Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Good timing

The gardener called again today. He wanted a mobile number and to tell me he'd double-booked. He was just on his way into the front gate and I was just on my way out the front gate with Shark. Or rather I ran past him, out the gate with coat flapping and hair streaming, while Shark stood facing him on the path behind me, screaming.

Squirrel and Tiger were already in the car. And we'd had to park a good way away, thanks to the OAPs nicking my parking space because of the bowls match. On the run, I was already distracted, because I couldn't find my glasses - third pair now disappeared - and I had Dig's keys, which makes everything worse because Dig gets even more grumpy than normal.

The gardener, who's nicknamed Glastonbury thanks to his comment on entering the back garden, 'Cool, just looks like Glastonbury', started along behind, shouting out about the double booking thing. I managed to rearrange another time by the time I made the car, then shouted out my mobile number across the street. Only later did I hope Mr Spooky from the corner plot wasn't in earshot.

An inconvenient moment to arrive, I think, when it's taken so long to get hold of someone. We don't want to put him off.

Now, 9 am, next Wednesday morning, the new time he's rearranged. Let's see. The children will have been conducting an experiment on soil and will have left a pile of mud on the step. Trisha, the neighbour's cat, will have been locked in the lobby again by accident and Glastonbury will be the first to open the door to it. We'll be trying to get out the house for swimming which requires a huge amount of screaming and swinging of woggles in the hallway. Dig will answer the door but won't have his trousers on and I'll rush out to cover this embarrassment in pyjamas with a red wine stain down the front.

Just as well that today he didn't call two hours later then, when I find Dig sitting at his computer without his shirt on. I ask if he's exposing himself for gratification but he tells me Tiger's spilled orange paint over his new shirt just as he was hitting a spider on the head with a hammer in the bath.

I'm glad Glastonbury didn't call three hours later though, when there's a great deal of banging and shouting coming from upstairs and we find Shark and Squirrel locked in their bedroom thanks to a door handle that we now discover doesn't work. They can't get out, and are stood against the bedroom window contemplating the jump, shouting 'Help! We are locked in!'

If he'd called four hours later he'd have arrived in the middle of a steaming row over Mr Frim and his ruddy bold italic with Grit slamming the doors that do work, and Dig striding around getting all shouty and waving his finger about. At least he's fully clothed.

Five hours later it would be Nanjo slamming around the kitchen thanks to Shark who's gone beserk up the park over a bicycle race and is now clinging to a lamp-post up Smithy Street. As Shark's still screaming and the neighbours are probably dialling 999, this prompts a family exodus to peel Shark from the lamp-post, which we of course try to do, discreetly.

All considered, Glastonbury arrived at quite a good time of the day. And let's hope he's not having second thoughts.

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