Despite being up against a very strong field I was lucky enough to have had my submission chosen to be read last night. I have to say, that despite it sounding a tad far-fetched it is actually a true account of one particular day in January 2017. It’s funny now but …
The Call of the Keyboard
I lie for a delicious moment in that euphoric state of warmth and well-being that only exists between waking and the realisation that you actually have to get up.
It is too quiet. This is not good. I reach out to discover that my husband is not asleep. He’s up! During My Time! On a Thursday, my designated, guilt free writing day. It’s five thirty-five and my husband is not only up, he is playing cards on my laptop with the radio on and no tea made.
I make tea and stand at his shoulder to help him play his game; something which usually annoys him enough to give in. “Do you know what I fancy?” he says without stopping. “Some ginger biscuits.” He moves a card. “And I need more flavoured water.”
“That means going to a supermarket,” I say. We live in the country and the location has many advantages but shopping is not one of them. It means a fourteen-mile round trip. I’m not spoiling him. He has been ill and the fact that he wants to eat anything is cause for celebration.
“You can post your letters while you’re out,” he suggests as if this will make it alright. I have some correspondence to send out for the church.
I head for a bath. Water soothes me and helps me think. I write and rewrite the chapter I’m working on in my head as I wallow in the warm bubbles. I only get out when the water cools and shouldn’t be amazed that it’s now seven fifteen.
The radio is still on although hubby has moved and left my laptop for me. I cannot think with the news on so I quickly dress and rush through the household chores. I have got all day – after shopping.
It is now getting on for ten o’clock and I have eighteen envelopes to address, eighteen letters to fold and enclose and eighteen stamps to place. Of course, the computer has a mad moment as I attempt this. Why on earth it should jump into flight mode without warning me is beyond belief.
It then occurs to me that I am going to a major supermarket, a place I go without fail on a Friday to do the weekly shop. There’s no point going twice in two days so I make a quick list. By ten fifty-five I am ready.
While I have been busy redirecting flights and making lists the local surgery has phoned my husband with a request. “It’s a good job you’ve decided to go out a day early,” he quips. “You can drop this off …” He hands me a freshly filled sample bottle. “… and make me an appointment while you’re there.” And breathe … I can always start to write after lunch.
After five minutes in the supermarket, I remember why I don’t shop on a Thursday. The aisles are full of the more mature out for their weekly social. I nimbly negotiate the little knots of chattering elderly but it’s twelve forty before I get back into the village and I still need to pick up a prescription.
God is good (ish). He has provided me with a parking space but the prescription isn’t ready. I have no intention of coming back because the space won’t be there. I wait.
I put the shopping away and make lunch. I will not feel guilty for sitting for half an hour because my head is spinning and I’ve got all afternoon. I am about to take my fingers from my sandwich as it settles on the plate when the doorbell sounds. Oh goody, visitors.
It turns out to be a cousin who can never stop but is usually still here three hours later. Today I’m lucky – I think. The phone goes shortly after she sits with her first cup of tea. It’s another cousin who wants to visit as she’s heard hubby is ill. Could she and spouse come over at three? Fabulous, couldn’t be better. Cousin One decides she’s better out of the way but still waits until the last minute.
Fortunately, Cousin Two and spouse do not stay long and I shut the door behind them after half an hour only to open it for the vicar a few minutes later. He, too, has heard that hubby is ill. He’s barely sat down when the phone rings. It’s the frozen food man to say he will be arriving shortly with our order. Jolly good.
By the time everyone has left and the frozen food has been packed away I realise it’s teatime on my special writing day and the laptop has given up and shut itself down.
It is eight thirty and I am about to reopen the computer when my husband announces that he is very tired and needs helping to bed – and could I make sure he has everything he might need within easy reach?
Nine thirty-five, all is quiet and I am ready to start. I have the corkscrew I just need to decide – red or white?
Anyway, it seemed to go down rather well. Thank you everyone who appreciated it. Oh, if you did, why not try the novel I was trying to write on that Thursday.
The Woman Who Was Not His Wife. Available from me or Amazon.