My four-week work placement ended yesterday, so now I can give you all the gossip: they were three lovely people who made me feel a part of the team and bought me chocolates and a 50 books you must read before you die bookmark as a thank you. Sorry, I don’t do gossip; I’m too busy talking about myself.
I had a great time; I learned a lot about Excel; and I know that I can go back to work after twenty years without too much adjustment. But for now, until a job comes along, I can go back to doing what I do best: eating Maltesers and playing on King.com.
I’m giving myself next week off and then I am going to paint the downstairs toilet. As this will be its third outfit, it is officially the most-decorated room in the house. It needs to be, as it has played host to many a guest, including a rat (uninvited) and a postman (self-invited). There was a hole near the pipes and a rat came up for the winter and squatted in my house. The council exterminator did his job but the rat must have crawled inside the wall instead of doing the decent thing and throwing himself into the outflow, and the house stunk for months. We spent half our grocery budget on air fresheners but we saved loads on the heating bill – no point warming a house that has every door and window open for three months. No cold came in through the toilet, though: the Hub made sure to cement that hole.
I still feel guilty about that rat – what is it with me and rats? – who was just doing what rats do; I sometimes wonder if future archeologists will excavate my home and find a four-legged skeleton next to a paw-written note in the dust: I was poisone…
The postman was a less troublesome visitor. Our regular postman was away and a temporary postman knocked one day, to deliver a package too large for the post box. He was young, new and nervous. He was fumbling through his bag, talking all the time, trying to find our parcel. He finally located it tucked under his arm. I only knew he was a postman by his bag, because he was wrapped in a huge black parka, fur around the hood and all I could see were his eyes until he smiled. I heard his accent and asked if he was South African. Imagine a strong accent: ’No, I’m from Ghana.’ I told him we had lived in South Africa and he took my hand and shook it warmly and lengthily.
Still holding my hand, he asked, ’Can I urinate here?’ I have always wondered what postmen do when they need to go, and now I know. If you live long enough, all questions will someday be answered. I replied, ‘Yes, of course.’ What else could I say?
I opened the toilet door, switched on the light, and he went in, unzipped, and did the business. I know this, because he didn’t bother to close the door while he did it. He must have really needed it because he was ages. He came out without washing his hands, shook my hand again, asked for directions to the next address, and left me to clear up the puddle on the seat and floor.
What a nice young man.
At least he wasn’t a dopey young man, which is my clever segue into the saga of Son of Dozy.
Bad Heir Day
Spud was out playing football at the park downhill from the house, when the dog decided he wanted another walk. He mithers and mithers and it’s just easier to do as I’m told. As it was cooler, the Hub offered to come with me up to the park at the back of the house. The Hub went on ahead while I locked up and it was just then that Sulky Spud arrived, furious to have lost his £15 World Cup Football (paid for with his own money, hence the fury). He and his friend had spent forty minutes looking for it in the mass of bushes where he had kicked it. He was quite upset and when I told the Hub, we decided to take Spud and go look for it with him. The Hub waded into the bushes and found it within a minute, uncharacteristically forbearing to admonish his silly son for searching with his eyes closed. Spud had a kickabout while the Hub and I chatted to another dog owner; the Hub then gave Spud some advice on back-heeling the ball; had three touches and a heart attack; and we meandered home. Poor Hub: it was uphill all the way.
We had just arrived back when Spud clutched his pockets, anguish in his face and cried, ‘Where’s my phone?’
He was ordered back to the park with my phone to call his phone to locate it and every ten minutes called the home phone to report that there was nothing to report. Making unnecessary phone calls is what teenagers do best. The last call reported that there was no money left on my phone, so the Hub and I were ordered to come down to the park with the Hub’s phone. I insisted that the Hub drive down this time as he would never make it back up the hill, and Toby couldn’t believe his luck at going out for a third time that day, especially in the car, which he loves. Alas, the Tobester was destined to be disappointed; we had just pulled out of our road when we saw Spud running and waving his phone. He couldn’t call us to tell us not to come because making necessary phone calls may not be what teenagers do best but they need credit on their phones when they do do it.
At least he ended the day in possession of the things that matter most to him: phone, ball, dog and doting parents. He was most grateful but I wouldn’t bet on him remembering this day next time he’s mad at us. Being mad at parents is what teenagers do best.
I have been so busy this week that I haven’t had much time to write, though I did manage this reverse senryu for Writer’s Island. The prompt is ‘change’.
Three hundred dead, and counting:
no change there, then. Brave
men, women, all: no change there.
I want to end on a sunny day note so here is something someone posted on Facebook that I thought you might like: