As predicted Dulux thoroughly disgraced herself during her visit. Not only did she paralyse herself with faffing - but - as predicted - she fell asleep and dribbled on my sofa.
I picked her up from Stevenage station where she was negotiating with the ticket clerk over her failure to buy said billet. Giant wheelie case in hand - I enquired if she was planning on staying for a month or more? Tricky as the Donna-da-Lodga would be back soon and she would have to vacate the spare-room - and move to the parcel shelf in room 3.
Indeed prepared for the two nights only - but she 'felt the cold' and had brought her entire skiing wardrobe, jumpers and long johns. And she borrowed a fleece.... All this 'healthy living' has obviously broken her internal thermostat - and she must be in need of a decent sticky suet pudding to reintroduce a ready-brek glow.
Light supper followed by early night - as tomorrow we were to fly.
I roasted a little salmon which we ate with green salad and the like. All terribly abstemious - I had offered a small rib of beef with dauphinouse pots, mountains of fine Hampshire cabbage and some gravy to be washed down with a presumptuous Chateaux Neuf Du Pape. Apparently this represented all of her forbidden food groups - and could have killed her stone dead. Personally I would have preferred that than the self-imposed starvation diet of steamed grass roots and inedible stalks. Better to go like a burning comet than dying by degrees, eh?
We arrived at the aerodrome the next day with her half asleep and me needing tea. I introduced her to one of our more jocose instructors and soon despatched her to play with an aeroplane - in a state of bewilderment. The planes she is used to have jetways, stewardesses and airports attached. They are not towed around a grass strip by a golf buggy driven by an old man who smells strongly of pipe tobacco.
She's a nice lass, but she is prone to asking a lot of insensitive questions - a LOT of questions in a steady stream. This caused some amusement.
Much of the amusement was derived from her demanding to know how many years her flying instructors had been teaching for - and at one point refusing to fly with someone.
This caused hilarity rather than rancour - and a spate of the instructors insisting amongst other things - that they had been flying a week and had the book on how to fly (with the pictures all coloured in neatly too), they had a note from their mum, the charges were dropped last time and that he got away with it last time as he was wearing a parachute and the insurance covered the burial charges.
Despite spending a good half of the day pretending to be asleep in my car at the end of the runway when we all knew she was reading 'Hello!' she flew twice - and even soared for a few minutes on one. How someone can feel airsick though from 6 minutes is beyond me.
I, on the other hand spent the entire time in my flights scrabbling around at 1100 feet in two knots of sink and manfully failing to stay up for more than 7 minutes.
She completed the evening by dining on a particularly tasty roasted prawn and red pepper Provencal with basmati rice and a bottle of Savigny Les Beaune 2005 - which is clearly a grand, grand year - and delicious for a white only two years in the bottle.
A glass of Cremant completed the evening - and allowed her to fall asleep - entirely as seen in my prophecy - on the sofa. Head lovingly nestled on the Dog's arm-rest to commune and share in the sleepy world of dribble.
Her appearance in the morning on the sofa was akin to an old English sheep dog who had fallen asleep in a washing machine. Yet again she was paralysed with faffitude for I had been to the gym (I know, I know - but the body beautiful is paid for in sweat and self denial and I cannot brook the latter) and prepared breakfast before she had emerged into the world, dripping and betoweled from the only shower in the house.
'Sorry dahlink I didn't know you were back…are you being all organised?'
'Yep - and I am turfing you out. I have to be airside by 13.00 and it is quarter to twelve now.'
The rest is fairly tedious and doesn't bear much blogging. Drop off at Station (with attendant fashionista air-kisses), drive through countryside, duty at airfield - radios, clipboards and gliders zipping about the place.
Home for tea and curry.
And time, I think to wash the sofa arm covers again. They are getting a little sticky. As I don’t like the central heating too high I am loathe to warm the house purely to allow my guests and my lodger's doggy dribble to congeal into a brushable crust.