Saturday, March 26, 2011

hello, is anyone there?

tomatoes and lemon
hello dear readers, if there are any after this long hiatus. try as i might i have been unable to get herself to focus enough to assist me with a blog post. she is still off work with the collie-wobbles and her state of mind makes young dave seem like einstein. while she usually has the attention span of a gnat, her attention span now is more along the lines of an amoeba. several people have pointed out that ample blog-fodder is passing us by, never to be recorded.

such was the clamour at the waste of good material this week that i have been able to shame her into taking virtual pen to virtual paper and create this post. as always, i have to backtrack a little to set the scene.

the peeps, particularly herself and my boy, are great drinkers of tea. the tea normally comes in little bags that you dunk in the cup until the beverage is the right colour, then hook out and leave to cool on the kitchen worktop (himself is less than keen on this part of the process, being someone who likes a clean kitchen). because of herself's collie-wobbles and inability to venture into a supermarket unattended, stocks of groceries have become depleted. (himself is an accomplished shopper but as he is usually on foot his carrying capacity is limited). the time came when the peeps had run out of teabags. this was something of a crisis.

"never mind," said herself, "we have the emergency leaf tea!" this was a box of tea given to herself by miss shell, her colleague at work.

leaf tea is himself's nemesis. it has all the worktop-and-sink-ruining capacity of a tea bag without the containment. you have to make it in a pot and when you have poured out all the liquid you are left with the leaves, which by now are wet and claggy. they eventually find their way into the compost but first they have to be removed from the teapot. during the course of the day a lot of tea was consumed, and a lot of tealeaves dropped into the sink. until recently there was a little sink strainer thingy in the plug hole which was to catch just this sort of stuff, but himself took against it as it interfered with his clean kitchen policy. this meant that the tea leaves found their way into the pipe below the sink.

herself noticed that the sink was taking a little longer than usual to empty but thought nothing of it. off she went to fetch my boy from college and then they went off to feed the magnificent bonzo. as they left the stables herself made the most of having my boy in the car and announced that they would swing by lidl on the way home, to replenish the cupboards. my boy is showing signs of having inherited himself's shopping acumen and responded positively to the idea.

sadly, the shopping trip was not to be. my boy rang himself to let him know where they were. i could not hear the other end of the conversation from the back of the car but it became clear that we would have to return home. tealeaves and floods were mentioned.

having ascertained that himself had sounded resigned rather than shouty, herself headed for home. when we got in it became apparent that somehow the tealeaves had blocked the sink and caused the washing machine to back up and flood all over the floor. it is not all that long since the whole floor had to be replaced due to a flood so there was a bit of an air of tension around but himself had mopped up the floor and put newspaper around.

herself has a friend who advocates practicing 'restraint in word and deed'. this would have been a good moment to remember this maxim, but unfortunately herself's memory has gone the way of the pear and in one movement she had knelt down and unscrewed the sink trap while asking himself whether he had checked the trap and at the same time asking my boy to pass a large bowl. unfortunately for the floor, my boy's reactions were slower than herself's actions and a large pool of water, gunk, hairy oily nastiness and tea leaves spread across the floor.

i would quote directly what was said by himself but this is a family blog. suffice to say it was loud, very much shouty and not very polite. there followed a showdown, with himself mopping and wringing, herself offering to help, and my boy saying helpful things along the lines of no-one having died. young dave was needless to say interested in helping clear up the oily gunky stuff but was persuaded that this would not be a good idea. regurgitated half-digested oily gunky stuff would not have helped the evening go with a swing.

after a short while herself took over the mopping and eventually the floor was once again clean and relatively dry. the peeps started to put things back in the under sink cupboard. it was at this point that the most blog-worthy bit of the whole business occurred. the peeps use washing powder that comes in a large box with a handle. it usually lives under the sink but had of course been removed in the clear-up operation.

herself picked up the box by the handle to pass it back to himself. unfortunately the box had got wet in the flood. there is no doubt some law of physics which explains how, if you think you are lifting something heavy and it suddenly becomes lighter because the bottom has fallen out of the box, your arm suddenly whizzes up in the air, depositing the remaining contents of the box in the vicinity. i am not all that up on laws of physics so i will leave that to my more intellectual readers but suffice to say that this process is an excellent method of spreading stuff over a wide area.

at this point herself was trying to shrink into as small a space as possible. this is difficult when you are as large as her. luckily himself saw the funny side of things at last and started to laugh. herself joined in, rather nervously. my boy by now had disappeared upstairs but was persuaded down by the promise of washing powder to sniff (sniffing washing powder is something of a treat for his artistic nose) and was persuaded to clear up the latest mess.

there has now been a ban on leaf tea in our house, which seems to me eminently sensible...