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The Return of Gub

Spring is here signalling blousy daffs, cinnamon buns, pale light mornings and Gub. Gub is back. His shiny metallic blue pick up swung round the bend, down the lane and my heart did the same.

The God of Incompetent DIY People. The Husband, without consultation, had booked him in after attempting the ancient craft of hedge laying with no previous experience, education or proper gear. In fairness he had done an ok job. Politely dealing with each neighbour who stopped to say they wouldn’t have done it like that and not complaining too much about banging his own head with his own hammer. But that must have been the last straw as two days later, without any cake baking warning, Gub arrives. I suppress the need to tell him how awful it has been without him. How the downstairs loo light hasn’t worked since The Husband took it apart to fit a new shade and didn’t have all the bits for it. That the B&B roof is holding by a prayer, some battening and a large male peacock which has fled its next door home for a bit of peace from the wife. I don’t show him the kitchen cupboards on the verge of collapse or the new area we have allocated for him to build a woodshed/lean to/boot room. I calmly ask after his health, his girlfriend, his dogs and his willow sculpting. Then I break down. He doesn’t say very much, rolls a ciggie, looks thoughtful, listens to me trying not to beg. Saying how valiant my husband is but if I had known the extent of his DIY skills we would not have bought the house. I stop short of saying I wouldn’t have married him because that could come out all wrong. Gub is not a girl. And he has already shifted from considering to uncomfortable. He hands me his very large, spotless white handkerchief and heaps 3 spoons of sugar into his coffee. And with a slight nod of his head says he will see what he can do. Very busy, mind, he says. Can’t promise anything, he promises. Then he slips out to find the rational one of the couple, swinging his chainsaw and making a mental note to steer clear of the house unless there is a smell of cake. Much much later and mildly embarrassed, I take a large carrot cake with lemon and pecan cream cheese icing out to the hedgelayers. Gub and the Husband work side by side, one in silent appreciation of the other. And residing over it all is the puffed up old peacock, perched on an old wicker chair, eyeing up the cake…

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