The time for casually mentioning arrives.

“I think I’ll take my new laptop,” I casually mention. “Will you pass the pepper?”

No pepper appears. She gives me a Rosemary West stare.

We are preparing to go on holiday to Cornwall, at the end of this week. As you are aware, recently I have been particularly good in that I have gone on a diet to show solidarity with the LTLP. I have also helped with the nappies etc. and backed down a bit over the washing up. I feel that I might be allowed to take my new laptop on holiday as a reward for this.

More to the point, we are going away with the in-laws. This is the first time that we will have gone away with the in-laws, and will earn me about three grillion Yeahbuts to use on an as-and-when basis. (The Yeahbut is the SI unit of bringing things up during bargaining at some point in the future, as in ‘Yeahbut back in 2006 we went on holiday with your parents, so it’s your turn to clean the bathroom’; ‘Are you STILL bringing up that disastrous holiday we had with my parents? And besides, we have a robot to do that now, come let us go to the holographic cinema in our flying car’.)

I explain that I am planning to sit on the beach and tap into the relaxed seaside ambience to create something brilliant that will change our lives. She points out that there is a perfectly good beach at the end of the road that I am at liberty to utilise for lives-changing creation. I point out that it is not quite the same as being on holiday with its air of carefree stresslessness. She reminds me that we will be in a small villa with her mother and father and the baby, and I have to admit that she is a bit right.

I do not mention the Wifi access issue. I suspect that Cornwall will probably have a few wifis, as quite a few tourists will want to order their fudge online these days. She would be cross if she thought I meant to go on to the internet.

I keep my mouth shut. The pepper arrives, somewhat grudgingly.

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