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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Evidence that Fran's kitchen is where real drama takes place



'I don't like eating peaches,' I said to Paul yesterday as I bent over the kitchen sink trying to consume a fruit that didn't want to co-operate. 'It gushes juice, for a start, so I have to eat it in this undignified position. And it's got this velvety skin which keeps slipping about. I feel as though I'm noshing on someone trying to shrug off a posh jacket.'

He watched me as I struggled on. I thought, 'I wonder if he's finding this arousing.' But he wasn't, because he turned away to check through the spice cupboard to see what needed to go on the shopping list.

I'm not surprised. Plump woman with peachy face leaning over kitchen sink isn't a pose you see in 'Hot Ladies' magazine, I bet.

After I'd recovered from the peach-eating, which necessitated a full scrub-down - I may as well have gone for a shower - we had a tense conversation about another kind of drip.

'All these brown stains near the recycling bin,' I said to him. 'That's you, unable to stop a teabag from dripping on its way from mug to bin. Just put your hand underneath it, like I do, to catch any drips. I keep having to wipe them up.'

'Sorry.'

'I'm going to call you Jack the Dripper,' I said.

'Please don't. That's tasteless.'

'Okay. But do as I said. Hold your hand underneath the teabag.'

Pause.

'I don't like the hot tea dripping into my hand,' he said.

'You're a wuss,' I said.

He's not, though. He's hypersensitive to touch. For instance, I can walk about the kitchen in bare feet but he can't. He has to put socks on, otherwise he hops about saying 'Oof, oof' as though our kitchen tiles are hot coals.

I can wear a teeshirt with long sleeves that tickles me in the crook of my elbows. He can't. He's just paid a sewing lady twenty pounds to alter some sleeves for him on two teeshirts he bought. He does the same with shorts that reach the knee. That lady does extremely well out of the alterations he sends her so that clothes don't tickle him.


The sewing lady treats her friends to lunch with Paul and Fran's savings 


Special occasions are worse. If we go to a wedding, we have The Big Domestic about the Tie. He can't tolerate being trussed up at the neck. He wants to be able to wear a shirt, with no tie, and the top button undone, otherwise he feels as though he's being strangled. Chance would be a fine thing, I say to him, if The Domestic has continued for too long.

In fact, all his clothes are kind of baggy and unstructured, and most of them are pretty old and holey, because he's a gardener, so if I'm out in town with him, I have to stop people offering him a Greggs sausage roll, or prayer, or the address of a hostel.

'Please, no,' I say. 'He's with me.'

'How lovely of you to befriend him,' they say. 'You're a saint. I'll leave you to it, then, as long as he's being looked after.'

Still standing by the kitchen sink, I said to Paul, 'Well, to stop the dripping problem, why don't you squeeze out the teabags properly? You don't squeeze enough.'

'What?' he said.

He hadn't heard me. I'd just emptied something down the waste drain and it had gurgled so loudly, it had drowned out my words.

'I can't believe I've just been upstaged by a gurgling drain,' I said. 'Now that is humiliation. I bet Adele would feel the same if Bob Dylan sang over her.'

'What were you saying anyway?' Paul said.

But I didn't have energy for more nagging. It takes it out of me. I've been less tired after an exercise class. And that class was in 1972, so that's telling you something.




32 comments:

  1. My clothes make me itchy. I would run around the house naked except that sooner or later I'd get tired and have to sit in a chair, and the chair would make my naked bottom itchy. We sensitive people have no hope. No hope, I tell you. No hope whatsoever.

    Love,
    Itchy Janie

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    1. Gosh, don't tell my husband any of this.

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  2. PEACHES?!! I'm waiting...

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    1. Ha ha - Hill family inside-joke. Didn't even occur to me!

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  3. Why did you write about my husband?

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    1. Let's call him 'Everyman'!

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  4. Haha! Hilarious but fascinating peek into your domestic life 🙂 Loved the tea bag convo too. Why don't you suggest that he takes the mug over to the recycling bin, puts it down next to it, then strains said tea bag and whacks straight into bin? That's what I do.

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    1. Hm .. the phrase 'That's what I do' doesn't seem to make for good diplomacy! I'll say 'That's what Deborah does' and see how it works ....

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  5. you don't do compost?
    I am trying imagine how you recycle a whole bin of teabags?

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    1. We have food waste recycling. A man in an orange jumpsuit comes to collect it. It's a bit 'Guantanamo Bay', his get-up, I have to say.

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  6. My mother in law keeps a small saucer beside the sink so when tea is made the bags are placed on the saucer and later transferred to the recycle bin. No drips.
    I need to wear socks or slippers too, if I walk around in bare feet I can feel every single tiny crumb that got missed by the broom. I have managed to get used to the longer short sleeves that reach to the crook of the elbow, but I can't stand three quarter sleeves.

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    1. I think you and my husband may well be destined for each other. If I get fed up with him, you can have first refusal :)

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  7. Paul may have modeled his wardrobe on that of Monty Don. I was reading a piece written by him, a couple of weeks back. His advice was to always buy trousers that are one size too big. Beware though. He also said that his boots are handmade, and cost the same as a holiday for two in Antigua!

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    1. Handmade boots? I won't tell Paul about this. I can't have him spending our Tenby money.

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  8. Hilarious. Love the photo caption! Hope you're well xx

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    1. I love writing captions! I wish there was a job named 'Caption Writer'. I would apply for it. Very well, thanks, Laura. Hope you're loving married life x

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  9. Does no-one make tea in a teapot? Or perhaps this post is a ploy to make sure we don't pop round to yours as we would end up with a mug of over-tanninned (?sp) tea where you've squeezed the bag against the side of the mug to minimise dripping on the way to the bin. Hmm. ;-)

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    1. Gosh, I don't even own a teapot. The tea-making is, as you suspect, rather random and tannin-overdoses likely. If you come round, I'll let you make the tea!

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  10. Make him drink coffee.

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    1. This too is dangerous. In our kitchen at the moment is a large bowl full of used coffee grounds. He says he's going to grow mushrooms in it in the shed.

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    2. Oh well, if you will be posh and drink proper coffee...

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    3. Posh? Me? You know me better than that ... It's Paul who drinks the posh stuff, being a nice middle class chappy by background. I only like instant, although I do like Gold Blend, and I do like Baileys in it from time to time ... okay, each time.

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  11. Jack the Dripper, hahahahahaha!

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    1. I wished he'd found it funny too!

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  12. I gave up eating peaches in favour of nectarines years ago as dislike peach skin. My Grandfather couldn't eat any juicy fruit as it was just too messy for him !
    My husband used to make his coffee / my tea using the same teaspoon until I complained of coffee tasting tea.

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    1. Nectarines! I'd forgotten about them! Thank you for the reminder - they are obviously the way ahead. To the shops I will go pronto.

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  13. He sounds ideal . If I had a similar version* , I'd take him into town whenever I was feeling peckish . Sausage rolls are nice .
    * Actually , thinking about it , I do ; but it's toast crumbs . And the oldest wooly hat in the world .

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    1. Brilliant! You have the best ideas :)

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  14. Lovely post, Fran, made me smile. Do you write short stories? Some of your posts would make fabulous short stories - we need more funny ones!

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    1. Thank you, Helen! I do sometimes write short stories but not often. I had one published in a collection last year but that one wasn't funny at all - a rare foray into domestic noir!

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  15. A year ago I changed my laptop and you vanished....today I found you again via a link from another blog. Made my day; so glad I found you again you brighten my day and make me laugh out loud. Thank you for being you.

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    1. Patricia, your comment has brightened up MY day! Thanks so much :)

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