I biked down to Wendy's yesterday to deliver Alex's skeleton and as I reached their cottage she pulled up behind me with the car stuffed with children...Wendy emerged from car talking...I swear she'd begun a one-sided conversation with me before she'd even stopped the engine...
The children sort of fell out behind her...Nancy lay in the middle of the road with her legs in the air, the parrot was shrieking and the two horses whinnying and snickering...a feral cat has adopted them and even that sat in a tree yowling...
Then they all wanted to tell me something now this minute altogether at once...Caitlin gave up and stuck her nose back into her book while Jamie loomed over me and described his work experience in the towns tattoo parlour...Alex brought his new birthday bike out of the shed...Jack was trying his best to remind me it would be his birthday in two weeks and Wendy was still talking about buying new runners and the engine light on red and would adding oil work...like I'd know...
We were all still standing outside...no-one had thought to open the door yet...and then I couldn't bear it a minute longer and bawled at Wendy about over-active thyroid and she fell about laughing and said yes...she had that once, but the Doctor says she's better and Caitlin said, I know just what Sue's going to say now...and she was right...and I did suggest she went back to Doctor and she said Oooo...haven't the time dear heart...
Then someone found the back door key and we all trooped in and Jamie made a pot of tea and complained about the water but only because he wanted to drive down to the well and Wendy won't let him drive on his own and then she hurled some frozen Brussels sprouts into a pan of water and set them on to boil...and Caitlin went to take Savannahs rug off and forgot the electric fence was switched on and came back in covered in horse hair and with her hair standing on end and Jamie started chopping pallets up and the boys were sent into the woods to find the house broom they'd taken in there...and I swear not one person stopped talking the entire time.
And all the while those sprouts were boiling...and beginning to smell like the corridors at school first thing in the morning...
I drank my mug of tea, which did actually taste weird but wasn't going to give Jamie the satisfaction of agreeing with him...handed over the skeleton with light up eyes which was greeted with howls of delight...listened gob-smacked to Wendy telling me she's going to retire Savannah and buy another horse so Jason will be building three stables instead of two...
Admired Jacks parsnips growing in a tray on the kitchen windowsill and gave up explaining his vegetables will grow much better in the spring...he was awful cross there were no seed potatoes to buy now...
Did make a vain attempt to discuss whether or not Jesus actually existed with Caitlin...she started it, I didn't. But Jamie put his word in and then Wendy did, so we both sighed and giggled like conspirators 'cos they were neither of them contributing anything useful...
And as I finally edged my way onto the road and climbed aboard my trusty, rusty bike...the sprouts were still boiling.
You think that's the end don't you...I met Breege. She lives between Wendy and us...it's her husband Tom, who is a cattle dealer. Now, Breege is a nice woman...but awful old in her ways. And she has some odd ideas about illness and so on...she isn't actually old...much younger than me, but her ideas and her ways are old-fashioned. She told me she has a dose of the pleurisy for the last month and it was caused by her putting something into the microwave for too long...the plated dinner burned and it was the resulting fumes which gave her the dose.
There is absolutely no point whatsoever arguing or explaining...I've tried that in the past and it falls on deaf ears so now I sit there on my bike getting chilly while the sun sets and the cattle let rip 'cos they want their silage and listen...and I listen some more and make soothing noises and when she complains because the Doctor disagrees, I try really hard not to say he's right actually...though I did manage to squeeze in the fact I think he's a good Doctor...and she agreed he is...usually. But not over the cause of her pleurisy.
Eventually I said I hoped she'd feel better soon and peddled back home to be greeted by Nancy waiting at our gate...the boys had come down to show Neville Alex's new bike and to have a cup of tea with him...
I shooed them and their dog back home and swear I could still smell those sprouts boiling...