We’ve been minding our two nieces, aged 12 and 9, for the last two weeks while Mrs Tin’s sister was in Oz (no, I mean Australia, I’m not suggesting that she’s the Wicked Witch of the West. Honestly). Anyway, she’s coming home this weekend, so Mrs Tin has taken the nieces down home to Sligo (which, now I come to think of it, is the West). Tingirl has gone with them, and they’re going to stay for a few days, so, like the attendance at a Star Trek convention, the Tinhouse is currently one-hundred-percent male.
So I’m back house-husbanding again. Again I’m discovering that objects that we think are inanimate are actually mischievious bastards with a vicious sense of humour. When I approach the sitting room to collect crockery for the dishwasher one cup will be delegated the task of hiding behind a chair, and when I go to the kitchen it will then climb back onto the centre of the coffee-table to stare accusingly at me when I come back in. (And even as I’m typing this I’ve just noticed a knife on the kitchen table that I’m typing at, though I collected everything up about ten minutes ago). Sometimes I swear I can hear giggling from the dishwasher.
Clouds too play hide and seek, rushing to glower blackly overhead whenever they hear me open the back door with a pile of washing, and then vanishing again as soon as I decide not to leave the clothes out.
In general I’ve a more laid-back approach than last April, when Mrs Tin went to her cousin’s wedding in Barcelona. Then the kids were at school, & I’d to make sure they got up in time, had the right books and clean uniforms, and were fed a comforting and nutritious meal when they came home. In other words, every appliance in the kitchen (washing machine, cooker, fire extinguisher) was on at the same time, all the time.
Now it’s the summer, the Tinsons get up ridiculously late, and then vanish either to their friends’ houses or their rooms. And since there are no girls in the house, there’s no real point in making a big effort with the cooking, since the Tinsons would eat lino if I put it in front of them, as long as it came with chips.
In other words, the pizza shop is going to make a fortune.