I share with you J's bedside table Those who know him realise one book is inspirational The other autobiographical
Ladies and Gentlemen. I give you a photo of J's bedside table:
I feel this tells you a lot about him.
The books? One autobiographical. One aspirational.
Which is which?
Well, let me just say that J is a little bit Dutch.
We have many Dutch friends. They are fun. They are uncomplicated. They are very direct. They are also very frugal.
I am, I realise, stereotyping an entire nation with that comment. Which is wrong of me. I apologise. It's just that quite a few Dutch people we know do conform to it.
I actually know of one British couple who went to stay in Holland with mutual friends for a weekend. At the end of the weekend the Dutch friends sat down and produced the supermarket shopping receipt for the weekend's food. They went through it dividing up what everyone had eaten in order that their British friends could contribute their fair share.
No, really, I'm not joking!
I think I also need only remind you of his response to our three year old daughter and my last shopping trip (pictured right) to explain how we are encouraged to be as frugal as possible.
Indeed, now I am forced to be parsimonious, as the credit card is a banned item. Not unlike much acclaimed literature in various dictatorships throughout history.
The other book?
Well, let me just recount a conversation from Saturday morning.
In a loving manner I offered to sit on J's knee while he told me about his proposals for the day's activities.
"No thanks, that would be like receiving a lap dance from a Space Hopper!"
Unkind don't you think? Oh, how he guffawed at that!
People in glass houses, J. People in glass houses!
The range of pens attest to the fact that J will wake at unearthly hours of the night and start writing himself lists of things to do. He is the most conscientious, hard working person I have ever come across.
Similarly, the alarm clock confirms for you that usually he is up before I am. It may also confirm for you his control-freakery which requires he knows what time it is and I do not. I leave you to make up your own mind as to whether this is likely or not.
Finally, the drink and kitchen roll. Neither for J. Both for provision to our children who, invariably, gravitate to his side of the bed when they wake at night. Coming around to me only if I am wakened before they reach J and can encourage them not to disturb him.
You see, my husband is truly the kindest. The most caring. The most wonderfully sensitive person I've ever met.
It's no surprise he needs those items on his side of the bed.
No doubt, having read this, I will be berated by J for having written about him in my 'sordid online journal' as he calls this blog.
In the interests of fairness I have given him full right of reply. A right he has chosen not to exercise.
Equally, in the interests of fairness, I will be taking a photo of my bedside table for you to scrutinise.
I just need to go tidy it up a bit first.