The new angel

Friday December 22, 2006

An odd, disjointed day. It was the staff lunchtime do for Graham and his colleagues so I had the task of delivering him to the door of The Huntsman in Williton and then twiddling my thumbs for a couple of hours before picking him up once more. I’d been invited, of course, but it’s not traditionally an event at which spouses are present so I declined with gratitude and took myself off to the caravan close-by where I had a solo sandwich lunch while watching the gulls wheel over the cliffs. I enjoyed that.

It was a tad chilly in the van so, lunch done, I wrapped myself up all snug and cwtch in a big honeycomb throw and, before I knew it, I was being woken from a deep nap by the shrill sound of my mobile phone.

“There you are,” Graham said. “All done and dusted. Can you pick me up in twenty minutes?”

“Um, I’ve been asleep. Can I have a coffee first?”

“‘Course you can. Thirty minutes, then?”

“I’ll be there.”

It turned out that I’d been promised as chauffeur to two of his workmates, to take them over to Watchet ‘on our way back’.

I can’t remember the last time I drove a car load of slightly tiddly blokes, all sucking on breathmints in a futile attempt to hide the alcohol fumes and making careful, polite conversation so as to conceal their condition. Not Graham, you understand, who’d kept nicely sober. Anyway, they were safely deposited in central Watchet and off we went along the windy coast road back to the holiday camp.

Graham had a small task he wanted to do before going home so I wandered lonely as an old half-inflated balloon around the maze of elderly utility buildings that cluster by the service side of the club house, out of sight of the customers. Didn’t take long, and we were soon enough on the fog-bound road back to Bridgwater.

“That’s the last journey away before Christmas,” I said as we pulled in to Sainsbury’s car park.”

“Good. We’ve done quite enough mileage this past week. You deserve a few days with your feet up.”

The supermarket was packed with people. At last. By contrast with the thinly distributed shoppers of the past few days, though, this was the invasion of the grumpies. A supermarket filled with trolleys being pushed by a range of bad tempered, miserable people is not my kind of place so we grabbed a few bits for our tea and dinner and got out as quick as we could.

“We’ll have to do a proper shop tomorrow,” I said. “Veggies, cheeses and staples to see us through, but I don’t want to do it today.”

“Fair enough. An early effort tomorrow, then?”

“Not a lot of point. It’ll be no better and no worse than if we take a leisurely breakfast and poddle over when we’re good and ready. They’ll be restocking the shelves like crazy all day, see if they’re not.”

“And if they’re not?”

“We shall not starve. The amount of food we’ve been stocking up, there’s no way we can starve.”

“Good. I wouldn’t want us to starve.”

And, finally, I found me a new angel for the tree. Graham is warming to it. I think she has something of the Botticelli about her and am already in love with her:


The new angel



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