I decide to take my new car on a test run to the Admiral’s house.
I arrive at my destination and look at the Admiral forlornly. “I’m not sure I like my new car” I say quietly. He is walking up the stairs and stops, turning sharply to look at me, his face full of concern. “I love it!” I exclaim, far too loud.
He laughs all the way up the stairs.
“Why don’t we go for a curry?” I suggest to The Admiral and Queen Vic once she arrives.
We pop along to one of The Admiral’s new haunts. Queen Vic is unimpressed at the change in our usual currying habits, but goes along with it. Grudgingly.
Having been chained to my desk for what feels like an eternity, I am simply delighted to be out. Anywhere. Anywhere is fine by me.
The Admiral tries to guide us towards either popadoms or starters. I remind him that I am out and will be having both.
We order drinks and, on requesting a G&T, I am offered a ‘special’ version of the classic. I accept with such enthusiasm as to startle the waiter slightly. He clearly did not realise how pleased I am to be out. He does now.
Talk turns to the Admiral’s ‘pet’ magpies, of which he now has seven. Such have their numbers grown that he is now ‘forced’ to buy lidl museli for them, as he cannot keep up enough leftovers for so many.
Apparently, it is a delicate balance though. If he puts too much food out for the magpies, it attracts seagulls from miles around to descend upon the garden, frightening away his beloved magpies.
Queen Vic helpfully chips in, “Seagulls are like the gyppos of the bird world aren’t they? It’s like when you put a fridge out, they come from miles around.”
I laugh hysterically.
We finish our meal and the waiter offers us coffees. Again I am tangibly delighted by the suggestion, being out and all, and happily order my staple: a decaf cappuccino.
The waiter returns only minutes later to advise that they have no decaf.
It fails to dampen my spirits and I try for a dessert menu, which he is similarly unable to provide. Unperturbed, I cheerfully sip my water and await the bill.
And what a bill it is!
£99 for a curry for four!
Might I take this moment to advise my southern readers that this is not an acceptable curry bill. Less than five miles outside of Birmingham as we are, one would expect a curry to cost around £40.
That said, one would not usually expect to have two large glasses of Malbec with a curry, as the Admiral had managed. He was clearly also very pleased to be out, but hiding it a little better than I.
After a cup of tea at the Admiral’s house, I swagger towards my new car and jump in.
I notice that there is something spattered down the passenger side windows. I wonder if it is a new kind of foaming screen wash that I had not noticed the foam from.
The Admiral and I take s closer look. It is not just on the windows. It is spattered down the whole passenger side of my brand-new-to-me-just-waxed car. Despite my CSI inclinations, I manage to stop myself short of tasting the offending spatter. However, a sniff test reveals that it is Chinese curry sauce.
‘Well I never’ I think, politely.
I pull my curry coated car onto the Admiral’s drive and spend a delightful 15 minutes washing it, before heading on my way, glad that I will soon no longer be out, and that the trials and tribulations of my day will be over.
Being a lady, it could be expected that I might be prone to girlish behaviour. Taking fright at snakes and spiders and calling the AA to change tyres for me and the suchlike. Those who know me, however, will know that this is not the case. That I am the girl that catches spiders and releases them. And that once changed a tyre in the pouring rain for a hapless taxi driver.
However, those that know me well also know that I do have one particular phobia. One thing that makes me react with such unreasonable and excessive hysteria and terror as to give the impression of a genuinely life threatening situation.
As I drive down the dual carriageway, only five minutes from the Admiral’s house, I become aware that, upon washing my car on the Admiral’s drive, I neglected to shut the driver’s door and I am not alone.
The daddy long legs flits along the windscreen and across my line of vision, attracted by the headlights.
I perform an extremely safe and routinely executed emergency stop, throwing the car into the nearest space available to pull off the dual carriageway and exiting almost as the car comes screeching to a halt.
I am in luck, there are some youths walking down the road and I commandeer them to assist me in my hour of need. They try to help me but, despite having all of the doors open and pacing the car frantically, trying not to put any part of my body in it, I cannot find the offending tipula paludosa and I release them from my aid.
I spend a jittery five minutes trying to locate my enemy and consider calling the Admiral for assistance, or even English, maybe he could arrange an airstrike?
I eventually accept my reality. I cannot find DLL, it is not emergency worthy enough for an airstrike and I do need to get back in the car in order to get home. I drive home with the constant feeling that it is on me, itching all over and comforted only by singing along loudly to smooth fm.
I arrive home, shave my head, burn my clothes and scrub myself all over with a wire brush, or ‘the catholic treatment’ as I like to call it, and vow never to leave the house again.