Of corks and watches

The estate agent told us that we need to make the house look bigger – so our books have all been packed and the book cases dismantled.  The downside of this is that I’ve temporarily forgotten exactly how many books I have and have started buying more.

The bed is actually taking on ‘princess and pea’ dimensions. Rather than an excess of mattresses our bed is slowly rising thinks to the amount of ‘rammel,’ ‘clutter,’ ‘worldly goods,’ ‘essential possessions that I can’t possibly do without,’ ‘stuff that might come in useful’ that have been wedged under there.  On the other hand the double walk in cupboard in the spare bedroom is looking exceedingly spacious.

Hattie and Archie came round last Saturday for a meal.  HWIOO made his chilli con carne.  I think it’s turning into his signature dish – never mind that it was once Heston’s.  Every thing was going swimmingly well until HWIOO tried to open the wine. “This doesn’t look good,” he announced, “A bit on the dry side.  I don’t think its been laid down properly.”  I should add at this point that the bottle was a gift from the Number One Son so HWIOO had been saving it for a special occasion.  Sure enough the cork broke leaving a disc of about five millimetre’s depth jammed at the base of the bottle’s neck.

We both stared at it.  “Typical.”  HWIOO tried jabbing at it with the corkscrew.  “It’ll cork the wine.”

“How about if I get the vacuum cleaner?”

“Good idea.”

So that’s how we were discovered with a Dyson Animal trying to hoover out the cork from the bottle.  Bizarrely the wine started rising but the cork initially refused to budge.  In the end though the cork tipped upwards so that it was wedged in the bottle.

At that point Archie arrived. “Have you got a crochet hook?” he asked.

Hattie and I looked at one another wordlessly.  Have we got knitting needles, crochet hooks, an assortment of specialist needles and pins?  Of course we have!  Them and all the materials you need to make your heart’s desire (what do you think is stored under the bed?). Twenty seconds later Archie, having only raised his eyebrow slightly at the tin full of hooks, was  deciding which gauge crochet hook was ideal for removing corks from bottles – its a 4mm one for future reference.  So there you have it: cork screw, vacuum cleaner, crochet hook. You don’t see that in many restaurants.

That just leaves the watch.  I own a kinetic Seiko watch.  I didn’t realise that it had come off my wrist when I put a bundle of laundry in the washing machine.  It went through the full cycle not once but twice on account of the fact that I forgot I’d done the washing so had to do it again (that’s not going to help my attempt to reduce energy consumption by ten percent).   The hands were still moving when I found it in the washing machine.  And after all that spinning it must have been fully charged.

For a moment I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  The the watch stopped.  I shook it, held it to my ear and shook it again.  Nothing.  Well I suppose that I would stop under similar circumstances.

“Put it in the airing cupboard,”  HWIOO instructed.  “Do you know how expensive that watch was?”

“I didn’t do it on purpose.”

“The Right Little Madam often doesn’t do things on purpose but she still ends up on the naughty step.”


“She makes that noise as well.”

Anyway, the good news is that after two weeks in the airing cupboard drying out, my kinetic watch is back in action.  I also have a very clean strap.


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