Big news. Tottenham Hotspurs has a new stadium. Only it’s not big news at all, unless you are the husband, who watched the opening ceremony with as much reverence as Mary watched the angel Gabriel float down from the clouds to announce she was carrying god’s baby.
‘A true miracle. Look at those seats’ he marvelled, ‘It’s the biggest single tier stand in Europe’.
I’ve never seen him look at anything, me or the children, with the same look of adoration he looked at that field with.
‘It’s not a field, you ignoramus! It’s an emerald carpet of opportunity.’
‘Where’s Dizzy rascal?’ I said ‘Where’s the Queen and 007. Where’s the flaming torch?’
‘Pssh. It doesn’t need all those bells and whistles. Cheap gimmicks. The quality of the building speaks for itself. And it’s got its own microbrewery onsite.’
I wish my husband loved me as much as he loved Spurs. The house rattles with his roars when they score, and quivers with his rage when they are ‘robbed’.
When I told him about the mean-man up the beacon and his sex-pest dog scratching my leg, even though I’m a feminist and don’t need a man, I obviously wanted him to say something along the lines of ‘Insupportable. How very dare he? Tell me where you last espied this bounder, this cad. Nay, tell me not, lady-fair. Snow of face, eyes of moon. Rest ye weary head. I shall traverse the beacon in the mightiest storm to apprehend him and chaperon him back to you to bend at the knee and pledge fealty.’
Ideally, he would have said this whilst wearing a large frilly white shirt, open at the neck and just stepped out of a lake.
It didn’t happen. He was wearing a basketball vest and nothing else and said ‘Well if anyone can put him in his place it’s you. I pity the bloke for the ear bashing you no doubt delivered.’
When he’s not watching Spurs, he’s trying to create his own ‘emerald carpet of opportunity’ in the back garden. We have dogs so this is impossible, but fun to watch. He does his ex-RAF military match up and down the lawn singing ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary, it’s a long way to go. It’s a long way, to Tipperary, to the sweetest lawn I know’ as he sprinkles Miracle-Gro and Patch-Magic.
I wait till he’s done, then let the dogs out, who immediately start digging. Comedy gold, him chasing and hollering at the Labrador, who barks in joy as the husband lands barefoot in a pile of his poo.
‘How’s your emerald carpet of opportunity coming on?’ I ask sweetly as he hoses in-between his toes. ‘Shut up. I’ll never have a nice lawn with you lot’ he says bitterly.
I’ll never have a nice house while he and the kids live with me. It’s like cohabiting with blind, noisy mice. I once read that ‘if a job takes two minutes or less, do it immediately.’ (The husband took this to mean something different to me, obviously.)
Now I go around the house thinking ‘it only takes two minutes to unload the dishwasher/put the washing on/clean the loo/fold the laundry’ and before I know it, I’ve spent two hours on two-minute jobs.
I’ve been following house cleaning ‘inspirators’ on Instagram. Mrs Hinch being the most famous. She’s written a book on how to clean your house, called ‘Hinch yourself Happy’.
The book is a best-seller so she’s happy as a pig in a Zoflora scented pen. Meanwhile, I’m looking at her lists of ‘weekly deep clean’ and ‘midweek clean’ and ‘monthly purge’ wondering when I get to sit on my bottom, watching the neighbours and making up scandals?
Not in the Easter half term. As I type, the children are arguing over who fell on the cardboard box fort and broke it. The middle one has painted her nails badly on the new carpet. They’ve made a concoction out of cereals and hot chocolate powder, mixed with orange juice and left it to cement in the sink. The youngest one has honey in the pocket of her pyjamas and the eldest is shouting ‘Because I’m the oldest, I said so’ on repeat.
I don’t think I’ll get time to wipe my curtains with tumble drier sheets today or sprinkle bicarb on my mattress. I doubt I’ll even look in a mirror.
I will find the time to put the anti-bark collar on the dachshund before the neighbours kill her. It beeps when she yaps. Or when the wind blows, or when the Labrador barks, or farts. Mean, but so funny.
This column is dedicated to Hilary. The amazing receptionist in Rheumatology who squeezed me in for a steroid jab this week. Hope you laughed, lovely lady.