This is going to be a rant. I feel it coming on. In fact I am so angry I can hardly hit the right letters on the keyboard – it’s taken me twice as many keystrokes to get this first paragraph written as it would normally do. And me an RSA level 3 girl.
It started with the phone call at breakfast time, and I’m not going to bother disguising names to protect the innocent.
“Who was that?” I asked my husband.
“Tony. We’re working at his girlfriend’s place this morning. She wants her lawns laid, now that the drains are completed.”
I didn’t get up in a bad mood. Honestly I didn’t. I had no intention of blasting out a trumpet call to battle. But.
Every building on our place, bar the single section of one in which my pony sleeps in bad weather, is silted up with an accumulation of “one day it’ll be useful”. There is no wall that does not have its complement of things leaning against it; no space into which you could actually put anything without major reorganisation.
I have booked a firm of slaters to come and renew the very rickety roof on the stable range, of which the other box is – you guessed it – also full of “one day it’ll be useful”.
“Oh? Barbara wants her lawns laid? I’d quite like some buildings emptied.”
He began to detail where MY few items in use could be moved to; inconveniently; and ignoring all his own pack rat accumulations. I interrupted him.
“I’m going to put all that in the container at the top of the yard,” I said.
It’s not a building, but it is a dry, clean, almost empty space. I was also under the firm belief that as I had bought it, it was mine.
“Oh,” he said blithely, “but I talked to Tom the other day and I’m going to borrow his tractor and loader at the weekend to move the container so it can be a dog kennel for people who come to stay in the barn conversion.”
And that was the point at which I blew.
“And how is it you didn’t mention that to me? I’d quite like to have a space that’s MINE. Something that’s not half full of old carpets, oil-soaked fenceposts, lumps of scrap iron where the dog gets his rope stuck, and a ton of fertiliser with its sacks rotted off so you can’t move it. Something that doesn’t leak when it rains.
“And I wasn’t referring to MY belongings – I meant yours – like your Dad’s tools that you never use, and parts for cars that you scrapped twenty years ago.
“Oh, but Barbara wants her lawns laid. Barbara wants her drains done. Well FUCK BARBARA, that’s all I can say.”
It wasn't a particularly eloquent argument, I know, but maybe my vehemence got through for once. He didn’t answer. He went off to work, very quietly. For Tony, and bloody Barbara and her sodding lawns.
I think he’ll be making his own supper tonight.