|JUST A GLIMPSE OF SUN IN THE TOP LAKE !|
Even Shirley's wrapped in a blanket as she lays controlling the world from her Ipad...but wait, was that a glimmer of sunshine on one of the several weather charts she'd consulted before deciding whether we would go to Cragside for a restricted walk around at 2pm ?
I am inundated with orders for money pockets from the hundreds of Showmen who refuse to buy from anyone else and insist on mine so I don't care if we don't go...ANYWHERE...but somehow manage to show enthusiasm for the six hour round trip !
As I toiled away I heard the nut mix being poured into the Chinese takeaway container and could smell the rousing stench of eggs being boiled ready for the sandwiches that I would be genuinely grateful for as I collapsed with exhaustion whilst struggling to keep up with her as she route marched me for mile upon mile carrying an even heavier rucksack than usual !
My swollen ankles and calves, breathlessness and general exhaustion don't seem to bother her as much as they bother me as she piles even more stuff that she won't need into her ex SAS rucksack !
"Drive round first and park up at the car parks I point out !" she barked, Captain Mainwaring like !
It's a six mile single track circuit with 15MPH signs every few yards and there were no overtaking areas at all as we fell in irritably behind a dozen elderly drivers doing just under the 15 !
"Right pull in here, I can't stand it any more !" she urged only 100 yards into the drive, "I'm starving and I've only had my cereal so far, unlike you who've had cereal AND toast !"
So I stopped, about two feet short apparently so had to start up again and inch forward until I was told to forget it and drive on to the next rest area where she ate and reluctantly handed me a half round whilst reaching for the bottle of water she had filled at home.
"Oh GOD, I forgot to pack the water and that's what comes of having too much to do and think about to make sure YOU'VE got YOUR food and forgetting about myself ! We'll just have to carry on to the car park with toilets and I'll have to find something for you to fill with water as I know you can't eat without having an attack ! Can't you just squeeze a drink out of this pear ?"
|MY PORTAL TO OTHER WORLDS (and not the vagina my wife said it looked like !)|
We drove on and parked for the third time. I didn't mind as the walk we would have done without water was all uphill and completely unenjoyable but Shirley has places she HAS to visit, like OCD really ! She would have reached the bench about ten minutes before me and fallen immediately asleep AND woken up several times before I'd arrived and then as I'd collapsed beside her, jumped to her feet and demanded, "Right, let's go !"
"Do you not carry a bottle of water in here ?" she asked staring into a box that quite clearly DIDN'T have a bottle in it !
"Right, I'll empty the nutmix into this carrier bag...hold it...WIDER....now go and fill it after rinsing it out PROPERLY and HURRY UP, I want to get to the next car park before the old pegs take up all the spaces !
|I SUSPOECTED AS MUCH BUT DIDN'T LIKE TO SAY !|
"Right drive on and we'll get a drink at the booth !"
WHICH WAS SHUT !
"Did you see me put the water in the rucksack !"
"I wasn't watching !" and I'm certainly not brave enough to question whether she had or not !
Finally after a short walk around the top lake we staggered into the cafe for a pot of tea for one, for two, a scone with cream and jam to share....which they'd run out of....and two cups and saucers, two knives and two serviettes and a hidden table in the corner to hide our meanness in !
But Shirley took pity on the washers up and made me return the knives and serviettes, two plates and one cup and saucer so we shared one cup or rather I got the occasional sip whilst she downed the rest because she can drink scalding hot liquids and I can't which is another of the several hundred traits I have which annoy her !
We eventually arrived home with our nerves shredded only to discover the bottle of water had fallen out of the rucksack and lay under the passenger seat.....undrunk....and I got on with the money pockets !
Just before we got home Shirley let out the sort of howl you only normally hear at 'foreign' funerals !
"What is it pet ?" I said Geordily, "Your haemerrhoids playing up again ?"
"NO ! It's my Lanzarote visor ! I've left it hanging on the back of the toilet door at the cafe and I'll be lost without it !"
"Do you want me turn around and drive the thirty miles back ?"
Shirley NEVER goes back...anywhere !
"No but why didn't you realise I wasn't carrying it when I came back to drink your tea ?"
The truth is that that visor had haunted my life for twenty years, ever since she'd bought it with it's embroidered LANZAROTE across its peak which she'd made me glue a patch over so that her middle class teacher friends and everyone else would never know that we'd once fallen so low as to take a holiday on that working class island in the Canaries !
It was kept, greying and worn at the edges with a streak of ingrained dirt around the headband up on the shelf above the passenger seat in the car and regularly fell off whackin her on the head whenever I accelerated at anything above walking pace !
Now all she has is her gold lamee 'PLAYBOY' one which makes her look even cheaper than the Lanzarote one...but I'd never tell her that....would I ?