“We’ve sort of brought some food.”
She opens the Marks and Spencer’s bag with a slightly apologetic look. I am crestfallen, not because there is any food whatsoever in the cottage to offer my two guests, but because news that I am a rubbish host has clearly spread far and wide.
I have been so disorganised recently, and this gives me stress. It is ages since I cooked a proper meal for a visitor, or in fact made one iota of effort whatsoever. I blame the Baby. I am a rubbish host.
It doesn’t help that I know that the girls have not visited Norfolk before, and I have probably made one two many ‘haha we locals are going to murder you pretty townies’ jokes in the build-up to the visit, before cutting myself shaving in a spectacular fashion and covering the bathroom in blood just an hour before they were due to turn up. I think I got most of it off the tiles, and I changed the towels to avoid unpleasantness, but it puts me on the back foot.
Booooooo. They think I am a rubbish host. Being a rubbish host is the worst thing you can be accused of in the world ever, except maybe being a rubbish host and a peadaphile. Fortunately nobody has ever accused me of being a rubbish host and a peadaphile, as I am always careful to have enough sweets and a properly clean van.
I am deflated.
I have an idea!!! “You could have some pork pie?” I offer, brightly. “Perhaps with some pickle?”
They politely have some pork pie.
I cunningly take them to the Village Pub, knowing that there are likely to be a few scraps on the bar if we get there quickly. And later on we go to Short Tony’s, who always has bottles of wine ready for visitors. So really although I am a bad host, I have saved quite a lot of money which I will be able to spend on myself.
That thought makes me feel better. The next morning I offer them breakfast. They have brought their own sausages, but I cook them using my gas, so it is a fifty-fifty arrangement and my reputation is saved.