Sunday October 8, 2006
I thought Graham had been quiet all day. Just the one text message, at lunch time, and then a call as it was growing dark: “I’m just washing the bar floor and then I’m done.”
“Great! When can I come and collect you?”
“Anytime you like now.”
“I’ll be on the road in fifteen minutes and with you half-an-hour later.”
When I got to the caravan he was ready to leave and that’s when I discovered the reason for his quietness. The perishin’ abcess under a tooth that’s been bothering him for years and which the dentist in Boston refused to extract last year has flared up again.
“Oh, you poor chicken. Just as well I’ve found us a good dentist, then?”
“Yup. Can we go tomorrow?”
“Just say the word.”
“This time I’m going to insist they pull it out. I’m tired of living in fear of this.”
“I think you’ll find them perfectly amenable. Specially when you tell them the history.”
So we left the champagne in the fridge. It’ll do to celebrate the end of Graham’s tooth.
Our homecoming celebrations were muted, then, but deeply felt for all that. We’re all together again. Graham will be working weekends, commuting mostly, from now until the New Year and has a week set up for half-term when he’ll need to be resident. We’ll have our week days together from now on, though, and a blessed two month period in February and March when the holiday club closes down fully.
Toothache or not, within minutes of getting home he was inspecting the inoperative kitchen lighting under the counter-top units. “I can fix that,” he said. “But I think it’d be better to rip it all out and install new. I’ll change the ceiling lights while I’m at it, too, and paint the walls, and replace the awful brass knobs on the units, and…”
“I can sense a complete kitchen make-over in the offing.”
“A chap’s gotta do what a chap’s gotta do.”
“Yes. I know. Welcome home.”
The awful brass knobs on the units
The units are to be painted, pending replacement next year