In about 2005 I discovered, after years of avoiding any sort of academia since I left education, that I actually enjoy writing. This came about only because we had decided to home school our eldest child. As part of his learning challenged him to a story writing contest, we chose three random words and set ourselves a time limit. My husband was the judge and the winner got sweets, so obviously I got my game face on. Of course my husband declared our son the winner, mainly because my grammar was, and still is, atrocious. But, as a result of a silly little contest I discovered my love for writing. Mostly I would write about silly things, like what was on my mind that day, something that annoyed me, or a little observation I had made. I wrote short pieces that I would show my husband and a few friends, on different topics. That’s when I wrote ‘Waiting For Ploddo’, about a slightly over exaggerated version of my husband that I wrote in 2007.
(You can read it below)
Waiting for Ploddo
As much as I hate to admit it the long list beneath the heading ‘skills’ on my husband’s curriculum vitae looks very impressive, but that’s as far as it goes. Since we met eleven years ago, I have seldom seen him use a single one of them. Not one to suffer the drudgery of doing the same thing day in day out, he has become proficient in a plethora of trades, yet he is extremely reluctant to use them when it comes to making our life easier.
In the years after he left school he trained as a car mechanic. With all his skills and experience in this field I am left to wonder why we had to suffer a car which on most days struggled to start, stalled often at traffic lights and eight months after getting a flat Tyre we were still driving on the spare wheel. But of course, a call from a friend asking him to help fit something cool like a turbo charger or Nitrous Oxide cylinder and he’s off in a testosterone charged hurry.
His eventual boredom with changing oil and replacing spark plugs led him to take an electricians course. He’s a very clever man and picked it all up quickly, yet with the correct form of training still I found myself having to make do. Standing in the kitchen watching the kettle boil is not my idea of practical living. The reason for this is that the only spare plug I had in the kitchen had a loose wire causing the kettle to cut out unless the switch was held in at a particular angle. Of course, now that he is a qualified electrician, his expertise told him it was safe for now so not yet important enough to fix, never mind the irritation it caused me.
During the summer he often took gardening work. The extra money was nice but more to the point it’s a change from the usual nine to five. Yet even as I sit here writing this, I am staring out of the window at twenty square meters of mud where there should be twenty square meters of grass.
I understand as I’m sure most people do that chefs don’t always want to cook as I’m sure that builders don’t opt to play Lego with their children the moment they walk through the door. Though the thought still occurs to me that a fireman wouldn’t let his house burn down just because he’s had a hard day nor can I imagine a life guard finding his wife drowning in the bath and then putting off his daring rescue until he’s had a cupper. I agree these maybe the most extreme of examples but for me, listening to him contemplating a drive belt change for almost three years is just as ridiculous. So now, I took it out of his hands and tried it myself.
I opened the tool box, and raised the car bonnet, knowing that curiosity would lead him to watch me through the net curtains where I knew he would be shuffling uncomfortably in his seat. The final straw came as I laid the Haynes manual over the engine and began scratching my frowning forehead, forcing him to yield. A short while later and two cuts to his hands, he’d finished; three years of procrastination solved in minutes. I am beginning to find this method very useful. Strategically choosing half time during the football and with a screwdriver in my hand, I flipped the main switch on the fuse box shutting off all of the electrics in the house.This of course forced him to replace the kitchen plug in record time before the second half began.
My only piece of advice if you are planning to use this method yourself is to make sure he is in the house before you begin. Don’t go to the shed for the sledge hammer and start knocking walls down if he’s not there to run at you shouting about load bearing walls.
The reason I am sharing this with you is that only a few months later I came down very poorly, this was the first time I’d heard the word Lupus which was quickly given as my prognosis. The pain I felt in the beginning was unbearable, so bad that between sleep I was rolling around the bed, I became delusional, having hallucinations and not being able to focus on anything. Between twitching and writhing my husband would lift me from the bed and take me to the toilet, he’d make me sip water, as much as he could before I was either asleep again or just gibbering. All this whilst having to take care of two boisterous little boys.That was when things had changed forever, Ploddo had left the building.
With the initial prognosis I spent some time in hospital having test after test ruling out as much as they could to define the diagnosis. Again he stepped it up spending as much time as he could with me at the hospital without neglecting our sons. I was in no fit state at the time to thank him for all he’d done. In such a short period of time everything landed squarely on his shoulders and he was magnificent. Little did we know that Lupus is a chronic disease with no cure, not only that, unless you’re very lucky over time things inevitably gets worse and they did. Today, almost ten years after diagnosis things are rough for me health wise but I still consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. Although now my husband is my carer we try to keep that separate from being husband and wife, I’ve seen that happen to others and their marriages hardly ever recover. Now I don’t mean to rub this in but my husband has just transformed, becoming more and more magnificent over the years. I wish there was another word that would do him justice but I doubt it. All I can say is Thank you, that by no means covers all he has done and continues to do for me and this family but to my adoring husband, thank you, so much.
Thanks For Reading.