How have I coped post (three weeks ago) hysterectomy and no husband since Sunday night? Erratically. He's working 5 hours away for 5 days (it feels like forever, but isn't, I hope, but given the amount of desperate texts I’ve sent him since he’s been away, you might not blame him, though given his survival instinct he’d likely stay). He replies with responses like this: “Right now I’m on a ladder with my head in a ceiling cavity soldering, but if you’re in a tight spot…”) As soon as he was out the door, my 3 youngest set up a caterwauling that lasted about 3 hours and did not inspire confidence in me. “We want Daaaaaaaady!” I wanted him to come back too and he probably hadn’t made it to the A55 yet. Eventually, they collapsed into sleep as we all did. I felt nearly defeated already. Thankfully, I was able to import my eldest son from London to Wales shortly before I exported my husband also to London. I required 2 beers on top of my painkillers. That did the trick. I’d already decided I’d turn tricks to get my husband home before time but that wasn’t an option either on account of my not even being able to turn over in bed without considerable pain.
The first day the electricity went and we were convinced it was our evil landlady trying to smoke us out of the house we are renting, given we needed a bit longer than she required to find another gaff. All the properties in North Wales have been bought by Tom, Dick and Harriet as fifteenth homes to holiday let. Everyone from the (in my experience) useless coppers of the North Wales Police to my consultant’s secretary is a property baron/baroness around here. The rest are cleaning baronesses. 17 quid per hour and rising if you must know. I’m joining their racket once I’m up and running. Writing’s a mugs game by comparison. They have a captive demographic. Everyone around here is retired apart from a handful of people who work for the NHS and the council, and some teachers, but basically this is the oldest population in the UK. The local NHS can’t see for knees and hips, knees and hips (yes, I repeated that for effect) replacements. And most people on the roads are too old to see so you take your life in your hands every time you get behind the wheel and join those who have forgotten what a wheel is. Trust me. We had to prise my father in law’s hands off his wheel when his hit rate became weekly and that was before he’d even left the car park.
Anyway, me and the kids set up camp and I’m not talking about the Boy George sort of camp I am skilled in and prefer, I’m talking about unpacking boxes from the sheds to find my husbands extensive camp collection (not that style of camp – erase your Rocky Horror Picture Show imagery). When you can locate his stash, my husband has all the camping gear covered: Robsen tent, stoves – 2 types: gas and wood fired with massive phallic chimney that reaches through the tent and waves at the stars; battery/solar powered lights – it took me bloody ages to find these crucial numbers as well as the pretty bauble ones my daughter strew across the room whilst excitedly looking for candles and planning that evening’s campout in the lounge. I was frantically looking for the gas canisters. If I did not have coffee I would have begun sucking on those babies. Just as we found everything and I had smugly set everything up without busting myself open literally…the lights came back on. The kids were so disappointed that we had to play camp that night. I managed to get a roaring fire going with the aid of my ‘cripple stick’ – the back of a chopped wooden chair that we got from John Lewis as part of our wedding stash, now chopped up by my husband’s chainsaw and assigned – apart from the part I nicked for my cripple stick - to the woodpile as firewood. It helps me, with two hands, and some okay arm muscles to get up from a crouching position on the floor whilst sparing my abdominal muscles that have been sliced and spliced. All respect to that core - it does so much that we take for granted...
More shenanigans tomorrow. Dinner is being demanded and is not going to happen with a wriggle of my out of joint nose, no matter how hard I wish it were like Samantha's in Bewitched.