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A blog for the bog

April 15, 2013

I promised my husband I would blog today so, now, with 45 minutes to kill on a train, I’m going to give it a go, to see what rambling thoughts enter my brain whilst the countryside between City and Fen whizz by, ushering me home. The problem with blogging on demand is I never know what to write, and what starts out as one thing may very easily turn into something else, quite unintended. I guess I should feel flattered that Mr D likes my writing so much that he feels let down when, upon entering the familiar URL he sees I’ve not written anything new in a while. These disappointed exclamations usually coincide with an extended bowel movement or a Sunday morning hangover (the two are interlinked) for which he requires some light reading, nothing too taxing, the written equivalent of his wife chattering on in the kitchen whilst he’s eBaying whale gusher pumps (I’ll come to this). Besides, he loves identifying himself on these pages and fancies himself a minor celebrity in the world of alexjanedavies, who readers look out for, a bit like the long-suffering Mrs B in Bill Bryson’s recent books and columns, who puts up with her husband’s behaviour with a saintly smile and long-suffering good humour. Of course, the roles are reversed in our particular set up, and my husband is the much-maligned cause of many of my silver hairs and the more vexed of my blogs. Sometimes I think he does certain things just to see if I’ll blog about it.

Take the whale gusher pump for example. For those of you unfamiliar with such a device (firstly, where have you been? And can I come join you?) they are a noisy piece of pumping equipment required on a boat to carry out the function of what is taken for granted in a house – to pump water, either in or out. Boats do not have the luxury of gravity for such purposes and a complex system of pipes, ducts, levers and the rather alarming sounding ‘skin fittings’ are required to allow water in and out of the boat in the desired fashion (unlike for example, a hole, which does the same job but is measurably more dramatic).  At present we have one such electric pump, and a series of manual ones – the electric one brings the water in, the manual ones flush it back out. Which means if you indulge yourself in a generous soak (as generous as a four foot hip bath allows anyway), you are then required to pump the whole lot out by hand ( a good 75 strokes with a strong arm), thus resulting in you working up enough of a sweat to warrant another bath.

Therefore, when planning our new bathroom, which will be helpfully positioned at one end of the boat as opposed to right in the middle of the dining area (just another piece of Dutch logic we’ve never been able to understand), we decided with vehement agreement and an aching forearm that electric pumps were the way forward and an infinite improvement upon the current system. Hence the fevered eBaying for bargains, and the resulting delighted hoots of “I’ve won!” upon each purchase, despite me calmly pointing out that what Mr D has actually done is buy something with money, not win something for free, and that the achievement is even less impressive when it is on a Buy it now listing. “There’s ten in stock” I point out mildly as he runs around the room, arms aloft, t-shirt over his head like a premiership footballer, doing the Mobot. “And one of them’s mine,” is his happy, if muffled, reply.

Mrs Bryson, seriously, if you’re ever in need of a chat, just call.

Apparently we don’t just require one pump for a bathroom that measures six foot square, nor two, but in fact three, for sink, shower and a spare, despite me distinctly remember ‘winning’ another pump in the dim and distant past, to be used for that exact purpose, but which has now gone the way of a bread machine, garlic crusher, a socket set and four decorative ice cream sundae glasses, all lost in the grim recesses of the bilge and/or forecabin, never again to see the light of day. Besides, if it turns up it’s always good to have a spare for the spare, especially at such bargain prices.

For reasons too convoluted to go into here (I’m five minutes from my stop), Mr D’s Ebay account is linked to my email, so whenever he wins an item the victory is relayed to me instantaneously, with a gleeful message from the website’s owners (currently enjoying a nice cruise in the Med on the strength of our PayPal account alone) to tell me what new item of mechanical frippery will shortly be gracing my floor/sofa/bookshelves, leaking its own particular strain of oil on to absorbent surfaces. Having spent the majority of this journey in tunnels (for a flat area of the country, this train does seem to enjoy delving below ground), and thus out of 3G range, I am reluctant to check my emails to see what I have newly acquired on this journey. It may have taken me 45 minutes to produce 900 words, but you can bet your last eBay credit note that I’ll be at least one rusty-piece-of-metal richer by the time I get home. Still, at least if my husband has a new blog to read on the toilet he will have less browsing time on the internet. Job done.

From → Blog

  1. Sue Davies permalink

    Sweetheart, you have my sympathies. I have been married to his father for forty one years and can tell you that it doesn’t get any better…it really, truly doesn’t.

  2. Sue Davies permalink

    AND…do not, I repeat, DO NOT let him persuade you to go to a boat jumble.

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