If you’ve ever fallen out with someone over something pretty insignificant, you may sympathise with my weekend and smile.
The love of my life has been away a bit lately. Nothing unusual. It just means that there isn’t always time to fill him in on the little details of the previous week. Scanning through a bank statement he wondered about a larger than average amount spent at Laura Ashley. The largest item had turned out to be unsuitable and would be returned, but the other four I was very pleased with.
“I bought some mugs.” I announced.
“Mugs? For £18…?”
Yes, the four mugs did cost £18 in total, but they were in fact half price and had a further 20 per cent off in the sale. Why couldn’t he see they were a bargain?
“But we don’t need any more mugs…”
How can anyone have too may mugs? It was a lost cause – I thought. And these were particularly pretty ones. It wasn’t a decision I was going to regret, but we weren’t going to agree. Not that evening!
The weekend in Devon sped on and what with gardening, window cleaning and a swim in the sea. The mugs had almost been forgotten. We enjoyed a trip to the Dolphin pub and a take away fish and chips with our lovely new neighbours. Still, the mugs kept getting a little mention here and there.
“It would be good to buy a new x… but we can’t now because you’ve spent all the money on mugs…” You know the score.
The morning we were due to leave and just as the final bit of hoovering was being completed ready for our first holiday guests, the door slammed and someone emerged with a very dark look. Surely no mugs had been involved? Whatever it was – the news looked bleak.
The water meter for our house, which is on the main road two fields away, had been checked and it seemed either there was a leak or we were using an incredible amount of water. The lone private water pipe hidden beneath the field of wheat beside the barn suddenly seemed threatening. If it had sprung a leak there would be no way to fix it until after the harvest… What if there was no water for our guests? How would they find the leak? Would our insurance cover us? What if it happened again? How much would it cost?
The journey home was grim. We were both convinced the previous reading two months earlier had been in the 500s, although we didn’t have it with us. The new one registered more than 700 and we felt sure we were clocking up a phenomenal reading. That amount of water was going to be very expensive. We might as well have been filling a swimming pool. Neither of us could see a happy outcome. I didn’t even mention the mugs.
A few hours later we arrived back home and began to unpack. As I reloaded the fridge a joyous face emerged round the kitchen door waving a piece of paper. He’d found the water bill with the last reading at 700 and something! Amazing! What a relief. Time for gin and tonics all round. Neither of us could believe how we’d got in such a mix up over our figures and convinced ourselves of the worst. Everything was looking rosy.
Finally it was time to show off the new mugs… after all what’s £18 between friends?
Sometimes all we need is a little perspective!