Monday, 21 June 2010
Wifely compassion - an historical overview
The suburban foxes are back (see this blog, passim). Only now there are more of them - we saw a vixen and two cubs playing merrily in our garden at twilight the other evening (it was an elaborate game called "first one to dig up and savage a plant with an expensive-looking garden centre price tag gets to crap in Guthlac's sand-pit!"). They also started excavating a seven-room luxury earth under our decking.
It was therefore only a matter of time before Mrs Byard politely ordered me to "fox-proof" the decking by wedging bricks into gaps and adding an extra plank to cover the long gap at the front. While simultaneously "minding Guthlac". Trust me, the mixture of hammers, nails, planks and an inventive two-year-old is not what one, as a male, wishes to have imposed on him for multi-tasking after a hard day at work.
Anyway, I gamely set about the impossible task. Guthlac was surprisingly keen to help, and while I was lying prone on the decking trying to wrestle the plank into position, he picked up a hammer which shortly afterwards came into sharp contact with my head. For a moment, I was unable to restrain my natural eloquence, upon which Mrs Byard took his side, helpfully explaining that "He was just holding the hammer and you nudged it with your head!"
One wonders whether Marie Antoinette scolded Louis XVI for nudging le guillotine with his neck and thus spilling blood on his new shirt; or whether Alexandra's last words to Nicholas in the dank Yekaterinburg cellar were an admonition to stop nudging the unwashed Bolsheviks' bullets. Did Archduchess Sophie turn to Franz-Ferdinand as Gavrilo Princip stood and fired and say "That's what you get for nudging Serbia"?
Probably not. But then, they had servants to fox-proof their gardens. It's alright for some...