Once, not long after we had moved to Australia, David asked for a lift to the train station as he was running late that morning.
It was early morning and neither Ruari or I were dressed or breakfasted yet but I agreed, being the accommodating and kind hearted wife that I am. So we hopped in the car and off we went, we dropped David at the train station and returned home. When we got there, I couldn’t find the keys. I looked all over for them, they MUST have slipped down the side of a seat or something but no, they were nowhere to be found and I was absolutely sure that I put them in the well between my seat and the passenger seat. Then suddenly it hit me, like a brick between the eyes and the horror enveloped me; David had picked up the keys as he bolted out the car. I don’t know why it didn’t register at the time, that he’d bogged off with my keys but it just didn’t. I looked for my phone and then it dawned on me that I hadn’t picked up my phone, it was still in the house. We had only been in Australia for about seven weeks or so at this stage, if that and I didn’t know David’s phone number or indeed anybody there. It’s moments like these when you’ve moved your entire life to a completely different land that you realise just how on your own you are. I was stuck in my pyjamas with a baby who needed breakfast (thankfully I had brought his milk) and no money. Panic started to set in.
‘Oh God, what am I going to do? I can’t drive into Perth (which was about thirty minutes away) and turn up at his office in my pyjamas. I’m just going to have to go to the Police station’ I thought and set off for Joondalup.
I parked and got Ruari out of the car, thankfully it was Winter so I had my coat covering my top half but there was no missing my bright pink pyjama bottoms with monkeys riding bananas on. Oh God, the shame.
I walked up to the desk and a young police woman called Lucinda greeted me. I explained the situation to her and asked if it was possible to call my Mother to get my husband’s number so that I could get hold of him, I neglected to inform her that I was calling overseas. She offered me the phone and I tried to call home but the phone had some sort of block on that prevented me making overseas calls. I stood there just thinking ‘SHIT.’
‘Is everything ok?’ asked Lucinda.
‘The phone won’t let me ring overseas so I don’t know how i’m going to get hold of his number.’
‘Do you want to come over to this desk and sit down and we’ll see what we can do?’
I duly followed her over and sat down where she made me explain the entire situation again. She tapped away at her computer and suddenly her eyes lit up and she shifted to sit straighter in her seat.
‘Is this a domestic abuse situation?’ she asked me with, I must say, barely contained GLEE.
‘What?! No! He’s just a wazzock who’s absentmindedly picked up my house keys and gone off to work.’
‘A wazzock; an idiot, a fool. He does stuff like it all the time.’
She visibly deflates. I think she was rather hoping for something interesting to do that could possibly further her career. There is nothing more dangerous than power hungry people in some vague position of power, they get all sorts of ideas and invariably accuse people of things they haven’t done and proceed on mad witch hunts for their own personal gain.
Lucinda turns back to her computer and taps something in again.
‘Where does he work’?
I tell her the name of his company and she turns back to the screen, then picks up the phone and dials.
After a brief conversation she has obtained David’s number!
‘That receptionist shouldn’t have given me that number. She just broke the law.’ she says looking DELIGHTED to have got one over on somebody.
I smile wanly and pick up the phone.
David answers ‘HELLO?! HELLO?!’
‘WHERE ARE YOU?!’
‘I’m at Joondalup police station, where are you?’
‘Home! I realised I had the keys after you’d driven off so I got the bus back! I’m so sorry, I can’t believe I did that!’
I can believe he did it, it is not the first time and it certainly wasn’t the last time he has done this sort of thing. For those of you who read PG Wodehouse, you will know exactly what I mean when I say that my husband is like a modern day Biffy; he is so absent minded, I am amazed he remembers his own name some days. Over the years he has misplaced so many things but his favourite things are keys and phones. Once he left his phone in a taxi in the Netherlands, he called me from the airport to tell me and I had to track the phone using the find my iPhone app and watched it travel from Amsterdam to The Hague. David in the meantime managed to get hold of the taxi driver who, God bless him, returned David’s phone to the hotel he had been staying at in The Hague until his next trip there. It is bizarre to me how somebody who is so good at his job and terribly terribly serious can be so haphazard. Anyway, I digress.
I returned home to a very apologetic husband and I never nipped out in my pyjamas or without my phone ever again.