I awaited my Boden bounty in a state of feverish anticipation. I requested that it arrive after 3pm so that Jasper would be busy milking the cows, enabling me to take delivery of it without any danger of being apprehended. I was then struck by the awful prospect of him coming to the house for some obscure reason at exactly the same time as the parcel arrived! I shuddered at the thought. After some quick thinking i phoned the delivery company and explained every detail of my predicament. The nice lady on the end of the phone was very obliging and assured me, with ill concealed amusement, that she would instruct the courier to phone me when he was in the area and i would meet him at the end of the drive. She promised that she would tell him he MUST NOT GO DOWN THE DRIVE. I sighed with relief, then "You're not just saying it? You will remember? " I almost added "If he doesn't do it my way, the deal's off."
Finally satisfied, i allowed myself to relax.
Three days passed and i had worn a path in the gravel, pacing up and down outside the house and listening for the distant chug of the parcelforce van. Jasper had started to smell a rat.
The phone rang one lunch time and i almost jumped out of my skin.
"What IS the matter with you?" he asked.
"Too much coffee." I mumbled.
I tried in vain to hide my blushes.
"What have you done? Come on, out with it." he said sternly.
"I haven't "done" anything thankyou very much!" i replied in a tone of mock hurt.
He looked beadily at me over the rim of his coffee cup.
"You've been spending haven't you? Don't give me that innocent look bun, i know you too well."
I crossed my fingers under the table before replying "I haven't spent anything ACTUALLY. " i snorted, hoping that he couldn't see my nose getting longer.
"You're blinking. You always blink when you're telling porkies."
"Well really! I have never heard such nonsense!" i said as i stood up and cleared the table. I stuck my head in the dish washer to escape his scrutinizing gaze. I felt his eyes boring a hole in my back as i hummed to myself whilst pulling agonized faces to relieve my internal angst.
Sensing a counter attack, I smiled sweetly at him "I thought i'd make Fish pie tonight. I know it's your favourite." He looked mollified.
"Can you do those courgettes in garlicky butter again?" he asked hopefully.
"Yes my darling!" i trilled, planting a kiss on his nose. "And an apple cake for pudding."
His eyes lit up. I was safe. Distraction technique. Works like a charm...
The next day i was having a nice relaxing bath during Lily's lunch time nap. The dogs started barking outside. Grumbling to myself, i stuck my head out of the window to see who was there.
I froze in horror as a portly little man wearing the parcelforce logo appeared round the corner holding an enormous box with MINI BODEN emblazoned across it. At the same time i heard the ominous rumble of an approaching tractor. Jasper on his way home for lunch!
The man was knocking on the door.
"Hello!" I shouted. He looked up and waved cheerfully.
"I've got a parcel for you love."
"Thankyou. Can you hide it in the dog kennel please?"
"You what love? he said, cupping his hand behind his ear."
"PUT THE PARCEL IN THE KENNEL!" I hissed, hopping frantically from foot to foot in agitation.
"What do you mean?" he frowned.
"HIDE THE PARCEL IN THE KENNEL! MY HUSBAND'S COMING!"
The penny dropped, and he chuckled as he man handled the box into the kennel and shut the door. He played his part in the covert operation with evident relish , waggling his finger at me cheekily and saying "Whose a naughty girl then?!"
"Quick! Quick! He's coming!!" I whimpered. The man giggled and ran back to his van as fast as his little legs would carry him before screeching off down the drive. I leaned against the door frame, giddy with relief as the tractor rumbled around the corner.
Five minutes later Jasper came in.
"Did you see that van?"