It’s been a little hectic since you went to London. The window cleaner has broken his arm. He always comes when I haven’t got any cash. Anyway, Monday was quiet.
Tuesday took me out of it. I left at 6.20 hoping to avoid long traffic queues. But it was worse, everybody had the same idea. Who else needs to cross the Pennines?
The dawn showered piercing rays at my windscreen and I couldn’t see a thing. I’d never really noticed how dirty the windscreen was and turned into Speke Retail Park to dig out my sunglasses. The dirt was on the inside.
The direct sun on the windscreen was bad enough, you couldn’t see what was going on around you, but because of the filth I had to drive cautiously to Charnock Richard Service Station.
I rushed into the petrol station and bought a pack of windscreen wipes. They didn’t help, I couldn’t see anything at all through the smears. Should I ring the rescue team on my insurance policy? Ran back into shop, bought two bottles of water and some sponges.
I managed to force the dirt in an archipelago of islands all over the windscreen, leaving me enough spaces in between to see where I was going. It took me half an hour and I made it to Boundary Mill by 9. They only open at 10 and I didn’t find it funny to sit there waiting for a toilet.
The traffic looked heavy. I made it to McDonalds before the rains came. Then I worked my way through the Dales and across Blubberhouses Pass. On the Road down, there was fog as thick as cotton wool all the way to Harrogate.
I was happy to see Geoffrey and it infected him, he seemed happy to see me. He got me a bucket of water and cloth, a clean one, and I attacked the windscreen with renewed hope. This time the gunk vanished with the help of Geoffrey’s magic cloth and I felt a lot safer about driving the thing, being able to see.
Strong cups of coffee and a good exchange of words did us till early evening. Your Lasagne was a block of ice, even though it had been in that steaming hot car all the way from Liverpool, and it was a hot day.
Good job I dropped in at the Asda and picked up a couple of pizzas. Geoffrey put the large one in first and forgot to take it out until it was half its size looking like a charcoal sculpture with red dots stuck on. We thought it was delicious. The second pizza was smaller with meat balls sticking out but got the same treatment, except it was thicker and fought back the heat valiantly. We baptised it ‘the pudding’.
We shared the bottle of wine and enjoyed some of your cake which got funny pleasure sounds from Geoffrey’s munching jaws. His partner lives a safe distance away and always rings when he’s on the toilet. Then he comes rushing down and shouts guiltily ‘I was on the toilet and it’s Johannes.’ He likes cake.
She rang that evening and he handed me the phone. She switched from fortissimo to andante ma non troppo with a touch of allegro mixed in to lighten things up a bit. ‘He’s been quite difficult recently, you know.’ There was a pause. I didn’t have an opinion and after a few ‘ah’s’ and ‘oh’s’ handed the receiver back to Geoffrey.
‘She sometimes rings several times to drive me nuts.’ That was Geoffrey shaking his head; he is patient and understanding and gives vent to his feelings with a kind moan, muttering: ‘Us men, eh? You women, eh?’
I made up the bed and slept till about 4 in the morning. Then I tossed and turned for a couple of hours and went to the toilet. I took a shower and when I stepped out of it I thought I was still in it, the foot basin had expanded over the whole bathroom floor.
I soaked the water up with loo roll, well two loo rolls, but a lot of water was still there when Geoffrey took a look. He laughed and waved his right hand saying not to worry it’ll be dry soon. I could still see it on Thursday morning when I left but the ceiling below didn’t have a damp patch.
At 9.30, Geoffrey was going to chop up trees. He came down and made coffee. We talked till 9.28, shook hands and said goodbye. I drove over to the petrol station at Sainsbury’s and filled up, went inside and got a loaf of bread for later. And there they were, the inhabitants of Harrogate dressed up for the Truman Show, bread under arm I fled.
What happened with the experiments in Geoffrey’s garage and the combustion of the plum-pudding will be reported spontaneously when I’m back in Liverpool.
Take care, stay cheerful and see you when I see you, all things being equal.