So we live in the middle of nowhere. Well in the middle of nowhere but a 10 minute drive to Sainsburys. My mum says she couldn’t possibly live so remotely, she’d hate the lack of human contact.
And yes, there are days when I am completely alone except for the odd farmer on a quad bike. (Well he’s not an odd farmer – well not that odd – but his appearances are infrequent.)
But some days it’s like Piccadilly Circus. If Piccadilly Circus had fox poo and screaming furies that is.
The black Labrador rolled in fox poo. It reeks. It’s vile, acrid and eye watering. And the dog absolutely loves it. She was banished to the boot room in the annexe for the night. Next morning after everyone had left I put on my swimming cossie and took her into the wetroom for a freshen up because she’s just too damn heavy to lift into the bath. Half a bottle of Animology Flea & Tick dog shampoo later (no I’m not on the payroll) I gave her a towel rub and we went back up to the main house.
I’m not sure who was more shocked, the three men fastidiously installing glazing in my porch doors or me in my flip flops and black m&s tummy control one piece with 6 months of lady garden creeping out from the gusset. I felt obliged to attempt to explain away the swimming costume by saying that I’d just had a shower with the dog. I could practically hear their eyebrows raising as I hastily disappeared upstairs to change.
I hid in the bedroom until they shouted up to say they were done. I briefly considered going down and telling them about the fox poo but I thought there might be a tinge of “the lady doth protest too much” about it and perhaps it was better to let sleeping dogs lie, so to speak.
The day did not get better.
I was expecting a visit from a ‘home energy consultant’ who was coming to assess our house for free(!) loft insulation. The phone rang and Mr Cosy (obviously not his real name but imagine if it was?) was on the other end just checking that he was in the right place. I told him which drive to go down and within a few minutes I could hear a car arriving.
I went to the door and found a man on the doorstep. “So you managed to find us then?” He looked confused and started a sales pitch about aerial photography. It was my turn to looked confused.
At this point the black Labrador realised there was a new person close by that needed sniffing. She started dancing around in the hall, wagging her tail and getting very excited.
The man showed me a picture of our house taken a few weeks before. Now a lot of people might be thinking how completely naff-tastic that is, but we are sad nerds so it’s right up our street. At £30 I knew my other half would be chuffed. I asked the guy to wait while I went to get the cash. I could just see another car coming into the drive. Ah Mr Cosy had arrived.
The dog was now close to passing out with excitement. I really should have remembered that with great excitement often comes limited bladder control. I checked my purse and didn’t have quite enough. At this point I think Miranda Hart started writing the script.
I heard sprinkling and realised that the dog was doing a wee. I shouted to try and get her to go out the door but only succeeded in chasing her into the dining room where she continued to simultaneously run and wee in a figure of eight under the table.
A cough from the doorstep reminded me of Mr Photo and I popped my head into the hall and asked if he could come back another time. He said that our lane was a nightmare and he wouldn’t be back. In between me shrieking like a harridan at the mutt, desperately trying to shoo her out the newly glazed back porch and hopping around over the wee puddles like a member of Riverdance, I remembered Mr Cosy.
And sure enough, he was now on the doorstep with Mr Photo, looking totally perplexed. He asked if he should come in and I shouted not to (because of the huge volume of urine on the floor) but he ignored me and started tramping the wee through my hallway leaving little wet footprints. Meanwhile Mr Photo says he hasn’t got all day and I run upstairs to find the cash.
I come down to find Mr Cosy with a dirty mop spreading the stinky pee all round the room. I am about to lose the plot, I am practically hyperventilating with rage at the hound and now this besuited imbecile is making the situation infinitely worse with his dubious ideas of hygiene.
I thrust £30 at the man on the doorstep, fling the photo on the shelf and then proceed to stack all the dining chairs on the table while Mr Cosy takes out his clipboard and starts asking me random questions about the house construction. The dog is now sitting in her bag looking sheepish (can a dog look sheepish?) and I give her evil eyes as I douse the flagstones in boiling water and vinegar and scrub like a woman possessed.
I can only imagine what the poor guy is writing in his notes. ‘Freaky woman, leave well alone’, ‘is this what happens when you live in the woods too long?’ or maybe a simple ‘no’.
But it must have been a yes, because 2 months later we got 20 rolls of rockwool delivered and installed for free. Maybe he just felt sorry for me….
But on the positive side the photo does look great and my husband was chuffed. And the floor was really clean.
Today’s earworm: ‘Criticize’ – Alexander O’Neal
Last night’s different dinner score: 2
I did publish this a while ago but it seems to have gone back to draft???