posted in: Flowers and plants, Still life | 0

When R and I set off for Slimbridge this morning, to collect the Boy Wonder for a visit, it was a bright, sunny day. An hour and a half later, by which time the three of us were having a refreshment break in the café, it was blowing a gale and raining horizontally. The bad weather then persisted for most of the day, and put paid to any thoughts we might have had about playing out.

The Boy, who is viral yet again, slept in the car on the way back to our house and woke up on distinctly sub-prime form, and the first time this afternoon he was refused something he wanted, promptly announced that he wanted to go home. This has never happened before so I was dismayed, and spotting that he’d put me on the back foot, he began demanding more and more insistently to be taken home NOW. The situation was only retrieved when R said, “We can take you back to your house if you like, but I could really use your help with something first.” “What?” demanded the Boy, suspiciously. “I need to wash the floor in your bathroom,” said R, “but I’ve got a bit of a bad back right now, so I was wondering if you could help me?” “OK!” said B brightly. “What will we use to do it?” “Some soap,” said R, “and a bucket.” “Why do we need a bucket?” “Because we’ll need something to put the water and soap in.” “Normally,” said the Boy, “I use a bowl for that.” “Well today,” said R, “we’re using a bucket. Do you think you could carry it upstairs?” “OK!” was the cheery reply, and off they went in perfect harmony, leaving me to have a quiet lie-down in a darkened room with a damp cloth on my forehead.

Fifteen minutes later they were back, both very pleased with themselves. Given the success of this ruse, R and I spent much of the rest of the day asking B to help us with bits of domestic drudgery – stripping a set of sheets, loading the washing machine, remaking the bed with clean sheets and so on – and he was a cheerful and willing helper throughout. At one point I found myself thinking about the sitting room fireplace, which has been unusable for some time because the chimney is blocked by old birds’ nests, and wondering… but no. Of course not. Because that would be Plainly Wrong.