Copyright© 2012 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
Simon beeped the horn as he pulled into the side of the road. I got out and stood up and James spotted me and ambled over. “What the hell are you two doing here?”
“Looking for you?” I answered after he got into the car.
“Well you found me. So piss off back home and leave me to do what I’m paid for.”
“We found a drug dealers.”
“How d’you know that’s what it was?”
“They were all there for a few minutes and were shoving something into their pockets as they came out.”
“How d’you know it wasn’t an unregistered bookie’s?”
“I er, don’t, but I’m sure they were carrying little packages not betting slips.”
“Where was it?”
I told him the address.
“Cathy, the cops have been watching that place for months.”
“Oh, I did phone them.”
“Who the cops or the druggies?”
“The cops, I don’t have the drug dealer’s number.”
“And what did they say?”
“Not very much.”
“Don’t tell me you were parked outside?”
“Not quite, we were across the road.”
He shook his head. “Anything else?”
“Yeah, these two big black guys pulled up behind us and waked down either side of the car, so we drove off quickly.”
He shook his head again. “Cathy, they were probably two undercover cops, they’ve been infiltrating this lot for ages. I hope you haven’t blown their cover or their operation. They will not be pleased.”
“Ooops. We were worried for you.”
“So you came to watch my back?”
“Yeah, sort of—yeah, I suppose.”
“Well thanks for the thought, I’m really touched, but this is what I do for a living. Now drop me on the corner of the next road and go home. I’ll let you know what happens.”
“Sorry, James, we were only trying to help.”
“I know, now bugger off.”
Simon stopped the car and James got out, he walked away without acknowledging us and we went home. Thankfully, the joint was only well done and still very edible—in fact it fell off the bone, and I quickly did some veg and roast potatoes—I cheated with the latter, I had some frozen ones.
Lunch became an early dinner at tea time and we washed the lamb down with a bottle of Merlot—actually two of them—well six adults, we only had a couple of small glasses each. The kids had ice cream for dessert, so did Simon, the rest of us were too full after the main course. I did manage to force down a cuppa as did the others and then sat around until my tummy felt less stuffed.
Meems asked me if she could iron her doll’s clothes. I looked at Simon and he shook his head. Okay, this was one I’d have to do. I set up the ironing table and the iron which I filled with water. I showed her what to do, and then supervised her actually ironing a tea towel. She pulled her fingers away quickly from the hot cloth and suggested that perhaps I’d better do the doll’s clothes. It was a lesson in tedium, or how to make a few minutes seem like hours.
After I began to lose the will to live, she finally decided she’d brought the last of her ironing. I passed the last little dress, and while the iron was full of hot water and I was standing next to it, I might as well reduce the mountain of the freshly washed linen in the utility room.
I ended up standing there for over an hour, and did about half of the mound. I told Julie and Jacquie that they could finish the rest, as some of it was theirs. They sighed but did it between them. I sat half chatting with Si and Tom but listening to the conversation behind us told me that Jacquie was somewhat deficient in laundry skills and Julie was showing her how to iron things—‘from the points of the collar towards the centre or you get wrinkles or creases, like this. Here you have a go.’ At least I’d taught Julie something, my life hasn’t been entirely wasted.
“So what’s for tea?” asked Simon, I hoped joking.
“Whatever you’d like to cook, darling, because the cook has gone on strike.”
“Haven’t you got to give seven days notice—the trades unions have to.”
“No, this is a wildcat strike, mee—bloody—iaow.”
Stella came back to the table after switching on the dishwasher. “I’ll just have a quick cuppa and then I’ll have to feed the baby.”
“I thought she just ate some of the dinner.”
“Much of that went straight through her, lamb’s a bit greasy.”
“Next time I’ll ask them for one that’s been on a diet.”
“Yeah, lettuce only,” quipped Simon poking his tongue out at his sibling.
“How can grass make you fat?” I asked.
“Depends on how much of it you smoke, I suppose,” he answered my silly question with an even dafter reply.
“Oh very funny, you know what I meant, Cathy.”
“Could have been the veg, you did give her quite a dollop of broccoli.” I suggested from my own experience of blending solids for babies.
“Okay, it could have been,” she conceded, “anyway, I’m going to give her some milk after I’ve had a cuppa. Now who’s going to make me one.”
Of course Simon picked up a pencil from the table and waved it about like Harry Potter with his wand, “Beveragius,” he declared. “There we are, you’re officially a cup of tea now.”
“Ha bloody ha,” she said sarcastically back at him just as Puddin’ walked past. It wasn’t a good thing to say as little Miss Echo aptly demonstrated, then giggled to herself. She walked out of the kitchen, then returned a moment later practicing her new vocabulary.
“Shit, shit, shit—ha bloody ha,” followed by infantile demonic giggles, or maybe it was a cackle—hard to tell until they’re old enough to ride a broomstick. I think they have to be at least sixteen to get a licence. I’ll check with Stella next time she’s stirring her cauldron.
“Tomorrow,” said Simon when we were lying together in bed, “I am going to have a lie in.”
“Okay,” I said while thinking, I wonder if the girls will want to lie with you? I know Meems does.
“I’ll try and get up to date with my part of the survey. I’ll have a lot of collating to do over the next few months. Numbers of Muntjac seem to be increasing the same as more established species.”
“I thought you were only doing rodents?” he said and yawned.
“I do the analysis of the rodent ones but I also collate the overall numbers and distribution if they give me either a post code or grid ref.”
“I didn’t know most rodents had postal addresses,” he yawned again.
“Never heard of a housemouse?”
“Oh god,” he groaned, “I’m going to sleep—night.” He kissed me and turned over onto his side.
“Goodnight, darling,” I whispered and snuggled into his back putting my hand round his waist. While my mind buzzed with what had happened today and what I wanted to do tomorrow, his concentrated on snoring. Oh well, it takes all sorts I suppose.
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