‘So, let me get this right…you spent the afternoon in a field, quaffing chilled white wine while intermittently stuffing your trap with iberico ham as the sun beat down on your botoxed brow, talking crap to a gaggle of creosote realtors and it was at that precise point you suddenly decided, in your imminent wisdom, that doing absolutely nothing in the middle of a nowhere wasn’t the right career path for you? Paula, what DO you actually want to do work wise because we are running out of options here!!?’
Avoiding eye contact with my ever patient spouse I raise my shoulders in a non committal shrug and rotate the anemic looking chicken around the frying pan one more time. At the ripe old age of 51 I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up but I do know that I never want to be thought of as normal or, in this case, an estate agent.
The doorbell suddenly bites through the uncomfortable silence and my husband shakes his head in my general direction then rushes over to invite a long awaited guest inside our home. Placing the spatula onto the kitchen worktop I wipe the mid August sweat of my forehead and plant a forced smile on my reticent lips.
A tanned giant of a man suddenly blocks the light cascading through the door and I notice that our visitor is clutching what looks like a satellite dish. His face looks vaguely familiar but before I have chance enquire my husband interjects.
‘Paula, this is Dan the TV man. In a short while he’s promised to reacquaint me with my old friend Jeremy Clarkson’ and promptly whoops in delight at the prospect of finally having Freeview British TV installed in our home.
Dan, the aforementioned man, catches my eye and lazily smiles in an ‘I have a large piece of equipment and I’m not afraid to use it’ sort of way and I suddenly realize that the peace residing in our humble home would be no more. Conversation becoming nothing but a distant memory, early nights cast aside in favour of Keith Lemon’s antics.
‘Anyone fancy a cuppa?’ I say to the two retreating backs, but silence greets my liquid invitation.
‘Please yourselves’, I mumble to no one in particular and flick a cobweb off my inherited Spanish chandelier. Brian farts and rolls over, staring at me with his strange almond eyes and dribbles on my BHS slippers. I sigh and watch the men folk pointing skywards on the terrace and sucking air between their teeth as they both point out inappropriate spots for the dish to take up residence.
Within minutes the huge white metal umbrella has been installed high upon the wall and our tanned entertainment messiah, nodding his head in approval promptly goes in search of the lounge. At a loss as what to do now, both of us trail after him like silent apostles and sit quietly on the sofa while he works his magic on our dust covered flat screen, forcing us out of the Spanish technology doldrums and back into the future.
The television that had sat for so many months in enforced solitude suddenly roars back into life and we are instantly greeted with the familiar face of Fiona Bruce waxing lyrical about one elderly gent’s inherited Ming vase which turns out to be a fake and is actually worth the same price as a bag of Wotsits.
‘Well that’s your lot, I’ll see myself out. If you want anything else give me a call, I’ve got fingers in many pies…. be it Chicken or Kidney’.
At the mention of this Northern Delicacy Brian’s ears suddenly perk up but my husband is sat transfixed by the television, lost in a world of heirlooms and disappointments.
I make my way to the front door to bid farewell to our latest tradesman and once again I’m struck by how familiar his face appears to be.
‘I can’t place who you remind me of?’ I say as he struggles down the stairs, his arms loaded with cable and tools.
With a cheeky grin he turns, grins and replies ‘Tom Cruise?’ and at that precise moment Dan the TV Man misses a step, stumbles and goes tumbling down the few remaining stairs, equipment showering down around him as he hits the marble floor with an unceremonious thump.
‘Its fine, I’m fine’ he yells upstairs and I stifle a smile as he stumbles out into the afternoon sunshine.
Suddenly it comes to me, which comedic genius he reminds me of, someone we all know and love. I would tell you but the answer is nestling in the blog…
To be continued – Episode 25
A New Wife in the Sun, as featured in The Olive Press, is available for proof reading, wedding speeches, radio presenting and anything that involves not having to smile at people for any amount of time.