Legal Widow

The Lawyer has decided that he can’t quite bear to win the “Who’s got the tattiest car in the firm’s carpark?” competition by driving to work in my car, forever changed since Deminimus got hold of a paintbrush and a tin of white gloss foolishly left open in the garage.

He has, however, trumped his colleagues by buying a bus pass, and manages to be legitimately late for work and smug, all at the same time.

Concerned about global warming, he made a New Year’s resolution to be more green (he wants us to retire to Dartmouth, and would like it to still be there by the time we arrive). He was worried that he might have to sit with poor people, but at the time he goes to work the other passengers are mostly lawyers from other firms with tiny carparks and not enough parking passes to go round. Size, of course, matters a great deal.

He was running late one day, and had to share the bus with children from the local comprehensive. It wasn’t the shouting and the bad language which appalled him so much as the fact that some of them were kissing in daylight, something we probably haven’t done since we posed for our wedding pictures. It’s set him thinking seriously about Deminimus’ latest desire, which is to be sent away to a choir school and get to wear big cloaks and knickerbockers.

The new music teacher at his prep school has already called us to say he has “the voice of an angel”, even if none of us have been closer to Wales than the M6. The Lawyer is keen for Deminimus to one day have the recording contract of a child prodigy, and I just hope that if he has to go, he’ll go soon. All he can sing so far is Walking in the air and all the Glorias from Ding dong merrily on high and I’ve had enough.

Perhaps he can take Subjudice with him. She got a lot of make-up for Christmas from aunts who should, frankly, know better, and the whole house is gradually taking on a shimmery silver coating from all the pearlised powders, lipsticks and eyeshadows she slaps on every morning.

I make her wash it off before school, and have had her emptying out her bag before now, but a tub of “Angel Eyes” always makes it through the cordon. You can spot where she and her friends have been applying it on the way to school by the patches of silver and gold dusting on the corners of garden walls, rather as if fairies had alighted there for a moment.

The Lawyer has failed to notice the change, as he fails to notice most things at the moment, as poor Liability has gone down with chickenpox and is wailing all night long.

I have to tape mittens on her hands at night to stop her scratching, and in a poor light she can pass for a small Prince Naseem.

Thanks to Liability, the Lawyer plodded to the bus stop last week and fell asleep on the top deck, only awakening in the fearsome council estates on the other side of the city centre. He had to walk miles to find a taxi, being too scared to ring on people’s doorbells and ask for help. His mobile, alas, was out of action after Liability put it in the washing machine.

I think the bus pass days are numbered – he’ll have to fight me to get the big car back, though – that turbo acceleration makes the school run a pram race.