Look, she’s forgotten it’s Sally’s birthday and that it’s Blog Takeover Day and so I’ve taken a risk and decided to go for it.
Sorry if I keep looking over my shoulder, but she could come in here any minute. She said she was Going Out With The Dogs, but she might be on to me in which case she could suddenly reappear.
She’s a Grade A Control Freak and if she thought I was using her precious computer the fallout would be terrifying. She’d start by accusing me of Checking Up On Her. As if I haven't got better things to do!
I don’t have to go into her history to see she’s been on Facebook, tending her farm and preparing dishes in her Café. It’s pathetic – her houseplants are withering from lack of attention, her garden has more weeds than the whole of East Anglia and her idea of cooking a nutritious meal is to boil a kettle and open a Pot Noodle, do you know what I’m saying?
And she’s addicted to games of solitaire. Crazy Quilt Solitaire, Spider, Pyramid, you name it, she plays it. Remember that chimpanzee in the PG Tips advert; “You hum it, son, I’ll play it.”? You show her a pack of cards on her screen and she’ll play them till she’s seeing cards in her sleep.
She’ll tell you that she’s busy looking after the children and the dogs, but she’s lying. She locks them all in the kitchen with a packet of Rich Tea Biscuits and it’s every boy/girl/dog for himself.
As for the stories – she doesn’t make them up – I do.
And The Beloved – poor soul. He’s a shadow of his former self, a shadow and it’s all her fault. She doesn’t call him The Beloved in Real Life let me tell you. She calls him a lot of things – none of which I can repeat here, but suffice to say it isn’t pretty.
True, she writes a bit, when I can get her to listen to me. Most of the time she ignores me just as she ignores everyone else.
My Muse has gone on her holidays she says. My Muse has disappeared. My Muse has gone AWOL. Well I’ve got news for you, sister, I’m right here. I’m always here; you just Don’t Ever Listen To Me!
I come up with the most wonderful ideas and she says she’ll let them fester for a bit, then she goes on Facebook and I might as well be in-bloody-visible – oh, well yes I am invisible as it happens, but okay I might as well not be here.
She even poked me in the eye once. It’s true I tell you. She pretended to be scratching an itch behind her ear, but I know that finger was meant for me and I know it had malicious intent.
I feel hurt. Sidelined. I used to work so hard for her and she for me, but these days it’s a struggle just to get her to open up a Word document and as for a notebook - she may tell you she adores notebooks and it’s true she does have a stack of them, but they’ll be on the Antiques Roadshow one day you mark my words.
“Unused Pukka pads,” the stationery expert will say. “Unheard of. What a remarkable find. How did you come by these?”
“Well,” the excited little old lady will coo as little ££££ signs flash in her eyes. “I bought an old stationery cupboard and there they were inside in pristine condition along with a box of paperclips and a half eaten Twix.”
Actually I’m joking about the Twix (I do have a sense of humour you know – she hasn’t quite beaten that out of me). That is one thing she has no problem starting or finishing – anything with chocolate in it. Actually anything with FOOD in it. Or alcohol. Well let’s be honest anything she can swallow - down it goes.
I just want to get one thing straight here. The rejections – they’re all hers. The acceptances are mine. I’m the inspiration, the sweat and the tears and without me she’d be nothing I tell you, nothing! And she knows it.
You know what? I think I’m safe. She wouldn’t dare get rid of me.
Hold on – listen – she’s coming back. Dogs are panting – and smelly. Why does she let them swim in the dykes and roll in the mud (and worse)? She’s coming up the stairs.
Who’s been messing about with my computer? The Beloved runs for cover, the dogs cower, I shrink back into the shadows but I am not afraid. She needs me. I can feel her mind reaching out for mine . . .
She sits down.
I’ve just remembered, it’s Sally Quilford’s birthday blog Takeover. I should have thought about this sooner.
Happy Birthday Sally!