Friday, August 31, 2018

In which I contemplate the future assisted by a guest blogger

Me first, and then Dave...

Yesterday morning Dave walked into the bedroom at 6.15 a.m. and said 'I'm glad you're awake. I want you to help me find my keys. I've looked everywhere. I'm really worried!'

Dave's inability to find his keys is legend. He is not the tidiest person (ahem) so I thought OK, better get up and get this over with and then I can get my Yorkshire tea and come back to bed and drink it in peace.

So I got up and looked everywhere obvious. No joy. I looked in places not obvious. Still no joy.

We verbally retraced his steps of the previous teatime when he'd arrived home on his bike from an optician's appointment in a village 11 miles away. Was the front door locked so he'd need his keys? or had he walked straight in? Neither of us was sure. 

Having searched and fussed again for another five minutes, the theory was that either his keys were in the optician's car park for some reason, because he'd felt hassled when he'd finished his appointment, or they had fallen out of his shoulder bag on the journey home. 

He was going to look for them and couldn't wait for me to get washed and dressed, so I hastily pulled on my jeans, and a jumper over my pyjama top and took my mug of tea with me in the car. Dave set off, and I kept my eyes glued to the kerb of the far side of the road for eleven miles. The keys have a bright green lanyard attached to them which I had always thought excessive, but now was secretly pleased about.  

But we did not find the keys. 

It was 6.45 by now and we'd arrived at the car park outside the doctor, optician, physio, dentist and gym. The keys were not in sight, and I went in the gym to leave Dave's name and phone number in case someone handed them in. Then we drove home and I scanned the roadside again for eleven miles. No keys.

After breakfast I phoned the optician, doctor, etc, and left name and number and details of the keys. Then I shopped and baked a lemon drizzle cake because Zoe was coming over for the day with the boys (the fabulous grandsons I am no longer allowed to picture on the blog, let alone name). Half an hour before they were due, Dave set off on his bike to the optician's, to retrace his journey one last time, to make absolutely sure the keys were not to be found. I thought this was a waste of time. Hadn't I already looked on the road twice? Didn't he trust me?

I carried on faffing in the kitchen and opened the dresser drawer to get out a clean tea towel and guess what? There were the keys. WTF were the keys doing in the tea towel drawer? There is a hook for the keys. Why would ANYONE put the keys in the drawer that contains tea towels and dishcloths and nothing else except a secret stash of barley sugars (ahem)? The keys have never ever seen the inside of that drawer before. Believe me, it is as strange a place to put the keys as the cat's litter tray.

Zoe and the boys arrived and I told them the tale. The fabulous grandsons were amused. Zoe's expression was more complex as she contemplated the implications. I asked the younger FB if he thought Dave would be cross or relieved. He said 'I have never seen Dave angry. Does Dave get angry? If Dave gets angry I'll have to change my view of him.'

'Yes, he gets angry,' I said, 'but not very often. I think he'll be relieved. Also, he got in another bike ride today and he didn't think he would because you were coming.' 

Dave arrived home, and his only obvious emotion was relief. It wasn't just expressed relief about the keys, it was silent relief that he was not responsible, because we both knew - without even saying it - who had absentmindedly put the keys in the drawer and it wasn't him and it wasn't the cat. We knew it was me, because I am the only one who is tidy and PUTS THINGS AWAY.

This, dear readers, is the future.

As a special bonus, Dave has given his account of the saga. Hold onto your hats...

There is always something a bit cock-eyed about Thursdays.

No real surprise then to find us out just after dawn yesterday, Sue in pyjamas clutching a cup of tea, and me at the wheel, furrowed but determined, both with eyes glued to the kerb between here and the opticians where things went wrong.

Things had not begun well. I got up around 0400 as usual, messed about a bit, and then set out to feed the zoo next door while its owners are basking in Wales. I could not get out of the house. My keys were nowhere to be found, and I am the world’s-worst looker-for-lost-items. But no, they were not there: not on the hooks marked “keys” where they occasionally live. And not in any recent pockets. Not in any piles of washing, or tossed into the porch. They were not there, and the large green can’t-lose-me lanyard was not there either.

I roused Sue, who camps on the borders of coma most of the morning, ready to slip across at a moment’s notice. Nothing short of a cattle prod gets her going before 1030 at the earliest, and she isn’t even interested in the latest astronomical news until late morning. In short, she is virtually dead before noon.

But she recognised the keyless panic, and boldly got up in the faint light to hunt for the keys. It did not take long to decide that the keys were not there. I mean, really not there, as in lost, and not as in ‘you will have left them in your pockets’.

Cut to Wednesday. I had an appointment at the opticians, 10 miles away, but Paul at the garage suddenly needed the car to ease it gently towards scraping through its MOT, which it failed last week. So I set off on the bike in the sunshine, with bag full of useful things like keys and bike locks slung over one shoulder.

All good. A bit of a palaver at the opticians, and I came out after a couple of hours slightly dazed and pre-occupied. I unlocked the bike (so the keys were there) and cycled off. I had meant to go the long way home to get a decent ride, but it was late and I headed for home, making a short detour to add a few miles.

That was the last known sighting of the keys.

So back to Thursday and the pyjamas. We retraced my exact route, all eagle-eyed and keen as mustard. Sue was even awake. Nothing. Zilch. No keys.

The family was coming on Thursday, and I was detailed to construct more medieval weaponry with grandson minor. But before they arrived, I felt that speeding in the car had not done the job, and I needed to ride the route on the bike to get a slower and closer view. I set off, and did the trip, but disappointingly, no keys leapt from the verge or anything else.

On the last hill before home, I was surprised to be overtaken by my car, with S at the wheel, and grandson minor bellowing something out of the window with his usual grin.

Meeting them on the drive minutes later I began to explain the abject failure, but was interrupted by Sue who said that the keys had turned up. Calloo, callay. The keys had turned up.

But where had they been hiding ? In the tea-towel drawer.

What you need to know here is that only tea-towels live in the tea-towel drawer, and over a period of 22 years living here, no key has ever seen the inside of that drawer. And I go into the drawer only when I have made oatcakes and need a clean tea-towel to drape professionally over the cooling batch. No, I have no clue why I do it.

Later, much later, with no intervening accusations as this is a no-blame zone at least in theory, S wondered aloud why and how she had put them in the drawer as she would not usually do that.

And it remains, dear reader, a mystery. And for the moment, the keys remain safely on the hooks. I feel like patting them smilingly every time I go past.

Is this what the future will look like ?


Maureen said...

Brilliant to hear Dave’s own account of it after hearing so much about him in your blogs...and he gets up at 4am...kudos to him...Mx

Sue Hepworth said...

Yes, I’m so pleased he let me post it. He’s so funny!

Anonymous said...

Oh I miss Dave’s blog so much. Great post.

Anonymous said...

How I do love you both!

Sue Hepworth said...

Well, that made my day! ❤️🎉💐

Christine said...

I love this!

Sue Hepworth said...

So glad, Chrissie. X