My mother once told me never to trust any man from Liverpool. This is the same woman who also advised me never to get into a serious relationship with a plumber because they all cheat. Apologises to every monogamous plumber out there. Whilst I could understand possibly vetoing all men from a particular city, I do think it’s a bit unreasonable to boycott an entire occupational profession. I can only deduce that before she met and married my father, my mother hooked up with a tradesman from Merseyside who had copious amounts of sex, only unfortunately not solely with her. I guess life teaches you to forgive, but you never forget those things. I’m just really thankful she never had a fling with a chef from Malaga because heaven only knows who I’d be sleeping with now if she had.
I’m also grateful that in this wonderful universe of ours opposites do attract. If they didn’t Guido and I wouldn’t stand a cat in hell’s chance of survival. We perfectly fit that profile. Let’s take a for example, and something which should be really simple to illustrate how easy it is to divide us into a two camps. I can do that by typing one simple nine letter word. Christmas.
Guido loves Christmas. He can’t get enough of it. I hate it. If someone could knock me out and cryogennically freeze me in say mid-December, then bring me round with some smelling salts when Big Ben chimes in January, I’d be eternally grateful. Alas that is not to be. And so this morning Guido insisted I take part in that horrible annual ritual which involves getting up very early to go to a stall at Borough Market to pick a Christmas tree together. To celebrate the outing this year Guido wore a red and white fur trimmed cap. It’s the same kind of shape that the seven dwarfs had. It had a bell on the end of it and as we walked along Southwark Street he’d periodically shake his man bun so it appeared to make a dinging noise. Guido thought that was hysterical. I hate to tell you this but it’s at times like that I could quite happily see the man I love being smeared in honey and then tied securely to an anthill.
“I think we should carefully consider the options,” he said in all seriousness, “I’m swaying this year towards a Scotch Pine over a Norwegian Spruce.”
Phew. What a blessed relief that was. The Noble Fir we had last year was a pine needle dropping bald branched disaster area. Our vacuum cleaner’s never been the same again.
As luck would have it the market was empty. That’s because there were no other complete idiots up out of bed at that time on a Sunday morning. Except for us and a man surreptitiously selling trees out the back of his white van. I have to say the trees looked a bit more like they had been uprooted rather than expertly felled but Guido was quite happy to ignore tree species and their origins if he could bag a good bargain. We certainly got a great price. It turned out the guy selling them was actually a plumber (originally from Liverpool) who just happened to enjoy doing a bit of arboreal work at weekends.
I phoned my mother. Her prediction is that the tree will not survive the week.