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Valentine jockey

As the sun shines outside my window, I am persuaded that Spring is not far away and my mood improves accordingly. Another reason to celebrate is that we have got the torment of Valentine’s Day out of the way for another year. I sometimes wish I could either be completely dismissive of the day and ignore it, or embrace it fully with all the romantic posturing that would require of myself and others (primarily Mr J of course).

Sadly, I sit in an awkward hinterland where buying a card for my beloved and expecting one back still seems to be some sort of necessity. We usually succeed in each producing an unshowy card and a small edible gift for our ‘everlasting sweetheart’ (although both of us avoid Hallmark rhymes or couplets) – and then move on.

Imagine, then, the heart-stopping fear on 14th February (earlier this week) when sitting at the breakfast table, happily contemplating a large box of Maltesers, when there was an urgent knock at the door and the terrifying ringing of our extra-loud doorbell. Oh no! Surely not a bouquet? This would upset the balance entirely – especially as Mr J had already eaten most of his jelly babies.

He rushed to the door (I was rooted to the spot both by my unromantic fear and the fact I was still not general-public-presentable) and I heard a polite exchange. Followed by an excitedly grinning husband brandishing what appeared to be a slightly oversized and massively bubble-wrapped hockey stick! Well, this was a new one.

I feverishly searched my consciousness for potential Valentine-related horrors – what on earth could this be? An over-zealous florist’s idea of pass-the-parcel? A huge Hotel Chocolat confection? A sex toy (oh god, oh god, surely not)?

The grinning Mr J announced, “It’s a jockey wheel!”

Well, it appeared neither wheel-shaped nor humanoid, although perhaps of similar weight to a professional race-horse rider. And I’m “Jackie” not “jockey”! I was none the wiser.

Turns out, this was just another of the random items Mr J periodically brings into the house. Indeed, it was not for me and I quickly dealt with my fleeting disappointment (that’s female conditioning for you) and relaxed into a natural banter during which I discovered that this was, in fact, destined for the sailing club boat trailer. Phew, at least I would not be required to engage in any sort of romantic grappling this time. 

It has however reminded me of other items Mr J has produced:

I returned to the house a couple of weeks ago to find him perusing a collection of hand-pumps, plastic ties, nozzles and tubing all laid out carefully on our dining table. He was musing aloud whether these could be useful on any of his boats or bicycles. There’s somehow always a need for some kind of gadget for dealing with the bilge. However, in response to my tentative (and indeed foolish) enquiry, it was revealed that this collection did not have its origins in the chandlery, but was in fact an enema kit from an earlier less cheery time of his life. At this, without further ado or comment, I swiftly ‘la-la-la’d’ myself upstairs before he could elucidate further as to whether the kit had ever been used. By the time I returned downstairs it had disappeared. I didn’t enquire further and have not subsequently encountered any of it.

On a similar theme, I once returned to the house to the excited announcement by Mr J that we could, after all, have a downstairs loo. This is something for which I have campaigned over a very long period of time and heretofore been denied on the basis that it would compromise the storage capacity of our under-stair cupboard. Imagine, then, my disappointment to find that he had simply installed* a port-a-potty on the kitchen worktop. I believe this may have induced an appalled Facebook post at the time and elicited a suitable amount of knowing sympathy from friends and relatives. I suppose I should just accept that, after more than three decades of sharing quarters with someone, it is quite likely that romance, if not entirely dead, may take different forms.

By the time I am finally posting this, the sunshine has been chased away by Storm Eunice and I am hiding in the front of the house whilst the back windows are rattling and there is an endless alarm emanating from somewhere up the road. So much for Spring.

*port-a-potty is generally used in a caravans or small boats and installation required lifting said item and placing it squarely on the work-surface. No plumbing or complex fixing required. Perfectly safe and hygienic – because NO-ONE WOULD EVER USE IT obviously!!!








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