Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Driving into the Sunset

I'm sitting here watching the sun set behind the mountains, it's calm, chilly and beautiful. I Let property in the Heritage status mining town of Blaenavon and that is where I headed this morning when I drove over those mountains, I gasped at the fantastic view before me, it always has that affect on me (possibly because the air is thinner), yet when I was a child, that part of the world was filled with gigantic machinery. There were steel cables across the roads, bits of coal dropping from the enormous buckets that moved along them, wobbling, precariously. The air was full of dust and soot and I can not remember much about strong daylight, it was always twilight or dark.

I moved to South Wales when I was a child because my father bought a large house at auction by mistake.

It's quite true. He only went to buy some furniture.
There was a rather noisy domestic when he broke the news to my mother about their predicament. They had little choice, when the hammer goes down at auction, the contract is legally binding. They quickly sold our nicely renovated cottage and we moved into 'the valleys'
I couldn't understand a word anyone said to me with their strong Welsh accents, and they couldn't understand me either. It was all very scary. I didn't really know who to turn to, my parents were clearly insane and my sister couldn't understand anyone either. The only thing we were actually certain of was that our neighbours were called the 'Fritter's'.
I had to get on a bus and ask for 'a half to Hafodyrynys' (try that with your milk teeth falling out), but it always cost one whole pence. I never understood why a half cost a whole and my mother would tell me to shut up and get on the bus.

I remember walking to the local playground with my little friend, the Fritter, the mountain was on fire and our way back home was blocked by flames higher than us, the mountains always seemed to be on fire, it was a bleak place to live.

We moved into Herefordshire within 18 months and watched the mountains burn from far away, it felt much safer.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Huffy Husband

Today has been tense, moody, sultry even.
I kept looking around, had I forgotten something, done something that he simply didn't know how to tackle me about.

Was it the coffee?
No, I put the milk in after the water, that was OK.

The cup?
Bone China or John Deere mug, yep, I was OK there.

Had I run out of homemade bread?
No, there was plenty.

An Insurance salesman came, never a good move here. Darling husband treated him with admirable contempt. It would have made a great public information film about how to get rid of double glazing salesmen too.
He told the man to hurry up and make his point, he had work to do.
He let the salesman ramble incessantly for a few minutes, while eyeing up a huge chocolate sponge cake in the middle of the table.

The salesman tried to close but darling husband said, no, I'm not having it.
"Why not? Can't you see the advantages of such a policy?"

Darling husband replied, "It's none of your business why I don't want the policy, I don't want it and that's that"

Insurance Man " Well, there's only two reasons why you wouldn't have it, either it's the cost or you don't like me"

Darling Husband "Both"

Cue exit stage left for the insurance man, slightly panicky looking insurance man.
It may have been the nasty look on my husbands face, or just the worrying fact he had a spider sticker clinging to his shoulder saying "I've been good today".

Darling husband was so vile to him, it was quite brilliant. I began to hope we would get a call from India regarding our telephone supplier so he could deal with them too. In fact perhaps he could handle the advertising executives who regularly telephone me trying to sell me outrageously overpriced advertising in obscure publications only likely to be seen on 'Have I got News for You'

I still wasn't too sure what had upset Darling Husband, I put my arms around him
and looked into his seething eyes, ah.. the wind was howling outside.

"It's windy isn't it?" I said.
"Yes" he hissed through clenched teeth

My laid back, gentle, lovely humoured husband who invites the world and his wife into our home for cups of tea and a chat, turns into a (devastatingly handsome)Gruffulo in a temper on windy days. I always forget.

Moral of the story, never try to sell him anything when the wind is blowing.