There was a TV programme where the main character always referred to his wife as ‘Er Indoors. As far as I can remember, we never actually saw his Other Half, being as she was always, well, Indoors.
I’ve been reflecting on the fact that my life is increasingly being lived indoors, as my poor Mr B’s failing health makes it difficult to leave him for very long
at a time without someone willing to pop in to make sure he is okay, cook him lunch or just keep him company. I am lucky enough to have many lovely family, friends and neighbours, ready, willing and able to call on to enable me to enjoy special outings (our
forthcoming Jolly Girls Outing being a prime example) - but, blessed as I am, from day to ordinary day it’s mostly down to Yours Truly.
As the days start
warming up with the welcome arrival of Spring, the garden will come into play - the garden being as near as you can get to being Outdoors but Indoors, if you know what I mean. Till then, I need to fill each Indoors Day with rewarding activity. Did one of you
mention housework? Really, does anyone ever go to bed thinking: “What a lovely day I have had, doing housework - and tomorrow, lucky me, I’ll be able to get up and do it all over again!” If you are that Person in a Million, I do apologise
and you can visit me to do my housework any day you like.
Anyway, I am rethinking how to make the most of A Life Indoors and I am arriving at some Most Interesting
In a book I am currently reading, one of the characters spends every Friday afternoon baking. Okay, she might not be the best role model as
she gets stabbed to death on the Metro in the first chapter but let’s set that minor matter to one side, for the moment. I also recognise that I am no Domestic Goddess, á la the Delicious Nigella, but I have always found the act of baking rather
comforting, even therapeutic. Why shouldn’t I create a regular Friday afternoon pastime for myself? Mr B will be delighted and I, as you all know, am Always Thinking of My Stomach.
I started yesterday afternoon cooking what my dear Mum always used to call “Maiden’s Prayers.” No, I have absolutely no idea why they were so named; I tried googling it but the only recipe I could come up with involved
gin and Cointreau. Yes, indeed, I was tempted - but only for a brief moment. I taught all my Foursome to cook Maiden’s Prayers, only now, in retrospect, wondering if I might have taught them to cook something more useful, dishes which would serve them
well as they became adults with families to feed. Ah, well, je regrette rien. As somebody once said. Or, even, sang.
Next Friday afternoon, I am going to try my
hand at recreating my Mum’s famous ginger cake, having found a scrap of paper on which the recipe is written in her own, beautiful handwriting. It will be a Labour of Love. It is true that the woman in the book whose Friday baking habit gave me the idea
used to make whole batches of cakes and biscuits which she then dispensed to the poor and needy. This is an extremely worthy idea but I am not totally convinced that my baking skills are good enough yet for the results to be inflicted on others. However practice
makes perfect, don’t you know?
My other Indoor Activity is one I’ve been meaning to take up ever since I retired over five years ago - scrapbooking.
People even gave me helpful books to get me started. Now with Time Indoors on my hand, I am well away. I have almost finished a scrapbook of our Golden Wedding (only twenty months late) and am up to date with another volume detailing The Story of the Jolly
Girls to date. I am going to take the latter on our Jolly Girls Outing next weekend so that everyone can see it and (hopefully) marvel at my skill. Mr B thinks I am mad, given that the scrapbook in question is pretty large and I will need to carry it on the
train, to lunch, to the theatre and back again. He is probably right (he usually is on such matters) but I can be stubborn like that.
Ah, yes, the original ‘Er
Indoors was the wife of one, Arthur Daley of Minder fame and the unspoken inference was that she was a fierce and formidable woman.