Copyright© 2012 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
“Is it safe to leave her working at that branch?” I asked Simon when we were in bed. It’s always a nice place to talk, less interruptions unless Simon is feeling energetic—thankfully he wasn’t because I certainly wasn’t in the mood.
“I’ll have a word with him—he only just managed to avoid a harassment case last year. He knows she’s living with us—so what is he—completely stupid?”
“He’s not trying something on against you, is he?” I don’t know why I asked that but it just floated into my mind.
“Like accusing you of setting him up.”
“I don’t know if he’s clever enough for that, but it’s something to think about.”
“Because if it became public knowledge that you’d set him up with a pretty girly-boy, he could cause you loads of grief.”
“But we haven’t—set him up—I mean.”
“Simon, I know that, I’m responsible for asking you, if you remember.”
“I’m going to have to watch him.”
“Si, it’s just my fancy—it might not be happening at all. Remember, that Sammi is something of a novice, so she could be sending out all the wrong messages, purely by accident of course.”
“She’s quite pretty.”
“She’s actually very pretty, now we’ve got her in hand. She’s also developing a little bit of confidence in her new role, which is good to see.”
“I still find it extraordinary how every waif and stray with a gender problem ends up at our door?”
“It’s your magnetic personality, darling,” I pecked him on the cheek.
“Mine? It’s you who invites them in.”
“You don’t seem to object, or is that what this is?”
“Objection to what?”
“Admitting all these waifs and strays.”
“You’ve lost me,” he sighed. Quite how he manages with board meetings surprises me.
“You said it was extraordinary how every waif and stray with gender problems ends up here, and I asked if you were objecting to it? Are you?”
“No, whatever gave you that idea?”
“You did. I also saw you wince at being called Daddy by Sammi.”
“I’ll get used to it—I usually do.”
“I’ll ask her to try not to call you it at work.”
“Oh yeah, good thinking, batwoman.”
“Dormouse woman, if you don’t mind.”
“Does that mean you want a house built like a teapot, or you’re going to hibernate for six months of the year?”
“Go to sleep, Simon, you have an early start.”
“You’re taking Sammi up to work with you, remember?”
“Yeah, but that’s a later start, I don’t have any meetings tomorrow—not early at any rate.”
“Night, Simon,” I pecked him again before turning onto my side away from him.
“Nasty business this thing with Gareth,” he offered as I switched the light off.
“Damn, I forgot to speak with Maureen.”
“Thought you might, she’s coming tomorrow to check everything out.”
I turned back towards him. “You did that?” my voice conveyed the surprise he’d just caused me.
“No, my secretary did, but I had to ask her.”
“I was up to my neck in exam candidates, tomorrow, I’ve got the joy of marking a couple of dozen exam papers.”
“Sounds like fun, tell you what, I’ll swap the eurozone crisis for you exam papers.”
“Si, how much do you know about ecology?”
“Do I need to?”
“Probably not, my students don’t seem to know much—given the last couple of tutorials I’ve done.”
“There we are then, I’ll bring a new focus to ecology while you solve the euro crisis.”
“Si, I know even less about banking than you do about ecology.”
“That’s fine, sometimes it causes more trouble if you do know what you’re doing, because no one else does. I mean, if experience went with the job, we’d only have Tony Blair as a candidate for prime minister.”
“There’s always wee Gordie Broon,” I said with a phony accent.
“Nice guy, wrong job,” he said then switched the light off.
I was now wide awake again and felt like sticking my cold feet on him to wake him up. I did in the end but he didn’t notice or mind—at last he said nothing and my feet did feel better after about half an hour.
I can’t get over the weather—it’s heading for the end of June and it’s like October weather-wise—wet and windy. It’s also been unseasonably cold because the jet stream is too far south. The whole planet seems to be going crazy, not just the human population. Still, it reassures me, that human beings are probably the best evidence that there can’t be a god of any sort—what supreme being could screw up so badly as to produce humans? On that happy note, I must have fallen asleep.
Despite my late hour, I woke fairly early and didn’t feel too bad, so I rose. Simon was already in the shower, so I crept in with him—I made him jump when I tickled his fancy—then I nearly made him late for his train.
I dried and dressed, and roused the rest. The girls had showered yesterday, so today they could get by with a wash—I pressed Sammi’s suit and checked her blouse—she was going to look smart today if it killed me—not that she hadn’t looked so the previous two days—but with her foster dad—she needed to look the part of a young executive.
I saw them off and they made a nice couple together, a father daughter picture which made me a little moist eyed, then it was time to sort out the monkey’s breakfast party and the moment was soon forgotten.
I was just about to take the girls to school when James called. “I think it might be good to meet.”
“The earliest I can do is lunch time, I have about forty exam papers to mark which need to be sent back this afternoon.”
“Sent back—don’t you just mark your own?”
“No, I act as an external assessor for a course at Sussex, it makes sure the marking scheme is being done properly.”
“So they check yours do they?”
“No, ours go to Norwich.”
“Not Southampton, then?”
“No they don’t run the same course as us.”
“Not in with the Russell group, then?”
“Very funny, “ I didn’t think.
“Southampton is, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it’s mainly the larger universities, like Oxbridge and London, Sheffield and Newcastle—not petite ones like us.”
“Awww,” he said loudly.
“I have to go, call me at lunch time and we’ll organise a meeting place.” I rang off, grabbed my stuff and the girls and off we ran to get them to school on time.
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