All Stories, poems and other writings on this website unless otherwise stated, are the copyright of A J Lammiman.
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All was quite neat for once. The carpet was free from fluff and hairs. The curtain were pressed and hanging just as they should. Even the settee and the two reclining chairs, which Ken and Joan had spent their last weeks wages on, were freshly hovered and correctly aligned so they faced the big 24” TV sighted in the corner by the fire. The room, indeed the house had not been so tidy for months. It was with some concern then that led Ken to wondering as to why his wife should feel, and act so edgy. It did not make sense.
Everything was just right this time. Nothing could go wrong. She had even remembered to polish the coffee table. She had spent half and hour on that. Lack of polishing was another thing Ken’s mum commented on during her last visit. That and the way the carpet was full of dirt.
“I still think that carpet could do with a brush.” she said. “Don’t you?”
Ken shook his head. “No. It’s just fine as it is. Stop worrying.”
“Mmm.” Joan was unconvinced and went into the hallway to get the carpet sweeper anyway.
Their combined wages and lifestyle did not as yet run to an electric hover. In fact, if truth be known, they barely managed the repayments on the TV. But as they seldom managed to get out for entertainment, TV was an essential item. As was a comfortable set of chairs. Joan had always wanted a comfortable set of chairs. They had a settee as well, but it was the chairs she loved. Ken’s mother had sniffed at the site of it and passed a demeaning remark about Ken having a bad back and that the settee would be bad for it. But that was the flat. Now they were in a house. New house, new furniture. Well, some new furniture. The coffee table and the sideboard were old. And of course the settee. But even that had a brand new ‘throw’ on it.
“There.” puffed Joan, as she finished brushing the carpet. “That’s better!”
“It was all right before.” said Ken. “Put the sweeper away. I’ll make the tea. They’ll be here soon.”
“Mind you don’t go into the garden!” she called after him. “I don’t want you trapping in more clods of mud. It took ages to get last lot out!”
“I promise!” Ken shouted. “No gardening until they’ve gone! Although lord knows how I’ll keep dad out. You know how he likes to potter around!”
Joan took once last look around the room and although unconvinced as to its standard, returned the carpet sweeper to its place in the cupboard under the stairs. Ken busied himself in the kitchen. making the tea. He was good at that. And at DIY. In fact Ken was good at most things. The garden was a picture. Or it would be, once the nursery bought seedlings Ken had planted had grown. He took after his father in that. Ken’s dad like nothing better that to spend hours in the garden. He was out there in all weathers. Ken was the same. It was his fault the carpet was full dirt the last time. He had brought it back from his allotment.
Exhausted she sat down on the settee and took a deep breath. Homemaking was so hard.
Ken’s mother made it appear so easy. She made everything appear easy. She was always so neat. So house proud. She made Joan feel inadequate. When Ken and her first got married, the small one roomed flat they lived in always looked unkempt. Ken’s mother always seemed to look down her nose at Joan’s efforts. However much she tried. Joan took a deep breath and steeled herself. This time she would show her. This time her house, her new house was as clean as a new pin.
“Here we are.” said Ken as he brought the tray in. “By the time they arrive, it’ll have brewed nicely. Just like mum likes it.” He laughed. “Dad could care if it was stewed for a week! He’d drink anything as long as it was wet!”
“I like your dad.” said Joan. “It’s your mother who frightens me. I don’t know how they put up with each other.”
Ken’s parents were complete opposites. His mum was neat, fussy and opinionated. His father sloppy and easy going. Not the sort of match you would have would have lasted a year, let alone thirty. ‘It must be love.’ she mused, wistfully. It was like that with her and Ken.
Only she prided herself as being more like his father. But not this time. This time she would be the one to be house proud. The clock chimed ten. was when her mother-in-law said they would arrive. Joan turned round to look out the window. A car was winding its way up the road.
“I think I can see their car turning the corner.” she said, nervously.
Ken got up from his chair and peered through the net curtains. The ones his mother had given them when they moved in. The ones Joan hated.
“Yes. You’re right.” he said. “It’s them. I’d recognise that old car of dad’s anywhere. I don’t know why he hasn’t bought a new one.”
Joan gulped. She heard the car draw up outside. The doors banged shut and heavy footsteps crunched on the gravel path. Then the door bell rang. The dragon was at the door.
“I’ll let them in.” said Ken. “You pour the tea.”
Joan picked up the china teapot; the one Ken’s mother had given them for Christmas. Her hand shook nervously and she steadied it with the other. The sitting room door open and in walked Ken’s mother. She sniffed the air, looked briefly around, taking in that brief gaze the state of the carpet, curtains and coffee table. Satisfied, she nodded her appreciation.
Very nice, dear.” she smiled. “Very nice indeed.”
Joan grinned. She had done it. She had won her mother-in-laws approval.
Ken and his father entered. Ken looked sheepish.
“Hi do, pet!” the father-in-law chirped. He too looked around the freshly clean room. “By heck, you must have been hard at it! This place looks as it been scrubbed top to bottom.
What do you think mother?”
Ken’s mother nodded in agreement. “Yes it looks very nice. Very nice.”
With a thud, Ken’s father slumped himself down on to the settee and plopped his dirty boots on the freshly polished table. Flakes of mud rained down on the equally freshly brushed carpet. A trail of mud led from there to the doorway, where Ken stood with a stunned look on his face.
Joan gritted her teeth and smiled weakly. “Tea anyone?”
For England and St.George!
Thought for the Day
Tomorrow is the day you were hoping for yesterday.
England's Claim of Right
Fly the English Flag
Wear a Rose on
A little bit about myself.
First and foremost I am English.
I am proud to be a member of the
Royal Society of St. George.
I am also a member of the
Royal British Legion and the
United Kingdom National Defence Association (UKNDA).
I was an officer in the Army Cadet Force
for over 25years.
I am a member of the English Democrats Party.
Links to all these organizations can be found in the
I also enjoy writing short stories (nothing published as yet!)
and samples of these are included on this site.
I also have another site devoted to my writings at: http://domasionragor.webs.com/
If I had a motto, it would be:
Honesty, Loyalty, Integrity.
Remember Your Towel!
International Towel Day is
It can be said that anyone who can hitch the length and breadth of the [world], rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through,
and still knows where his towel is,
is clearly a man to be reckoned with.'
(Copyright: Douglas Adams)
The Answer is 42 .... and Remember Where Your Towel is!
Unless otherwise stated all stories, poems, observations or comments on this website are the sole property of Allan James Lammiman and should not be downloaded, scanned or otherwise copied without the owners permission.