So the kids break up this week, that’s come around quickly hasn’t it, due to the earlyness of Easter I am told by people who know more than me. It has been proper Springy here in Devon which has definitely helped my humour if not by writing abilities. Spring makes me want to wear something yellow although I don’t actually own anything that’s yellow – must invest. The sun has shone! and there’s even been some warmth in it! The daffs on the verges have been bobbing about like ravers in Ibiza and I even busted out my Converse (new last summer) on Thursday only to find they started rubbing the back of my heel by lunchtime – I thought we were better acquainted than that! Felt betrayed.
On Friday, late morning I popped over to Anna’s (local best friend) ostensibly to drop in a couple of magazines – Devon Life and Grazia – I thought she might like to look at the pictures too (never enough time to actually read a sodding magazine!) Really, I was after a quick coffee and some banter (then back to work- I know I know I’m an unmitigated skiver and it’s the week before the Easter holidays so I should be working – extra hard).
“Anna’s not in,” a deep voice startled me from above, it was Thatcher Man – in all his glory. (Thatcher Man is the ridiculously good looking bloke presently thatching Anna’s roof). The sun was behind him so I was blinded except for his muscly silhouette. I waved a friendly acknowledgement and quickly turned on my heel.
“You rushing off?”
Well yeah! Unless you want to bore me to tears with some more of your fascinating thatching facts. Turns out, after meeting Thatcher Man recently – he bangs on a bit.
“Why don’t you come on up, I’ll show you the thatch and you can see the view?” he added cheerily. What was with all the bonhomie! Perhaps the sunshine and raver daffodils had got to him too.
Err no! I really don’t want to go up on that roof with you…………but I’m far too bloody Britishly inhibited and polite to actually say no thank you and oh sh*t I haven’t come up with an excuse quickly enough so……..
“Err, yeah, why not.” Seriously! I wanted to give myself a slap sometimes.
So I proceeded to climb the scaffolding ladder in an ungainly manner as it wobbled worryingly.
“You can see for miles up here,” he encouraged and took my hand to help me up the last bit. Which was a bit unnecessary because I wasn’t feeble.
I looked about me and I could indeed see for a long way but I was more interested in peeping into some of the other villagers gardens which I’d never been privvy to before. The Vicar’s new conservatory wasn’t nearly as big as he bragged it was! Mrs Parsons’ new rattan style outdoor sofas looked really expensive and old Mr Tatcombe’s garden was a complete mess and very overgrown so I told myself I must pop round and check he was alright. Come to think of it -I hadn’t seen him for ages, perhaps he’d died and if I went round there I’d find him decaying in his favourite armchair looking like 2000 year old mummified man in a hand knitted jerkin, gerkin? I know it’s not gherkin.
Thatcher Man loomed next to me on the narrow gang planks. He was definitely a loomer, probably due to his height, strong build and unnerving good looks. He launched straight in with showing me his handiwork (that word always seems a but smutty to me)so I feigned interest and hmmmed in the right places and secretly wondered how quickly I could get down off the scaffolding and go about my business uninterrupted. Then Thatcher Man did a weird-hold-my-gaze thing! Some people are good at holding gazes – makes me feel like an uncomfortable pillock so I looked away quickly.
“Anyway, I was thinking of taking an early lunch break at the pub, do you fancy a quick drink?”
The question completely blindsided me!
“I’m married,” I blurted out. I’m married – god, now I sounded like a complete pillock too.
Thatcher Man let out a derisory snorty laugh thing.
“So?” he said obviously amused, “I’m only suggesting a quick lunch time drink, not elopement!”
Then of course I felt really stupid, but while I was feeling really stupid his gaze travelled over me lazily – it was quite disconcerting what with him being exceptionally easy on the eye (probably only about 32) and still looming over me. His green eyes looked blinkered, like I was the only thing in his sights. Oh for gods sake, this was ridiculous – quit with the starey looming would you!
“Well, what about it Mrs Married! Do you fancy that lunchtime drink or not?” I’m guessing women on the whole simpered and said yes to him but luckily at that moment Anna pulled up in her car and honked at me accusatorially. She was probably displeased that I was up there teetering on the scaffolding, distracting Thatcher Man from his work.
“Oh look, there’s Anna, must dash,” must dash! I don’t think I’ve ever said ‘must dash’ before ever!
“By the way, you’re very beautiful,” he said matter of factly as if he could have said by the way there’s dog sh*t on your left shoe.
BLINDSIDE A-GAIN! I could only manage a squeaky “thanks,” and scrambled back down the scaffolding ladder from whence I’d come! I realised I hadn’t been flirted with in years! I was completely back footed (in my blister inducing Converse)! I used to be able to partake in witty repartee but quite obviously I could barely hold my own anymore. Flirting seemed quite retro – something I did in the early noughties. Plus, why was Thatcher Man even bothering? Perhaps his recent divorce (Anna told me that his wife had had an affair) had encouraged him to try it on with older women (only a bit older) as a soft and sure target. Flirting – hah! hmmm a bit rusty then! It was a skill that I hadn’t updated and to be honest was fairly obsolete in my life, I think they even call it flanter these days????
Later that day after I had composed myself from my minor (innocent, I didn’t start it) dalliance with Thatcher Man I popped around to see Mr Tatcombe, just to check he wasn’t dead.
He wasn’t. Dead that is.
But when I walked into his house it smelt like someone had died. There was definitely an animalistic stench. I explained that I was just calling round to see how he was. I didn’t say that his garden looked like sh*t and that I wondered if he had carked it and was decaying in his favourite armchair. Mr Tatcombe, a widower, was a kindly old man and in general, a force for good but he does call a spade a……. shovel.
“Since Doris passed on,” Mr Tatcombe explained, “I’m doing all the bloody things the old bitch wouldn’t let me!” He opened the door to his back room with a flourish- ta dah – I was presented with 8 large cages, all housing some sort of snake or lizard. My hand flew to my mouth and nose because, the smell was grossly overwhelming and it wasn’t a room I would want to spend any time in. My son Toby would think it was a day at the Zoo (the Reptile House to be precise), perhaps I could send him round in the Easter holidays.
“Shall I get out Colin my Common Boa Constrictor?” suggest Mr Tatcombe enthusiastically.
“He wont be the only slippery character I’ve conversed with today!” I mumbled.
I told Ted about my encounter with Thatcher Man later that day when the children were in bed. I couldn’t keep any secrets from husband, I’d be really crap at an affair. I’m also crap with technology, so Ted is always sorting out my phone/computer/iPad and he’d probably be the one telling me about any flirty or clandestine messages that I’d received.
Ted found my Thatcher Man story amusing, “he’s obviously got good taste! Perhaps he’s after a local milf!” he said, happily winding me up.
“A milf! If I’m a milf then you’re a dilf!” I retorted.
“Promises, promises?” he replied, raising an eyebrow hopefully while looking up from his newspaper.
I smiled, allowing him to wish before wandering off to the office and writing, yes I sat down and typed away for nearly two hours (with a nice glass of red) – tapping away at my new novel and everything – not even internetting and it was a Friday night! So my point is that Thatcher Man was turning into something of a muse and he was shaping up nicely as a character in my new book, only less boring conversationally- he wouldn’t be allowed to go on about thatching – no one likes a thatching bore. Rebecca my Literary Agent would be pleased, probably not – actually, she seems to be perminantly arsed off with me.
So today’s motivationally inspirational saying for life is – actually I don’t really do those but: why not brush up on your flirting skills, at least then-next time you are subjected to a surprise flirt attack you’ll have something witty/cutting/appropriate to say for yourself (unlike me).
More next week.
As you were.
PS, nearly the 4 day weekend! Nearly time to not paint the spare room! Nearly time to not tidy up the garden and nearly time to not not eat chocolate for four whole days!
Note to myself: The one where I have a few moments with Thatcher Man and check that Mr Tatcombe isn’t dead. Nearly the 4 day weekend!!!