Two years after we’d gotten married, my beloved and I were living in a Barratt built bungalow to the north of Leicester. It was a two-bedroomed bungalow, though I used the second bedroom as a dining room. This meant we gave guests our double-bed and slept in the lounge or, in the case of my youngest sister Jane, she slept on a put-u-up in the lounge.
When my beloved and I got married, I was still at university. We bought a one-bedroomed maisonette in Leicester, from whence I commuted to University at Loughborough, which 18 months later we sold to our upstairs’ neighbour. We moved across town to a new Barratt development of bungalows and town houses, next to a squash club and small shopping centre, which was a much easier commute for both of us.
My youngest sister Jane has always adored my beloved and was a fairly frequent week-end visitor. We’d driven into Leicester to pick up some Apple Strudel for Saturday evening’s dessert from an excellent patisserie called Elizabeth’s, which is probably no longer there. My beloved dropped me off with just enough money to buy the strudel and said he’d pick me up from the nearby taxi rank.
Leicester used to have, and probably still does, a complicated one-way system so I wasn’t unduly disturbed not to finding him waiting for me at the taxi rank. 45 minutes later – remember this is in the late 70s, well before the advent of mobiles – when I was cold and cursing him under my breathe, my sister popped up. They’d been waiting for me in the slip road behind the taxi rank and I hadn’t seen them, nor had they seen me, because they were behind a coach!
I got into the car and my beloved called me a silly cow for not waiting in the right place. I was swift to point out that if anyone was in the wrong place, it wasn’t me and smashed the apple strudel into his face. There was what might be called a pregnant pause then my sister in the back seat, said: “So, no dessert!”
My beloved had been wearing a beige coloured anorak at the time of the apple strudel attack which I took into our local dry cleaners to have cleaned. On collecting it, the owner asked me how it came to be covered in apple strudel. I admitted that I’d thrown it at him and the owner said: “That’s what the wife thought!”
I’ve never thrown anything more at my beloved largely because it was such a colossal waste of a lovely dessert. Similarly, he’s never again called me rude names. Also, I now never leave the car without my coat, handbag and the house keys. You could say that we both learnt a powerful lesson that day.