I should have known when the husband walked towards out table at the Henley Festival, cautiously juggling a bottle of Rose, four bottles of beer, six glasses and a sealed bowl of olives, that the night was going to be an interesting one. We were there to have a posh dinner with Miss R and her new beau, Lord A, and also to see Will Young.
When they eventually turned up, the husband had polished off three of the four beers, and was having trouble getting the lid off the tub of olives. Introductions were made, and Miss R, surprisingly nervous, managed to finish the bottle of rose, while Lord A drank the last beer, all the time watching the husband as he resorted to using his molars in an attempt to remove the lid. I had to do it for him in the end. It was getting rather embarrassing watching him salivate over the pot.
Dinner was excellent - I should point out that there was a quick pit stop at a gin bar, where a Rhubarb Gin and Ginger Ale was necked by the husband. This was not going to end well for me. As the only one sensible enough to grab driving duties on a Sunday evening, I stuck to the soft drinks, and managed to get the husband's pudding off him, playing the Designated Driver' card. Works every time...
About ten minutes before Mr Young was due to come on stage, Miss R and I decided we needed the loo. Why is it that these places have so few loos, for so many people. Do they expect us to go at home before we come out, and then 'hold on' till we leave? So we caught the beginning of the concert by the skin of our teeth. The husband, probably not Will Young's biggest fan, kept asking me 'What is this song called?' and 'Should I know this one?' A lot of popular culture has passed him by, and when Mr Young sang Evergreen, I turned to him, and told him that this was the song which he'd sung on Pop Idol.
'Pop Idol? Pop Idol?' He kept repeating. 'No, you mean Axe Fector' (he was by now reaching the stage in the evening where the circuits between brain and mouth are on standby).
'No, it was definitely X Factor.'
Well, he wouldn't believe me, so instead of trusting the woman he adores, he decided to ask all those women sitting next to and behind him. As they all agreed with me (naturally) he soon shut up. After the concert, it was time for more beers and a bit of dancing. Miss R, Lord A and the husband spent a most pleasant hour hurling themselves around the dance floor, treading on glasses, handbags and toes. The only good thing about this was that the other people on the dance floor gave us a wide berth which of course gave the husband the room to undertake his famous windmill dance move, something that is not seen too often (thank goodness).
I think that if they hadn't pulled the plug on the disco at 11.30, we'd probably still be there now, but instead, we were back home just after midnight. The husband, thoroughly confused, watched a repeat of Sunday's Grand Prix and fell asleep before Hamilton won... for the second time that day. He'll probably want to watch a repeat of the repeat on Monday.
But my favourite line of the night was spoken by a rather well dressed lady who was looking at a large sculpture.
'Well the trouble is, they take up a lot of room, and don't really do anything...'
Looking at the husband stretched out on the bed in his dinner jacket, I had to agree with her...