I’m at home today. I’m at home mosth daysh now, ash a sherioushly retired shcreen actor, but I digressh – my point ish, I’m at home today, and Mrsh C hash ashked me, in a tone of voishe I recognishe ash worth lishtening to, if I would PLEASHE KEEP OUT OF THE KITCHSHEN WHILE THE CLEANING LADY ISH IN THERE.
Now, firsht let me shay that I’m okay with having a cleaning lady. Why should I not employ shomebody half my age or lessh who needsh to earn a living and can do sho by working more effishiently than me with a hoover, a mop, a dusht-pan and brush, a damp cloth, a shpray-thingummyjig, and varioush bucketsh and bottlesh and shpongesh? Our cleaning lady, Angelika, ish from Croashia and her `English’ (or Shcottish, you know what I mean) ish not fully up to shpeed, and we often have convershashionsh in which we talk about shtuff like the weather or holidaysh or thingsh in the newsh which are both informative and, for both of ush, entertaining.
However, Mrsh C hash pointed out to me on sheveral occashionsh that my being there and chatting to her makesh it take longer for her to do her work, and then either thingsh don’t get done in the 2 hoursh, or she hash to come back another day and do them whichsh ish not a very shenshible sholushion to the bashic reashon for hiring a cleaning lady in the firsht plashe.
And sho I am under inshtrucshionsh from my lady wife to avoid the kitchshen, and to avoid Angelika, sho she can get on with cleaning. What I am shupposhed to do, Mrsh C shpellsh out quite clearly; “Go for a walk, darling” she shaysh. “Drive to the Golf Club. Walk to the delicatesshen and back again. Call a friend. Read a book.”
I like doing all of thoshe thingsh. But only when I want to do them. I alsho like talking to Angelika, becaushe it’sh good for her English (Shcottish) and it kind of cheersh me up on daysh when it’sh cold and rainy, and I like hearing about her family and about the kind of thingsh she cooksh at home.
But – ash I shay – I hear the tone in whichsh Mrsh C tellsh me to shtop taking up Angelika’sh time and I pay attenshion to it. One musht have harmony in the home, eshpeshially when one ish getting older, argumentsh take up too muchsh energy.
And thish – thish whole shtory – ish why today I will be out walking around the shtreetsh of Edinburgh until the cleaning lady hash left, and until Mrsh C hash deshided what we are to do with our afternoon. And all I’ve had for my lunsh sho far ish a bit of toasht and cheeshe. There you are. That’sh it. Deprivashion.
Tomorrow, however, nobody ish exshpected to be in the houshe exshept for me. Tomorrow, therefore, I shall onshe again be mashter of my own deshtiny. And tomorrow, I shall shoup.