I have always been of the opinion that timing is everything, and I don’t mean in some weird or rude way. I mean…if you judge the ‘atmosphere’ and the ‘feel’ of a situation your requests are usually granted. Richard has not learnt this.
He walked in from work at 2.00 pm, and verbally ploughed straight in, while I stood at the kitchen sink washing my mobile that had fallen out of my top pocket and into my home-made, butternut squash and chilli soup. This was not a good time. The timing was wrong!
“Could you do me a favour,” he said, not even bothering to ask why I was washing my mobile.
“Bit busy,” I hissed.
“You know my BMW (motorbike) I need to take it to have it serviced and I wondered if -”
“Yes!” I cut in.
“If you would – ”
“Follow you halfway round the country and bring you back.”
“Yeah…and then – ”
“Yes!” I cut in again. “Take you back to pick it up.”
He glanced at the mobile and left the kitchen.
Ten minutes later and he was back. I now had the sim card out of my mobile and trying to dry it.
“Do you think if I set the satnav you could find your own way there and then I could scoot on ahead and have a chat with the bloke.”
See! Pushing his luck. Timing so wrong. I rammed the sim card in and pinned him straight between the eyes.
“I think if you “scoot” on ahead you can sodding well “scoot” to the taxi rank and get one home!”
“Oh…OK…well I’ll just follow you then.”
“Probably best if I follow you, seeing as it’s you who knows where he’s going?”
“Ah, yes,” he said frowning. “Why is your mobile orange?”
I can’t tell you my comment.
We set off Friday, Richard in front on his bike, me following in the car. Three minutes on the M1 and a motorbike overtook me, and then another, and then another, all pulling in front of the car…. The tenth bike rode at the side of me for a bit, the rider glancing over, winking and giving a thumbs up. I noticed he was riding one of those Harley things… with the handlebars three feet above his head. He brummed off and joined the other nine bikes ahead of me… and behind Richard. Obviously it was one of those motorbike-club things. Probably on their way up to Matlock, where they all park in the main street and stand around in biking leathers comparing dip sticks or something?
Others followed and I found myself and my little WV UP part of a convoy, racing up the M1. Richard meanwhile, was like the proverbial pig in clover, riding ahead of the group like Champion The Frigging Wonder Horse, leading his herd of mavericks across the Texas plains. I don’t know if they have mavericks in Texas, but it was my vision and I am allowed to visualise my vision my way.
I didn’t have the slightest idea where I was going, but there was a motorbike in front (15 in fact) so I just followed the convoy. Eventually, the entourage left-wheeled off the motorway and I followed. Up ahead I could see Richard had pulled over and his little herd of scabby ponies galloped off towards the distant horizon, each biker nodding at him as they passed. God! You would have thought that he was Moses leading his people to the Promised Land, the Ten Commandments tucked firmly into his panniers. I pulled up behind him and he was grinning from ear to ear.
‘Did you see that lot?’ he muffled from under his helmet.
‘No, Richard, I didn’t see fifteen sound-barrier-splitting bikes go past me! Of course I did you idiot!’ He likes being called an idiot. He considers it a term of endearment.
‘Ah, OK, I bet they were going to Matlock to…’
‘Yes, I know why they were going to Matlock, Richard, so that they could play bikes and compare the ideal depth of tyre treads!’
He scurried back on board his hot machine and slowly pulled away. He knows when he’s beaten.
The following day we repeated the journey, but without the Hell’s Angel convoy. I’d asked Richard if he was sure that the bike would be ready. He said it would. I said I thought he should ring to check. He said it would be ready. When we got there the motorbike guru was still working on it. It wasn’t ready. Richard shuffled up to the car and announced sheepishly that it would be a while yet and did I want to wait or attempt to find my own way home…
Having refused to listen to all his attempts at telling me how to access the M1 from the middle of nowhere, I bid him farewell, and took off. How hard could it be? I was north, I needed the M1 south.
It was incredibly hard finding the M1! Road works, idiots pulling in front of me, and all that stuff, made it very difficult to follow the painted bits on the road and the overhead thingy’s, but I did, and I made it home alive… with tachycardia and fifty more worry lines across my forehead. There was a point at which I thought I’d made a horrendous boo boo and was actually heading north to Scotland! That would mean a quick exit off the M1 and a hundred mile trip across country to get back…and it was already chicken-corning time!
When Richard finally arrived back, I was slobbed-out on the sofa, watching The Chase, and looking cool. He tested the atmosphere with a nervous grin and said, ‘OK? Any problems?’
‘No, none,’ I said, returning his smile.
He stood for a minute or two, leaning on the door frame, and I could see the admiration all over his face.
‘You know… you make out you can’t find your own way, and then you access the M1 from that point… which, by the way, is really difficult with all those road works and lane changes. You’re not really incompetent at all, are you. It’s just an act.’
Take care my lovelies x