When My Day Carer took on the role of Secretary to the local Agricultural Society, I did - of course - offer my services to help make her job a bit easier. I envisaged nothing more taxing than sending out a newsletter, perhaps some arduous stamp-licking...at worst a complicated spreadsheet.
But somehow I am now responsible for organising a Dog Show at the Agricultural Show. I don't know the first thing about how to do it, but she has confidence in my abilities. I mean, how hard can it be? Stand by your beds in mid August after the show and I'll tell you EXACTLY how hard it can be.
I am on the phone to The Meerkat's mother and I idly wander to the front window as I chat. I see that my lawn has a light smattering of snow. No, it's not snow, I realise - it's FOAM. FOAM!!! I hang up the phone and run outside. The high winds have whipped the foam into the roses and the clematis is looking absolutely pathetic.
|This is roughly what my front lawn looked like. Sort of. I'm exaggerating. A lot.|
What the fuck has happened? Could it be the new Ecoballs in the washing machine? If so, Tartarus will KILL me!
I hurtle myself out to the garage where Tartarus is visible only by his steel toe-capped boots sticking out from under the car. There is a lot of swearing and he is twatting something VERY hard with a hammer.
I tell him about the bubbles.
In a flash he is out from under the car and the invective is now directed at my Ecoballs. Worryingly, he still has the hammer in his hand. I try not to look at it. I also decide not to retrieve the camera to take a picture of the devastation for m'blog.
Together we run around to the front gate and survey the bubbly damage. But how on earth can the washing machine drain into this drain - it's at the other side of the house and, as a result, much higher than our rear drains. The ire of Tartarus is awesome to behold.
He looks angry, then puzzled and then lapses into silence. 'Ah!' he says, quietly.
He knows what the problem is: The roofer, called in the day before to fix some loose slates and get rid of moss has, apparently, let a gallon of bleach off over the roof.
'I didn't know about this!' I bridle (after all, I'm using the bloody Ecoballs to help save frogs' skins).
'No' stuttered Tartarus sheepishly, 'he told me not to tell you because he knew you'd go off your head. All the torrential rain must have made it go bubbly.'
I realise that I AM going off my head. In my slippers. In the street. In the blinding rain.
'Well, there is one way to see whether it's the bleach on the roof,' I huff. 'Let's go upstairs and look out the window at the gutters,' I stomp my way upstairs.
And yes, sure enough, there is a froth of foam all along our gutters.
I notice my neighbours walking past and looking up at the white foam-filled gutters strangely. We must seem like weird people to live next door to. Possibly because we ARE.
Picture the scene: Tartarus and I are sitting at lunch.
Tartarus: You know Jim?
(Jim died a few months ago. A childhood friend of Tartarus's, it was an unexpected death and even though Jim would pick a fight with his shadow, he had a good heart and he died much too young.)
Me: Yes, I know Jim. Knew Jim. What about him?
Tartarus: Well, you know how he was cremated?
Me: Yes, I know he was cremated. What about it?
Tartarus: Well, you know how we're going to the Isle of Man in July?
Me *with tight feeling in stomach* Yessssssss......
Tartarus says nothing but cuts up his bacon and egg, searching for the right words. Unfortunately for him, I find the right words before he does.
Me: Are you trying to tell me that we are going to take Jim's remains to the Isle of Man with us? On holiday? To scatter somewhere on the TT course????
Tartarus nods. He does not look up from carefully sawing his bacon rasher into ever smaller pieces.
I eat my toastie and consider taking another epic flaky fit, the likes of which have not been seen outside of an asylum or the preliminary rounds for The X Factor. I reconsider. I liked Jim.
Me: Shall we take him for a last pint first, before we scatter his ashes then?
Tartarus looks relieved: Yes please.
Me: My only stipulation is that Sonshine does not know that Jim is travelling in the boot of the car. That will make too weird an entry for What I Did On My Holidays for me to adequately explain away at Parents Night.
How weird is your week?