This morning was too horrible to contemplate. Mark was off to Monaco for a “work trip” – one of those work trips that involve his friends, and a boat show, and some unspecified nighttime entertainment. I was not best pleased, but thought I may get leverage out of this in some way (short break to NY, weekend in Paris maybe?) and you know, it seemed kind and grownup to let him go. And so last night he was pacing the flat, going from room to room, kind of packing, kind of hinting I should help, kind of digressing from the packing task by deciding that now was the time to a) assemble the new pushchair; and b) search the flat for random euro coins (which netted the man about 57 whole euro cents). So after this painful-to-watch performance, he went to bed early as the flight from Gatwick was taking off at 6:15am – which means getting to the airport at 5:15, leaving the house in the middle of the night, etc, etc.
So he didn’t sleep, and nor did I, because he was waiting for the alarm, and I was waiting for him to hurry up and leave and give me the whole bed. So at 3ish he was up, doing a bit of banging around, standing on sharp toys and walking quite purposefully from one end of the flat to another. And then he was gone.
4:44am the phone goes. And goes. Charlotte, Houseguest with Extras, was in the front room but was emerging from a dream where a big loud ringing noise was taking the form of a shape which was entering and reentering her head and so I finally got up to answer it. And OF COURSE it was Mark, and OF COURSE he was at Gatwick without his passport because he forgot it. So I was all sleepy-tongued and cranky and a bit sweary and finding it all a bit hard to follow, but apparently he was wanting me to ring a taxi company and get them to drive it out there. And so I grumpily hung up, found a cab company who said they would pick the passport up in 3 minutes for the princely sum of £94, and waited in the half dark for them to come.
5:00am I noticed that it had been about ten minutes and no one had called or texted or clumped down our stairs – then realised my phone was in the bedroom, where there is no reception. I decided to go outside and check for the cab and as I surfaced into the dawny day I saw an Addison Cab drive off slowly. I ran and ran and yelled desperate, desperate things but it got to the end of the street, turned the corner and left, without Mark’s passport and without our £94.
5:10 I rang Addison Cab and yelled at a woman because even though the cab was about three streets away, it would take another 25 minutes for a new cab to come. Mysteriously, the price had shrunk to £76 for the same task, but this did not make me happier; rather, I was angry and a bit mad-eyed and spittle-driven.
5:15am Mark called to say it is better that the cab has gone as he could never have made it in time. He decided to get another flight in the afternoon, leaving his mates to go on without him. I tell him I do not feel sorry for him and he is a big eejit. I go back to bed.
6:08am the children all come into my room to show me their money boxes and spiky action figures and to give me a whiff of their nighttime emissions. I groan and get up.
6:20 Mark comes home, embarrassed. But not too embarrassed to put himself to bed for three hours.
It was long and ugly and frankly the only way to get past the pain is to rifle through the cupboards looking for chocolate. I am hoping for a prada bag as some form of redress, but am aware that all I am likely to get is two days worth of dirty washing.
So here is a photo of Custard, eating raisin and hazelnut flute and drinking a fluffy at Le Pain Quotidien. Small pleasures will get us all through.