Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just Call Me James

I know many other housewives will agree with me when I say there are days that I spend almost entirely in the car. It’s like I’m a chauffeur or something. I’m grateful I like my car so much and enjoy driving it, especially on days like today – that is, days when chaos just reigns.

It was a bit of a rush this morning both for Guy going off to work, and for Alex going to his work experience. Guy needed to be out of the house before 7am, and Alex and I just after 8am. Normally this would not be a problem. But, for some reason, both Guy and Alex were having “one of those days”. I wasn’t. Well, I wasn’t that is, until the aftershocks of their day started to hit me blindside.

I brought Guy some breakfast up to our room because otherwise he would not have eaten. Please don’t get all “you shouldn’t do that” on me – it’s only cereal and tea, and if I didn’t, he wouldn’t eat. Or he’d have a bacon sandwich at work. His arteries and I worry when he does that. So Guy had his breakfast and was rushing out the door. Normally I pop downstairs with him and just sort of check that everything he needs is there, but I was in the shower so I didn’t.

Alex was exhausted and having trouble getting up at all, and when he did everything was just a huge effort because he was so tired. To be fair, excavation is seriously hard physical work. Not something most kids are used to these days. Anyway, I kept having to hurry him along. Meanwhile I was trying to get myself ready and make Alex’s lunch, as well as loading the dishwasher, washer etc., all those lovely morning jobs.

About 8am, things started to go very badly indeed. Alex was having trouble getting together all his stuff and time was running out. For some reason, I was running out of time too. I was becoming very impatient…loudly impatient. As it tends to at moments like these, the phone rang. It was Guy. He had forgotten his wallet. Normally this would not have been a problem, but today he had meetings all morning and then had to go into London in the afternoon. This of course involves paying the congestion charge and for parking, both of which require, if not cash, at least a credit card. There was no way he could turn around as he would have been incredibly late.

So the only solution was for me to drive to his office. Nearly fifty miles away. By lunchtime. After I had dropped Alex at the excavation, which in itself is an hour long round trip. Oh, and had I forgot to mention that as I was planning on going for a run when I got back from dropping Alex I had not washed my hair? I had just pulled it back in a pony tail. I was not looking my absolute best – and I certainly wasn’t looking how I would plan to look when I was going to be seen at the office. I. Was. Not. Happy. But bearing in mind that Guy has saved my ass at least a million times, I really could not complain. Not that it stopped me.

By this time, Alex was in a complete frenzy of activity and had barely managed to get his (very dirty) boots on. The last thing you want to be is a frazzled teenager with a frazzled mother living in a house with cream carpet trying to put on dirty boots. It’s not a pretty sight. We were barely managing to be civil to each other.

We set off to Silchester in a complete huff. When I dropped Alex off thirty-five minutes later, I set the Sat Nav for Guy’s office. It took me on a lovely cross country route and as it was a nice day I left the roof down, intending to put it up before I joined the M4 motorway. Suffice it to say, I forgot. Despite the fact that I had my hair in a ponytail, I was being blown to bits. Other people had their roofs down, but I began to notice that they were all men. And they were all bald.

By the time I got to the office I felt like I’d been in a tornado. Guy said I looked really good getting out of the convertible, but I think he was just trying to butter me up. I certainly had the “beach look” all the magazines are saying is the fashion this year – kind of windblown and like my hair had dried naturally after swimming in the sea. I gave him his wallet and went into the ladies to repair the damage.

Needless to say, before I set off for home, I put the roof up. But by the time I got home, I had been in the car for over two and a half hours, and I had not even gone anywhere I needed to go! And joy of joys, I have to drive for another hour this afternoon down very narrow country lanes to collect Alex and bring him home.

Just call me “James”…as in “Home, James!”

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