Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Cut price Lifestyle and sharp practice
I know I said I only have to finish two jobs before I ice the cake, but thanks to my very unglamorous assistant, I think it is going to be one. Words cannot express the feeling of fury and frustration he has caused in me over the last few weeks, for simply not finishing the only job which stands between me and the Workhouse this Christmas, and what a complete and utter tit I feel for ever believing that he would.
He attempted to deliver the carved urn to me in the dark last night, muttering that there is 'a little cleaning up' to be done to it, but even in the half light of the back of his car I could tell the the cabbages scratched into its side which are supposed to represent roses, bore no resemblance to the ones on the urn he is supposed to be copying.
I had better not say any more for the sake of my blood pressure, but there were some scenes on the road in public last night when I shocked the neighbours by shouting to him that he was a complete waste of FUCKING time. Suffice to say that I am picking up the bloody thing today no matter what state it is in, and if I have to spend the three days finishing it off myself as I suspect I will, then I will be picking up the keys to my workshop at the same time.
I took a few deep breaths, then returned home to tell H.I. the latest news about it, and she helpfully said something like, "I told you so", so I went to the computer to check my emails only to find she had painted the area around it where I naturally rest my hands to type, with a paint which takes about 5 days to dry, especially in the winter. I stick to it as I write this.
It reminded me of how once - when I lived in the country - I returned home to my dark cottage to discover that someone had painted the black doorknob blacker, using a similar paint which takes days to dry. That was somewhere either side of Christmas as well - I know that, because the place was deep in snow.
H.I. - being a Northerner - works herself up into a cleaning frenzy on a regular basis. I, on the other hand - being a slovenly, male Southerner - follow the Quentin Crisp school of household management by sleeping in filthy linen, surrounded by thick layers of slut's wool.
If we had a sandstone doorstep, then H.I. would be out there on her hands and knees, scrubbing it with a brush every Monday, like they used to do in Coronation Street before East Enders was invented.
Despite the fact that only the kids are coming on the 24th, she is starting to behave as if the Queen were popping round for a cup of tea, having given two weeks notice so we can prepare for it.
She told me to get some decent knives and forks for The Boy and his girlfriend, as they are lacking good cutlery, so I took a stroll round the Saturday Market, coming home with the above knives and the wolf skull.
These knives are the posh version of a famous French folding-knife made by a company called Laguiole, and have been made for many years. I spotted them and asked the stall holder how much, and he thought for about a minute before saying £8.
When I took them home, H.I.'s eyes lit up and she picked one up to fondle it. I looked them up on the net and found out two things - that the handles are made of a natural, metamorphosed kaolin rock called Nacrite (and not plastic as I first thought), and that they retail at about £200 for six.
That was that. The Boy and his girl will have to have something else, because these knives are going in our drawer. They can use them for the dinner I am cooking on Christmas Eve, though. We're quite generous like that.