Saturday 11 December 2010

Tit for tat

Whilst kneeling on the floor busily wrapping up Christmas presents one would not expect to receive a phone call to say that ‘We bought you the boa and will send it in a day or two’. Thoughts of battling possible constriction whilst attempting to peel off one of those annoying tabs on a glittery bow may quite reasonably prove a tad disturbing, and throw one into a state of confusion and alarm. Hence when I interrupted Olivia last night in the throes of her festive activities with just such an announcement , it prompted a rather tremulous ‘You what?’ in reply. Still not realising the double meaning of my statement, I explained that I had been into Asda and found the feather boa that we had briefly discussed when she was visiting us on Tuesday to which there was a slightly relieved 'Ah' in reply. It was not until laying in bed many hours later that I realised that the poor girl – busy in her own world of Christmas wrapping - had probably wondered briefly what on earth her dear old mother was on about – had she really bought a snake?

Ah well this dear old mother has had one of those odd weeks.

I was convinced that Thursday was Wednesday and found it hard to accept the real truth, even when pointed out by several people in the know. And that was after the peculiar visit to the village shop on the real Wednesday of the week.

I do have to add here that I was wandering around in a pair of rather odd leggings all that day due to the fact that, although I was in dire need of clean clothing I dare not switch on the washing machine for fear of repercussions of the burst pipe variety. To elaborate on the latter part of that sentence, the washing machine is situated in a part of the house which is left to its own devices in the cold weather, and the lack of heating - and slightly open window to allow the drainage pipe to expel its necessary load into the drain outside - does not do it any favours at this time of year.

To explain the leggings in more detail, these originated from the 1990s and are adorned with Native American hieroglyphs and probably look a bit like pyjama bottoms to those not in the know of past fashions. The fleecy top that went with them disappeared long ago (thank goodness as it was a rather shapeless over-large affair that looked rather more like a tepee than a piece of clothing).

However, let us return to the visit to the village shop. And this does involve Olivia again in a small way even though she was nowhere to be seen. And, come to think of it, it involves the washing machine again too. It was a grey, cold day and my mood somewhat matched the climate, but up I toddled to the shop in several layers of clothes plus my coat, boots, gloves and hat – a small expanse of snazzy leggings cheekily showing between boots and coat. Posting done, purchases made and it was time to return to the relative warmth of the kitchen where it was then time to remove the cold-weather protection. It was when I placed the hat on the table that I burst out laughing. There, nestled in the upturned crown of my titfer, was a pair of Olivia’s unmentionables. I had actually gone out with underwear on top of my head.

I then remembered that I had found this item of laundered underwear the night before where it had fallen from the washing basket a week or so ago when Olivia and Ivan had visited and dear old mum had done some washing for them. It had somehow tangled itself in the wiring at the back of the dog crate where it had lain unseen under a box. When I found it, it had seemed a good idea at the time to put it in my hat for safe-keeping. (The mind of a slightly crazy 54-year-old does make you do strange things sometimes). Anyway, because the kitchen had been gloomy when I went out, I had not noticed the offending article when I donned my hat. I can only hope that it was not dangling behind me like some weird sort of Davy Crockett hat! Oh well, even if it did, it must have brightened someone else’s day up as well as mine.

And then, to add insult to injury and top off the peculiar week, I had a nose bleed whilst driving to the chemist to pick up Jon’s medicine. Just as well I was wearing jeans then instead of the leggings – spots of red would have clashed terribly with the hieroglyphs.