365 days - day 4

Updated: Aug 25, 2019

I am returned!

I got home from a couple of days away to a rapturous welcome from my family. Well, I say 'family', I mean the dogs, and Steve, the cat-who-thinks-he's-a-dog. They ran up to the front door, surrounded me in love and affection, followed me round, checked my bag to see what I'd bought them, fussed around me and had loads of hugs. Much as you'd expect from a family, really.

My human family, however, were less effusive. Daughter was round at her friend's house and son was deeply engaged with a playstation game, but he did manage to wave briefly before he crashed and burned into a zombie lizard, and blamed me. Husband was so busy cleaning the kitchen that he didn't hear me come in, but did manage to turn and greet me, Cilit Bang in one hand a cleaning cloth in the other. What a hero.

The truth, of course, is that my husband is not quite the domestic goddess he purports to be, although he is something of a genius in the art of marketing. After 20 years together I have learned to look beyond the immediate lemony-fresh smell of a clean kitchen, and to inspect the actuality of the situation, as opposed to the apparency of it. A brief check around the living room revealed a still-warm cup of coffee, next to a laptop whose screensaver hadn't yet kicked in. Further investigation revealed a dishwasher so recently-crammed with dirty crockery that the door would barely shut, a pile of discarded clothes in the downstairs toilet and an overflowing bin.

The genius of the man is not in his ability to keep a clean and tidy house, it's in his ability to shift his arse off the sofa, where it has sat for the last 48 hours, and to clear surfaces and squirt kitchen spray into the air in the time it took me to drive onto the driveway, turn off the engine, get my bags out of the boot and find my front door keys. It's impressive, you have to admit.

Not that I'm complaining, if there was a crown for the Queen of Last Minute, I'd be wearing it. Deadlines are there for a reason, they promote excitement, adrenaline, a reason to become motivated - that's why the sprint is at the end of the race and not the beginning. And marketing rules the world, after all. Anyone with a social media profile is a mini-marketeer, we've all become experts in self-promotion.

So fair play to him, my genius of a husband, for moving that quickly in the first place at his age, for the planning and thought that went into this piece of performance art, but above all, for wanting me to think well of him. I do, I always do, but not always for the reasons he thinks. Cunning, guile and bare faced cheek are qualities I admire greatly in a companion. We are very well matched indeed.

Au revoir.

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