The Better Half hasn’t been very well lately (does this make her, I wonder – if only for the briefest period of time – no longer my Better half? My Not Quite As Good Under The Circumstances Half, maybe?
(No, no, of course not – preposterous suggestion, I withdraw it immediately, completely and unreservedly. Heavens. What was I thinking?).
Anyway, so in this current state of unwellbeing, or lack of wellness, or whatever the frightful PC phrase is these days, it’s fallen to me to look after her. Yes. I know. Raw deal, or what? Tragically, it’s the only deal she’s got, and she’s making the best of it.
Naturally, she’s making light of it all. The illness, that is. Or maybe my attempts to take care of her as well (I know I would be, if I were her). “It’s only a head cold,” she says. “I’m just being pathetic.”
Well that’s wrong on so many levels, for a start (did you see what I did there? You didn’t? Oh, keep up at the back, will you?! I dunno, the constant quest for brownie points is completely lost on some people ...).
It is, though. Wrong, I mean. For a start, there’s nothing pathetic about a head cold – it’s a miserable business. You don’t have to be at death’s door to feel wretched and generally out of sorts, you know.
Bunged-up, run-down, done-in, laid-out ... up, down, in, out – I wouldn’t recommend shaking it all about, though, not in that condition.
Trouble is, The Better Half is one of those Soldier On Regardless types (me, I’m all for giving in at the first available opportunity, and taking to bed for the day – but you probably guessed that).
So therefore, despite feeling a few tablets short of a box of paracetamol, as it were, she still decided to throw herself full-tilt into the planned day with the family – her father, her daughter, and her five-year-old granddaughter, all present and politically incorrect, and making trouble in their very own weird and wonderful ways.
Fortunately it didn’t, but I feared it would only end in tears. Or possibly end in something else, if granddaughter managed a repeat performance of the previous weekend. Little ’un had gone for an all-too-enthusiastic spin on a roundabout – a playground one, that is, we don’t encourage her to play in the traffic. Steady on!
All seemed relatively well, until the car journey home, when she said she felt a bit sick, and before you knew it, she turned to Nanny and ... woah! Yes, all over Nanny! And, perhaps worse still (because Nanny can at least be easily washed) ... all in Nanny’s treasured handbag!
Mothers of West Norfolk, I implore you – is there an approved method, a successful one even – for cleaning a handbag under, er, those circumstances? Daughter spent a good half an hour with an old toothbrush and a peg over her nose, but still the smell hadn’t gone a week later.
Neither of my suggestions – putting the handbag in the washing machine, or the bin, respectively – found any favour. We nearly contacted the rather well-known handbag manufacturer (they of the Scottie dog emblem), but we didn’t bother. It was obvious what they were going to say.
Buy a new handbag!