David remains gripped with his purchasing madness, as though he is in some sort of overactive hunter/gatherer mode, which would be fine if it was not all left for me to deal with.
‘I can’t get an Ocado order for two weeks but I have managed to get a Waitrose one. But you’ll have to go and pick it up’ he says one morning.
I roll my eyes at him as this will involve taking Tom, thankfully though the big two have not yet finished school. We set off for Waitrose and the drive there is eerily quiet. Harrogate is normally awful and it takes so long to get in and out but we are there in the blink of an eye. I collect the order and the lady helps me wheel it to the car as Tom, who is in his buggy, has refused to be strapped in and is standing precariously on the seat roaring at people, he is oddly reminiscent of some sort of ancient charioteer, albeit riding backwards.
‘Has it been busy?’ I ask.
‘It was mad this morning, one man had a trolley full of loo roll and we had to stop him and take some off him but otherwise people have been quite respectful.’
When I unpack the shopping I discover twenty four bars of soap.
‘Why have you ordered so much soap?!’ I say to David later.
‘Ah, I thought I had just ordered six bars, I didn’t realise that they were four packs.’
The downstairs shower has become the storage facility for all our goods, so I stack all the bars of soap in there, amongst loo roll, cleaning products and all the other things David has picked up (read obsessively hoarded) over the last few days.
‘I have ordered a keyboard as my birthday present!’ David announces a few days later ‘It’s arriving tomorrow.’
I am especially peeved by this because I had suggested buying him a keyboard for his birthday last year but, as with all ideas suggested by me, it was pooh-poohed. I have learnt over the course of my married life that to get him to do what I want, I have to drop a tiny seed in David’s mind and allow it to germinate and for him to think that he has come up with the idea himself.
The keyboard arrives the next day, along with a stand and a stool. Three huge boxes are passed over the threshold. The delivery driver’s idea of social distancing is very different to mine and he’s so close that at one point he could kiss me, but in fairness the whole lot is so heavy that there is no other way really of getting it into the house.
Up until this point I have been disinfecting everything that has come into the house but there isn’t a chance with this, as the boys, who have been hopping up and down excitedly behind me immediately throw themselves on the boxes and I’m fairly sure Tom licks one so I resign myself to the fact that we’re all going to get Covid-19.
The next day, the Ocado delivery arrives. David is very proud of this because he has managed to procure one of the prized slots due to him having received an email telling him that he is one of their top customers.
‘There is quite a lot coming’ he says ‘I have spent about half of the monthly food budget so it is a lot but then we’re covered and we just don’t have to go out. Plus I will be here to help you when the delivery arrives.’
Nothing prepares me for the sheer amount that arrives. I stand in the middle of my kitchen smiling apologetically as the Ocado man piles in bag after bag after bag.
‘Sorry. This is my husband, not me’ I say, desperate for him not to think that I am one of the loo roll hoarding panic buyers. I can tell that he doesn’t believe me as two large bundles of loo roll land on the kitchen floor. David is nowhere to be seen, predictably having had to dash off upstairs and take a phone call as all this is going on. He appears, conveniently, about thirty seconds after the delivery man leaves.
‘Oh good! It all came!’ he says happily ‘I didn’t think it would! Well, I’ve got to go to work now.’ He flashes me a large grin as if to say ‘didn’t I do well?’ as he exits the door and the children dive into the bags pulling out hula hoops, pancakes, biscuits, apple juice and all sorts of other things that stingy Mummy doesn’t buy on the normal weekly shop. No wonder it cost so bloody much, half the monthly budget blown on sugar. Tom espies the pain au chocolat and begins howling ‘PAIN AU CHOCOLAT MUMMY! I HAVE ONE NOW MUMMY! NOW NOW NOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!!!!!’
I shake my fist and gnash my teeth at the general direction David has disappeared in but then I do uncover a bottle of gin, four packs of tonic water and some very nice bottles of wine so he redeems himself slightly though I am worried that we will come out of this lockdown as diabetic alcoholics.
Hours later (no I’m not exaggerating) I have finally unpacked everything, though given there is absolutely no storage in our house, I have mainly unpacked everything into a large empty cardboard box on the kitchen floor where it has all lived since.
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that he cares and looks after us and simply will not see us go without but I can’t help but wonder what David’s plans are for seven tins of coconut milk, thirty-six tins of tomatoes and a mountain of crisps.