It was the evening that the definitive, complete, no more fiddling, final, edited version of Dolphin Days was to be uploaded to Amazon Kindle. We had celebrated with a superb bottle of Chateau Lynch Bages and a shared rib-eye steak (which Sir cooks to bleeding perfection). Oh dear, should have known this was a precursor to disaster. Sir takes the last enormous glass of claret towards the coffee table to watch the 10 o’clock news, waves a congratulatory arm to the fairly sober wife at the laptop, and trips. About a pint (magic glasses) of rich red claret describes a graceful Dolphin shaped arc over the sitting room. This is the moment when you press STOP, then REWIND.
Really, the brain is extraordinary and surely no computer could calculate in a fraction of a second:
a) how many rolls of kitchen towel there are in the flat and where,
b) How much the pair of pale blue and turquoise faux silk curtains cost 5 years ago and what they might cost now.
c) Could we cut the carpet 6 feet in and replace it. Oh no. Matching that particular beige would be impossible. How about a pale turquoise carpet? I’ve always wanted one. And just the sitting room, or the entire flat?
d) Instructions for Sir. Kitchen towel. Large bowl of warm water, pile of tea towels, all towels that aren’t white. WHITE WINE. Salt. Bicarbonate of Soda.
e) Where did I find the tips for removing red wine stains from carpet the last time this happened?
f) Why is Sir lying flat on his face flapping like a fish out of water and not getting the WHITE WINE to pour on the red wine? Because he has fallen over and is jammed between the coffee table (which is a large and heavy chest packed with games for the grandchildren) and the sofa.
g) Why is there MORE red wine soaking the carpet under his nose? Because his nose is bleeding like a full bottle of claret lying on it’s side with no cork, and OMG, what is his daily Warfarin dose?
h) Instructions for Sir. Keep tea towel firmly gripped to nose. Do not bleed.
There is a hiatus while I blot, dilute, blot, dilute, blot. Unjam husband from between chest and sofa and get him vertical. Scream for WHITE WINE. He brings large green box with a tap while holding tea towel to nose. I pour contents liberally over the faux silk curtains and about 2 square metres of carpet before looking at the now empty box and reading PERRY.
Do I know Perry? Did I buy it? Is it white wine? Does it take the stain out? No to all of that, but I do know who DID buy it, thinking it was white wine.
More hiatus while I dilute, blot, dilute, blot. We have now run out of all towels, coloured, white or paper, and the bath is full of damp, pinky/Perryish terry.
By Sunday the book is still not uploaded, we have no curtains on the windows as they are laid out damply on the kitchen floor with claret/water/Perry marks all over them. The carpet underlay has stained in an enormous dark brown ring surrounding blood and red wine and we are due to fly to Scotland early tomorrow for three weeks.