The drawing board

When Guido and I arrived home from Spain last weekend I sat for a moment silently staring around our tiny loft above the café. After a week of Mediterranean sun, open countryside, and sea air, all I could see were red topped London buses dizzily whizzing past our first floor window and an apartment stuffed with the detritus of life. Let me re-phrase that last sentence. All I could see was an apartment stuffed with the detritus of Guido’s life.

Propped up against the back door was Guido’s mountain bike, two broken pumps, muddy running shoes, a ripped chef’s torque hat, weeks of unread copies of the Sunday Times newspaper and a precariously stacked bundle of twenty French cookbooks. They’re printed in French. Despite being unable to actually speak French, Guido remains undaunted. In fact he’ll often pick one out at random and casually thumb through it excitedly in our bed at night. Then drool. It’s what’s they call food porn. Though it’s a little depressing knowing that whilst I lie as seductively as I possibly can next to him, my husband is still more interested in coq au vin.

When we were abroad my architect friend Ruben left a message on our ansaphone. He offered me his old drawing board. I’ve often fantasied about sketching on a proper architect’s drawing board at home, but we’ve never had the space.

“We haven’t got the space,” said Guido when I told him.

“You could padlock your mountain bike downstairs in the courtyard,” I said.

“Well I hope that’s not being written into your blog,” said Guido frowning, “you never know who reads that. On the face of it your readers may appear to be the sort of people who enjoy hearing all about the exciting adventures of two gay men living in South London, but for all you know they could turn out to be unscrupulous locals with big chain cutters.”

I very much doubt the criminal element of Bermondsey wait with baited breath for my next post. But if they do, and they can keep their thieving hands off Guido’s bike, then I’d be more than happy to offer them a vintage copy of, Entertaining Parisian Style. It’s a bit tattered so I’d throw in a couple of second hand bicycle pumps if anyone’s interested?  The offer’s on the table.

On Sunday, the board and paper arrived and battle lines were drawn before even one sketch took place.

On Monday night when I got home Guido had inexplicably scrawled U-BENDERS on it, which turned out to be the name and telephone number of an emergency plumber. Trust me, you don’t want to know.

On Tuesday night when I got home he’d scribbled the words GONE TO FOOTBALL THERE’S AN ENCHILADA IN THE FRIDGE IF YOU’RE INTERESTED? at the bottom corner. Just for the record, I was interested.

Last night when I got home he’d drawn a huge smiley face slap bang in the middle of the board. Underneath he’d written DON’T WORRY I’VE REMEMDERED THE VANILLA CUSTARD FOR FRIDAY NIGHT! Given our history with mayo I predict a very interesting weekend ahead.

But does Guido really think I’m so naïve that I’d consider ditching my drawing board space for his bike just because he’s now promising to drive me insane with uncontrollable desires and passionate urges connected with runny custard?

Yes.

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44 thoughts on “The drawing board

  1. Oh men and their bikes … We have a long history of turf wars in our family. I am greatly outnumbered, but I put my foot down every time all the bits and pumps and helmets start creeping back in – there’s a huge shed for it, but for some reason it all seems to prefer to inhabit the tiny utility room. And don’t get me started on oily fingermarks. I even have evidence of times when I’ve been ill and not just bits but whole bikes have found their way into the front room and the back bedroom! And on a sunny day, when one looks forward to gazing at begonias, bees and butterflies, what do I have to behold? Bikes! In various state of repair, with punctures, bent wheels, torn saddles, broken chains… I have never met Guido, who seems a lovely man, but you have my sympathy… And I agree, Stand Your Ground. Firmly. ☺️

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  2. DO NOT give an inch! clean out some of the clutter too (two broken pumps, muddy running shoes, a ripped chef’s torque hat, weeks of unread copies of the Sunday Times).

    but yeah, I can understand the food porn; yarn porn catalogs arrive at my house and I drool.

    and I won’t be taking guido’s bike, since I live no where near your location.

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  3. Hilarious as usual. I can picture Guido drooling over the french cookbook. Perhaps you should get him a dictionary to go with it. Looking forward to the custard tale. As for the bike, won’t be me if it happens 😀

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    • That message was sent before I was ready! I’m part of an art group which meets Spring and Autumn and it’s the Autumn meet when you are here. I would love to meet a blogger! I missed Daryl from Vancouver when he was here with his husband at Christmas 😦
      I hope that Ireland lived up to your expectations, and that the Queen Mary trip back across the water is fab. I also hope that you will be taking Will to Fortnum and Mason’s for teas whilst you are in town. I expect the Christmas puddings are already on sale…!
      Love to you both.
      JP

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  4. Making room for all your stuff is a major relationship issue. My solution is to trash anything I don’t like. My husband is not amused.

    Coq au Vin: Hah! I’m always going to see a poor neglected you on one side of the bed 🙂

    At the risk of repeating myself, I love your blog 🙂

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  5. Even though my blog lately seems to indicate that I have criminal aspirations I want it to be on record that if the bike goes missing it wasn’t me…even though my initial thought was, ‘Geez it’s got to be easier to break into a bike than a car’.

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  6. Christ, had I known you wanted a architect’s board, id gladly sent you mine for a wedding gift. I never use it these days, but its last use was to style my sky high wigs. My father I’m sure would be rolling in his grave. I really don’t have much use for it these days with interior freelance. vanilla custard? We know how that night will end in bed…………

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  7. Well I think you should buy a bike as well JP, and get yourselves fitted out in some clinging lycra, Red and yellow, as in the Spanish flag, would look very fetching. Or even a tandem!! Then you could peddle along with your nose pressed up against Guidos backside.

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  8. If it is any consolation, you are not alone. A surprising number of people are drawn to coq, sometimes to the detriment of their partners.

    You are also not alone in dealing with clutter. I agree with thejuicenut. Get thee a wall hook for the bike and live in matrimonial harmony.

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  9. I’d at least recycle all those unread copies of the Sunday Times (one a day until they are all gone). Will Guido really miss them? What could he possibly do to you (other than make that custard thick and lumpy) if he’s unhappy with recycling old newspapers? It might even be fun.
    Hope the plumbing problem was sorted out.Was Guido not willing to wear his hardhat and toolbelt this time?

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