Tuesday 16 June 2009

The debased tastes of an alleged pervert

14st 10lb, 6.1 units. One of the less important consequences of yesterday’s shock decision about the baby was that we failed to make it to the supermarket in the evening, as we had intended. The one important omission that we could identify was orange juice for my breakfast, but Mrs H kindly volunteered to get up and squeeze me some fresh oranges instead. It is depressing to report that my tastes have become so debased that I found it less enjoyable than the bottled version I usually buy. It seemed more watery for one thing (and how likely is that, in reality?) and also suffered from being served at room temperature rather than chilled. But how on earth can I afford to be so particular when I have no reliable source of income, a wife on maternity leave and a child not just on the way, but on the final approach for landing?

I spent the day interviewing people for some copy I am writing for a website. I have to admit that I rather enjoyed it; whether they did is considerably more debatable. Later the Chief Executive pitched up and told me “What you need is a proper job.” It is hard to dispute this from a rational point of view, though pottering about and blogging is much more fun. Which way should I jump?

Early this evening we took The Dog to the vet for his annual booster shots, now that he has recovered from the bout of kennel cough he contracted while Mrs H and I were on our cultural tour of country house operas at the beginning of the month. The vet, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Freddie “Mr Parrot Face” Davies, suggested that this would also be a good opportunity for “mildly sedating” The Dog and scraping the worst of the tartar off his teeth. This seemed reasonable, and preferable to giving him a full general anaesthetic for a proper dental clean, so I assented. The vet duly gave him an injection and within seconds he was completely comatose on the floor. (The dog, that is. Not the vet.)

Mr Parrot Face then lifted him onto the table, cleaned his teeth and gave him his jabs. The Dog was so far gone that Mrs H and I kept checking to see that he was still breathing, and I felt obliged to warn the vet that I would not be paying his bill if he had killed my much loved pet. He then administered an antidote, warning that it would be only partially effective, and put The Dog on the floor to wake up. After five minutes or so he clapped loudly next to The Dog’s ear and told us that, if we left, The Dog would follow. And so he did, staggering groggily towards the car. But he did have the strength to give us a look that said, quite unmistakably, “You f***ing bastards!” I think it will be some considerable time before he recovers his faith in us, if he ever does.

After this triumph, the early evening was enlivened by one of Mrs H’s lovelier friends calling upon us to return the spare key with which she had been entrusted so that she could feed The Cat while we were away for the weekend. It says much for the trust and esteem in which I am held that, faced with the choice between sitting next to me on the sofa and perching on the edge of an uncomfortable chair which was already piled high with junk and covered in cat hair, she unhesitatingly plumped for the latter. Mrs H suggested after she had left that this might have something to do with the perception that I am a pervert. Completely unjustified, of course, though when Mrs H mentioned it I did dimly recall suggesting that her friend might like to take all her clothes off so that I could adjudicate on some figure-related point she and Mrs H were debating during a previous visit.

When she had left Mrs H and I got on with the frankly tedious business of putting up a new curtain track in the nursery; a task which even I could no longer conjure up valid reasons to defer, given that the nursery may well have an occupant as soon as Friday. We had made the obvious mistake of buying a cheap and nasty track from B&Q which I could not fathom at first, took ages to install and then looked much uglier than the branded ones I am used to at home in Northumberland, since this system is brilliantly designed so that the track does not conceal the mounting brackets, and the curtain does not conceal the track. Still, it does make the room substantially darker than it was with the previous curtain pole, which should apparently increase the chance of the baby getting some sleep. And, therefore and much more importantly so far as I am concerned, of us being able to do the same.

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