Welcome to my cottage – aka the Bates Motel. By Giles Wood
Quite why my wife gets up so early is a mystery. Is it to avoid me? It’s not as if she’s milking cows or churning butter, even as the master hulks heavily in his sack. ‘Admin’ is her reason. From dawn till dusk, she’s on the phone checking that providers – in the forms of service and utility companies – aren’t taking us for a ride. Brisk of tongue, the wife is unafraid to call out frauds – no doubt a lingering trace memory of her Ulster childhood, when her mother made her stand by a window to count the number of sacks the coalman was unloading into the coal house, ‘in case he keeps one for himself’. She was also made to follow the window-cleaner, perched on a ladder outside, from window to window inside – ‘So you can point out any smears he has missed.’ As a result...
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