18 June 2001
5 February 2014
1 November 2013
6 December 2013
13 March 2013
31 July 2013
Following a death match in the garden with an old and very rooty rose, I have destroyed my lower back. The rose, I am glad to report, is in worse shape, although it will probably now take root on the rubbish heap in revenge.
Since I have been largely confined to the sofa since Friday, the Lawyer has found himself in the interesting position of having to do my job as well as his own. As his finding skills register zero on the Domestic Survivor Scale, I'm careful to keep the remote control within sight at all times, otherwise I'd miss the charming parade of guests on Jenny Jones. I never knew fat American teenagers could wear so little and not be arrested for it.
In the face of this calamity, and unable to do anything out of the pure goodness of his heart (after all, how can you measure the recovery rate on that?) the Lawyer swiftly devised a system of Husband Points, similar to Air Miles but worth, it seems, much more. Husband Points, he explained to me with the aid of a small flowchart, can be exchanged for the things that make husbands' lives worthwhile: nights out with the lads; footy matches; passes out so that he can read the latest John Grisham by the poolside at the gym; and, if he works really hard, golfing weekends in Portugal.
In too much pain to concentrate, and besides, more interested in watching "I'm a cutie but I've got too much bootie" on the television, I waved him away.
Before I knew it, I found he was 10 Husband Points up for preparing the children's meals all weekend, the equivalent of an away footy match. I beat him down four points because the poor loves got beans on toast each time, and Liability eventually asked if Daddy was trying to poison her. By Sunday there was mutiny brewing, and I told Subjudice to ring the local pizza house and go mad.
On Saturday afternoon I staggered to my feet and directed the Lawyer to put in the plants, which were waiting reproachfully in their little pots for me to recover. I felt that the normal advice to soak the rootball and backfill with compost was a touch complicated, and settled for telling him where to dig and plonk. You could practically hear the plants squealing as they were plonked into their new homes, stems leaning at 45 degrees to the ground, their neighbours crushed in the trampling. It was a painful experience for all of us, and I only hope the plants forgive me eventually. Of course, the Lawyer ratcheted up 50 points for that one.
When I enquired about the possibility of Wife Points I learned that, unless I was prepared to spend 12-hour days in the office getting nasty with other law firms, I didn't have much hope of earning any. When I pointed out that I'd be delighted to go back to work, if there wasn't the small task of getting our children into their stroppy teenage phase first, he turned on the lawnmower.
I have decided, however, that Husband Points are fragile things, and can easily be lost, viz: by shedding rubber bands all over the house as if they were hairs; by leaving apple cores and plum pits on the sofa, and thinking that so long as they're resting on a magazine this makes it all right; or by snacking from the fridge and leaving naked bits of cheese all over it.
And so by Sunday evening I had him down to a mere three points. Barely enough for a drink after work.