterday’s visit from the Black Dog. Mercifully equipped with a perfect excuse not to go on my “getting to know you” mission because someone was supposed to be delivering an item of furniture, I took the dog for an early walk before Mrs H left the house, then applied myself to my laptop, producing a draft speech in the morning and updated copy for a website in the afternoon. Then, the filing cabinet supplier having rung – predictably enough – to say that they meant to say “the day after tomorrow” when they said “tomorrow” yesterday, I took the dog for another walk and applied myself to a huge pile of unironed shirts and handkerchiefs. Mrs H had invited a couple of her friends to supper, but assured me that there was no way that they would turn up on time, so I had it all perfectly scheduled: I would hang up my last shirt just as the Archers Omnibus on my i-player reached its exciting climax, ideally with the latest on Matt Crawford’s run-in with the Serious Fraud Office. Then I would put away the ironing board and change into my velvet smoking jacket and cap in time to mix a stiff gin and tonic and recline in a suitably intellectual pose on the sofa before our guests turned up.

Unfortunately Mrs H had clearly confused herself with her friends when she confidently asserted that they would be late. Instead they came knocking on the door at the stroke of 7, to find me still wearing my scruffy jeans and gamely trying to pressing a pair of brown cord trousers (a colour chosen in case of age-related mishaps). It was not quite the image I wanted to present, though I did my best to pervert it to my advantage by claiming to be a “New Man” who did all the housework.

There was much excited girlie banter, I believe, but it registered with me only as I note the birdsong of the dawn chorus, burbling away in the background. Then, just as Mrs H was about to serve dinner, something completely unexpected happened. There was another knock on the front door and in walked the bloke who had been commissioned to take the “official” photographs of our wedding. I was hugely disappointed on two counts. First, because he was not wearing a full-length coat made entirely out of chicken feathers, like an Aborigine witch doctor or Papageno in a traditional production of The Magic Flute. And, secondly and more importantly, because his photographs actually turned out to be rather good. Bang go all my jokes about the folly of asking a chicken strangler to take the pictures; there probably being no film in the camera and a big, fat thumb over the lens etc etc. There wasn’t the slightest hint of feathers or chicken shit on the album, either.

In fact, the only thing I could possibly find to complain about was that he timed his arrival to coincide precisely with the moment that Mrs H had intended supper to be served. As a result, the pasta bolognaise was stone cold and the accompanying garlic bread burnt to the thickness and texture of a poppadom. Still, to look on the bright side, the salad was completely unaffected.

After supper the ladies had a wonderful time cooing over how beautiful the bride looked in our new album, while I drank myself into another coma after making some not-very-well-received remarks about how beautiful the chief bridesmaid looked. I perked up when our blonde guest with the body to die for suddenly yelled “F*** me!” But sadly she was quick to explain that it was a meaningless interjection, indicative of surprise, and not a specific invitation. I got a mild telling-off when we took the dog for his final walk. I expect the stuff with rolling pins and frying pans will follow when we have been married a little longer.

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