I have only just emerged, bleary-eyed, from my bed and I’m filling the kettle - always the First Task of the Day - when I spot that Mr Sky Man has drawn up outside in his unmissable van. He is, shall we say, a trifle
Chris, for it is he, apologises for being early - though in a cheery tone that rather suggests we should be thrilled to see him, whatever time he
arrives, but especially when he is early. We should have been Number 2 on his list, he explains, but the poor unfortunate person who was Top Of The List has had to go to hospital. I express sympathy for the Unknown Person whose place we have taken, even as
I wake up Mr B, still slumbering in his armchair, and pull back the curtains to welcome the day. The day looks surprised to see me up so early but, despite the way our whole house was rocked by the Windy Millers throughout most of the night, the World Outside
appears surprisingly unaffected. At least as far as my (bleary) eyes can see.
By this time I am sufficiently awake to contemplate the advantages of having an early
caller. With an important lunch date in my diary, I had been wondering how Mr B would cope with letting Mr Sky Man in, should he arrive in my absence - now I will be able to head off into town at 11.45 a.m. without worrying. In just a little over an hour we
have a new router, a new Sky Box, a new satellite dish fixed up outside on the garage wall, a new WiFi Network and a new password. I trust you are impressed with my command of technological language.
Chris sits down next to me to take me through the main features of our new box and how to make the remote control do my bidding. Mr B, who as everyone knows is In Charge Of All Remote Controls in our house, looks more than
a little miffed. Chris has to go over the whole performance again, for Mr B’s benefit. Before Chris leaves, he writes his mobile phone number on the Quick Guide he has left us and tells me that he can be at my beck and call any time I need him over the
next thirty days.
Well, to be fair, that is a bit of an exaggeration on my part. What he actually says is that, if I am experiencing any problems, I should first
access the on-screen “Help” function. Only if All Else Fails, should I ring his number. I try to remember which buttons to press in order to bring up the list of helpful hints. I don’t like to admit that I have forgotten his verbal instructions
Chris leaves, peeling off the disposable blue slippers he had thoughtfully worn over his boots so that he didn’t bring mud from outside inside.
He tells us to “have a play” and hopes Mr B will enjoy watching The Ashes on TV. I notice that Mr B is frowning with concentration as he points the control in the general direction of the screen. He doesn’t look as if he is playing to me;
it’s all deadly serious.
My whole morning has been turned upside down. It’s nearly ten o’clock and I’m still in my dressing gown and I
haven’t had my breakfast yet. Is it worth munching my way through a bowl of cereal at this late hour, when I am going to be sitting down to a restaurant meal not so very much later? Creature of habit that I am, I help myself to a bowl of Special K because
otherwise I know I will arrive at the afternoon, wondering whether I’ve missed out on morning.
On my way to the restaurant (we are eating at “Food”
- I do like an eaterie that does what it says on the tin, don’t you?) I pass a mobile butcher’s van from which a cheeky chappie is endeavouring to persuade passers-by of the exceptional value of his meat. “Get more for your bucks!”
he exhorts me, waving a couple of lamb chops at me. “They should put me in charge of the Brexit negotiations!” he adds.
I rather think Mr Lamb
Chops and Mr Sky would make a great team at any negotiating table.
You’d have to get up very early to steal a march on either of them.