Technologically Impaired Husband decides to lend Rather Important House Guest his state-of-the-art alarm clock (set alarm hand to hour required, pull out button, grope wildly and thump button to halt buzzer,) so that R.I.H.G. doesn’t miss his very early flight back home. T.I.H. proceeds to sleep soundly until 4 a.m. when he suddenly falls out of bed and hurls himself at the house phone to call guest and make sure the alarm has gone off.
T.I.H. then falls back into deep refreshing slumber whilst I mentally plan my wardrobe, menus, flowers and conversational gambits for the upcoming diplomatic week, finally sliding into a fitful doze just as the dawn has stopped chorusing. Around 6.45 he snaps all the lights on again to check with his wrist watch that he has not overslept without his beloved alarm clock by his side.
He has not.
This time I mentally write all the thank-you letters I should have written by last Friday and store up a shopping list for the cook. Such deeply demanding intellectual pursuits leave me sufficiently exhausted to finally fall into a coma at 7.58, leaving me precisely two minutes of oblivion before the 8 o’clock news blasts us both into the new day, raring to go.
In my case to a coffee morning to organise a charity event designed to bring the entire community to a grinding halt around next Christmas. I find myself on a three- seater sofa wedged between Mrs. Boring in lavender and Ms. Politically Engag?e in boots intent on looking at the wider picture (world poverty, greenhouse emissions, myopic agricultural policies, the fur trade, seal clubbing, you must know who I mean …). There is something about three-seater sofas. They just do not work, in my opinion. At some stage you are obliged to turn your back on one or other of your neighbours yet never, more’s the pity, are you able to turn your back on both of them simultaneously. You can, however, lean back and allow them to carry on their conversation over the top of you whilst you succumb to an attack of the terminal yawns. Not even the soggy biscuit and two cups of Cona coffee, which I suspect had been bubbling merrily away for three days in anticipation of our visit, could help, so pleading urgent commitments back at the Residence, I eventually exited stage left allowing them to splutter on about my defection in peace.
As I fell through my front door, I ran straight into the arms of our house guest. Apparently he had not slept a wink because he was terrified the alarm might not go off. Rising before dawn, he had paced his room until the driver arrived to collect him for the airport. It was only upon arrival that he realised his secretary had messed up his booking. Wrong day. On standby for tomorrow’s dawn flight. He was, however, greatly looking forward to sharing our lunch.
Memo to self: must start serving soggy pasta and burnt coffee.