Monday, February 24, 2014

It Was Midnight When There Came a Knock on the Door

Last Thursday evening, The Man had retired and I had settled down by the fire for a nice cozy time watching some episode of 'Midsomer Murders'. The Grandson was on his half term so I didn't have to get up at the God-awful time of 6.30 a.m. the next  morning. So I was quite surprised to hear a very quiet rap on the door.

"Come in," I said expecting to hear Sam's voice in response. However, much to my surprise it was another voice with a surprising request.

"Can you take me home, please?" It was Sam's best friend, Eddy. Taken aback I turned and saw the lad, shyly looking down and looking slightly distressed. Like many lads his age in the UK he finds it difficult to explain things to an adult. Like many adults my age, I didn't fancy waking my husband at midnight with the request to get up, get dressed, and drive the boy home...

I explained that it was rather late to wake Sam's grandfather up, but Eddy had a ready answer. "My Mom will come and get me." I didn't think she would much appreciate the request any more than The Man and decided to try to find out what had happened.

Eddy and Sam have a very easy relationship -- hardly ever a cross word between them. I tried to get the  boy to tell me what had happened, what Sam had done. The only reply  he could give, as he shuffled his feet and eyed the floor uncomfortably was, "It's difficult to explain."

"Well, let's go up and talk to Sam and see if we can sort this out" I said calmly, turned my back on the telly and the cozy fireside and prepared to climb the stairs. Eddy seemed to like my suggestion and happily enough went up with me. The murderous villains of Midsomer would have to wait.

Sam was sitting up in bed, with a worried and sheepish look on his face.

"Sam, what is going on? Eddy wants to go home. Tell me what has happened."

"Well, we had a disagreement about what something means."

"So, what is it that you disagree about?" I said. In the meantime, Eddy sat down on his bed.

"Well, we disagree about what the word 'asexual' means..."

"Oh," I said, as nonplussed as possible. "So why don't you each tell me what you think it means.

I can't remember which one thought what. But one boy said,

"It means someone who wants to have a sex change operation."

And the other boy said, "It means someone who plays with himself."

I explained, with great authority,and relief, that both of them were incorrect. That, in fact, the term referred to people who were not interested in having sex at all. Then I sat by Sam on his bed and asked them both what Sam had done that had so upset Eddy. It turned out that because Eddy had disagreed with him Sam had called him an 'idiot' and 'stupid'.

So I lectured Sam about name calling and then suggested to Eddy that he learn not to take him seriously when he acts like a jerk. Eddy, magnanimously stood up and walked over to Sam and they shook hands! Sam shed a few tears of humiliation and Eddy got into his bed and Sam turned over and I assume they both fell asleep.

Crises over. Back to murder and mayhem by the fire...

Monday, February 17, 2014

By a Whisker

So there I was cooking dinner Wednesday evening last. The wind was gathering apace as had been promised all day by the weather forecasters. The Man was on the phone in the other room. There was a bit of a shudder and a banging sound. I looked out the utility room window thinking that probably the dustbins had toppled over, but saw nothing really amiss. Outside the bay window in the kitchen I could see nothing in the darkness. I continued cooking and the wind kept on howling.

A little while later and The Man and The Boy came for dinner. At some point I managed to drop something -- I don't remember what -- on the floor and The Man said, "You sure have been dropping and banging around tonight!" I informed him that it was the first thing I'd dropped all evening.

He looked rather puzzled and I explained that something had been crashing and banging outside. Immediately Man and Boy went outside to properly investigate and discovered that a tree had fallen and was leaning against outside the kitchen wall. As we three sat around the kitchen table I suddenly saw that the tree outside the window seemed about to blow over. In fact, the tree that had been leaning against the wall had fallen to the ground! The wind kept blowing.

The next morning I walked into the kitchen to find: Lots of branches!

The view from the utility room showed: An large uprooted leylandii tree!

That had fallen very close to the bay window where we had all been sitting to have our meal, the branches barely brushing against the guttering of the window's roof!

And the tree by the window had snapped in half as the larger tree fell to the ground...

The Man got his chainsaw out and had a very busy day...

Monday, February 10, 2014

And Still the Penny Didn't Drop...

The grandson was getting ready to leave for school. I had just finished opening up the curtains and came face to face with The Man who was holding a wastepaper basket. On top of the pile to be emptied was a lone empty cigarette packet. "Do you know where this came from?" he asked.

The wastepaper basket had come from our bedroom. Since Sam very rarely ever went there, I thought it rather strange to think he might have thrown something like that there. And anyway, he never had given any tell-tale signs of being interested in smoking -- in fact he had always been rather adamantly anti-smoking.

I suddenly remembered that the previous day -- late in the afternoon -- The Man had been helping the adopted grand-daughters from Poland with their homework. We regarded the cigarette packet and I said -- 'It comes from Spain'! They are probably smuggled into Britain by some friends of The Girls' Parents. They both smoke.

Sam came downstairs about to leave for the school bus. We showed him the 'evidence'. Never have I seen such a blank look on a child's face. It was evident that he had never seen it before. Off to school he went. The Man considered the suspicions that the packet had come from Spain. He remembered that we had just seen a program about Gibraltar on TV and that it had dealt with cigarette smuggling into Spain -- because Spanish cigarettes are so expensive -- as expensive as in Britain. So it didn't make sense that Spanish cigarettes would be smuggled into Britain.

I looked at the packet again. "You, know," I said, "I think it's in Italian -- in fact, I'm sure it's Italian -- not Spanish." At this point the penny should have dropped for one of us, but it did not ...

We decided that Italian cigarettes were cheap and could have been smuggled into Britain and could have made their way to The Girls' Parents. The man and I agreed it would be a good plan to present the guilty cigarette packet before The Girls and see how they might try to squirm their way out of ...

A penny was slowly inching it's way ... In a few days we were having friends for dinner and they would spend the night. "Did you empty a wastebasket into our wastebasket" I asked The Man.


"Only, I thought maybe you went into Andrew's room and emptied his wastebasket..."

"Nnn ... Uhhh, oh, wait! I -- no -- yes!" The penny dropped ....

Andrew was with us over Christmas, but his room wasn't used since he went home to ITALY! And, yes, Andrew smokes!