For instance, this week I turned up for a shift at STV to find the place hoaching – a technical term – with burly besuited chaps, the ones with wires running into their ears. I assumed we were getting a visit from Neil Lennon or his lawyer. Not so, blocking the route from the door to my desk was none other than Prime Minister David Cameron.
Just earlier, there had been another unexpected, and much more welcome, manifestation. The Hobfather had turned up in my inbox. Ian introduced himself and said that he wanted to grant me a wish (give me a £20 Amazon voucher) in exchange for a mention and some Google juice from my blog. No catch, apparently. All I have to do is say visit his cookers page.
This just leaves the thorny dilemma of what to spend the voucher on. Here are the possibilities:
A new changing bag. Boy Three’s lovely purple bag got left behind beside a football pitch a couple of weeks ago. As he’s 22 months and probably will be out of nappies in the next year, I thought perhaps we could do without. However, a day trip to Edinburgh yesterday which featured dribbled milk and lots of scrabbling in the bottom of a bag for baby wipes, suggested otherwise.
A strimmer or similar piece of garden equipment. We now only have a tiny square of grass to cut, but we still need something to do it with. Our mower is aged and our strimmer completely goosed.
A new toaster. The toaster – linchpin of our nutritional policy – has lost its pop. It still toasts beautifully but when it’s done the bread just lurks in the slot. The pop has completely vanished.
Something lovely for my forthcoming trip to Tunisia. Did I mention I was off to Tunisia next month? The fine organ where the Panther of News prowls has seen fit to commission me to do a travel piece for them. He’s being very brave about the fact his wife is going to do a trip for his paper while he stays at home and looks after our children. I hope he knows there will be more than tulip pants* in it for him.
*A few years ago I went to Amsterdam with a couple of pals. When I left I asked the Panther if he wanted a present brought back. He said: “No, don’t worry. I’m not really bothered.”
But when I handed over the joke non-present of tulip print underpants I’d found for him at the airport he was a bit miffed. I should have known he didn’t mean it, apparently.