I love the school Summer Fair! And this year, I was selling my own home-made ice-cream at it! I was terribly short of sleep, mind you, having spent way too much time the night before engaged in exercise of the middle-aged kind: shoving, pinching, and slapping on the head my special, but snoring, partner for life. Finally I'd yelled in his ear-hole 'YOU ARE SNORING LIKE A PIG!' but to no avail.
Still, the day of the Fair is always a great skive 'Got to do my bit for the school, Alan!' (all day!) 'Don’t forget the children like pancakes for breakfast at the weekend, then recycling centre, homework – there’s a list…..' Love it. But this year I messed up! I sent Alan to the shops as we were out of shuttlecocks and tennis balls with which to festoon neighbouring gardens, and then remembered I'd booked a Tesco delivery, so was stuck at home waiting for that. I was going to be late for my own sales pitch! (I mean fund-raising activity)
Eventually I made it to school. The caretaker had decided that rather than stick his nose in where it was wanted, he’d continue his lie-in until all the heavy work was done, but dragging a freezer two hundred metres was a small price to pay for advertising my ice-creams and I was ready to trade as the gates opened. It was a sweltering hot day, so I introduced a ruthless no-melt lid-shutting policy (‘Mind your fingers – SLAM!’) when I realised I could make a batch of mango in the time it took a toddler to choose their favourite flavour. My own children seemed to be remarkably happy being left to their own devices and using my ice-cream takings as a cash-point, so I left them to it and before long, I'd sold out.
We were all tired and tetchy when we got home. Alan was dealing with his work-life balance, sipping tea in the middle of the Tesco’s shopping, sizing up how ‘I don’t know where anything goes’ would work as an excuse for leaving it covering the floors of two rooms all day. Concluding that it would jeopardise tomorrow’s golf he pretended to unpack something already on a shelf while reading Car on the sly. Bonnie began her very loud singing reserved for driving Alfie mental and getting him out of the room, so he joined me in the toilet and out of sheer boredom began firing shuttlecocks with deadly accuracy at my forehead ‘BonnieAlfieMaddyAlfie! Stop it!’ I squarked with what dignity I could muster while forgetting his name with my pants down.
At last the children were in bed and we could resume our affable banter about TV choices: Alan getting shirty if he misses one micro-second of Jeremy Clarkson's clever-dickory, me preferring interesting documentaries which I might occasionally fall asleep in front of. But that's because of the snoring the night before...