They used to say – and perhaps they still do – that when you tackle something in a roundabout manner you are going “all around the Wrekin.” Somehow, it seems to be happening to me all the time nowadays, in one way or another, indoors and out, talking or acting, and I simply can’t help it. Take what happened just this Saturday morning……
Shortly after nine o’clock I am up in our windowless loft, still in my dressing gown, searching with a torch for our reserve stock of toilet rolls. Why the cleaners chose to put them up here of all places, goodness alone knows, but we did ask them to tidy up the bathroom, I suppose. And we did order another big boxful of the things from the shop yesterday, but with guests coming this evening we need to be sure. I go on hunting. Need a new battery in this torch, I can see.
The front-door bell rings
All right, whoever you are. I’m coming down right away. Better get this blessed loft ladder fixed soon – don’t feel steady on it, and in any case I suppose I shouldn’t have gone up here on slippers. No, Martha, I haven’t found the toilet rolls. And yes, there is indeed someone at the front door – I’ve heard them ring and I’m coming down. Careful, lad, I say to myself, one step at a time and hold on tight. Have to contact the carpenter down the road about this ladder when I get a moment; pretty reasonable, he is, but he doesn’t like people troubling him on a Saturday – I guess he goes to the races like people do.
Patience, please. This is a pretty big house as they go, and I’m still only as far as the bathroom. Still, I really am on my way down to you. Just a few steps to the main staircase. You can’t do it fast on slippers, you know, and dressing gowns weren’t made for athletic performance either.
Ring! Ring! Ring!
No Martha, don’t get up for goodness sake – I’m nearly there. Mr. Impatient, whoever he is, will have to wait just a jiffy longer. Maybe it’s a couple of those insistent missionary people with the shiny shoes. Only ten steps more down to the hall. Have to switch off the burglar alarm so that it doesn’t scream at me. Right! Now where did we put the key last night when we came back from the theatre? Got it! All ready to open up. So, what’s that car driving away? And there’s some sort of a note stuck in the letterbox. Let me just adjust my glasses. What do they mean – Was here with toilet rolls, but no-one home.
No Martha, I was just a couple of seconds too late. No, I don’t remember why we didn’t order the toilet rolls before Friday. All I need to do now is to have a shower and get shaved and dressed, and if you want I can bring you some coffee and toast and the newspaper. Then I can get the bus into the village and collect the stuff, and if need be I can catch a taxi back, all in good time…promise……