I've never seen The Husband keener to embark on a task when he gets in from a day earning our crust than he was yesterday.
Normally he scans the skies for the merest suggestion of rain when I greet him with the news that it's dry enough to cut the grass, so will he please do it this evening. I try to lessen the impact by saying "Oh, the front lawn will do for a few more days it's just the back that really needs it." He's a Good Boy and never refuses. He knows by now that in my world view mowing lawns, putting the bins out for collection, and anything to do with the car are regarded as Willy Jobs, and if not endowed with a willy a person cannot do them.
But yesterday was so different. Last week we bought a bed off a friend, a much, MUCH newer bed than the heap of mouldering wood, fabric, wonky springs and unruly stuffing that has resided in Spare Room #2 for years and years. An escaping hamster has climbed the stairs and nested in a base drawer - twice - having nibbled its way in through the grubby damask. It sags and squeaks, ensuring no guests can have a romantic break chez nous in that room. Made up with nice fresh linen it fools the eye (and nose - just) but stripped bare it is a silent reproach to how long we are prepared to make do and mend and spend all our spare cash on supermarket wine instead of new(er) furniture.
Enough preamble. What was the task The Husband could barely wait to tackle? Sawing up the old bed into pieces small enough to bag up and take to the tip in a Peugeot hatchback. This would entail the use of a power tool and even the purchase of several new blades for same. Man's Stuff indeed. He got the new blades at Wickes on the way home, and after the briefest of Honey, I'm Home chats, he shut himself in Spare Bedroom #2 and fired up the jigsaw.
As the first throbbing buzz sent a gentle harmonic throughout the house The Dog leapt onto His (ie The Dog's) Sofa and curled up into a foetal ball of anxious avoidance. The Dog doesn't like hoovers or mowers, and why would he? A vibrating and highly vocal monster is being waved about at floor level, HIS level, without any permission being sought or granted. Left to himself he'd take it apart with his teeth without waiting for it to be switched off. Which is why he can't be left to himself, and he's told to get on His Sofa out of the way. Yesterday evening he didn't wait to be told.
The buzzing, banging and sawing continued in a muffled way, behind the closed door, for about three quarters of an hour, and then eventually there was enough of a break for The Dog to get off His Sofa and stretch, and for myself to go up stairs and tap politely, maybe even slightly nervously, on the door. Had The Husband decapitated himself in his enthusiasm? One reads these things, especially about chain saws. The Husband isn't allowed a chain saw.
"You can come in!", he called out cheerfully. I opened the door and stepped back as a rich wave of heavily perspiring husband plus dismembered smelly old bed hit me squarely in the nostrils. The floor was littered with tiny shards and threads of old bed, the melamine base drawers laid out on the floor with the fragmented base frame stacked neatly inside them. Once, at the point of manufacture, the drawers had slotted neatly into the upholstered frame, and now, at the bitter end of its very active life holding sleeping people off the floor, the bulky frame slotted conveniently into just two of the four drawers. To add to the coup de theatre the mattress was propped nonchalantly against the longer wall as though it were smoking a well-deserved fag.
"Lovely, darling!" I sighed appreciatively. "Shower or bath?