Monday, March 10, 2008

The Bag Leaving Gene

A storm is coming. The hexagon of France is on alert. Don’t move unless it is essential they say. I call the family to action and Drummer boy suddenly decides that it is time to unload his drum kit from his girlfriend’s car and slouches off to watch her do it. Darling d is peeled reluctantly from the TV screen and we go outside and study the garden, looking for prospective flying objects.
“Why is there a large ladder against your bedroom window?” I ask, suspiciously imagining Rapunzel-like letting down of hair to visitors in the night.
“Dad…”, she replies.
He has been away for about 6 weeks, but I do vaguely remember him struggling with the chimney on the roof at the beginning of the winter, another battle in the continuing war with the wood stove.
The ladder is laid to rest on its side, two tables are rescued from the garden, and various objects are wedged around the wheel barrow and re-cycling dustbins.
I patrol the house checking windows, unplugging phones, internet connections and computers.

Sure enough, at 3 am, large creatures blow in from across the valley and start beating their wings on my bedroom windows. Something comes splattering down the unused chimney and I put the radio on to drown it. A crackly voice keeps telling me the same bad news at frequent intervals. Three and a half hours later, I get up with the teenagers for school and the creatures have moved down to attack the kitchen door. I offer to drive them down the hill to the school bus stop instead of leaving them to their usual healthy moan filled walk in the dark. It is raining. A lot.

We are all soaked in the few moments between house door and car door as we run for it. We crawl down the hill over assorted branches, none of them big enough to obstruct the route completely. At the bus stop, in my headlights, we see a bedraggled adolescent clutching his school bag eagerly anticipating the imminent arrival of the bus, disappointed that it is just us.

A small voice sounding quite unlike Darling d comes from the back of the car.

“Yes. What is it now?”
“I’ve left my school bag in the kitchen.”

Back in the warm, I log on to Internet and find that her father has done exactly the same thing at exactly the same time but on another continent.


amy said...

It is storming like mad here too. I love the image of the young guy at the bus stop and then your daughter's voice but not her voice...but of course you weren't angry, were you?

hexe said...

You make me jealous with tales of actual spring weather. I finally posted the meme - thanks for including me.

Lucy said...

Nobody bloody told us, probably just as well... everything's been leaking round here, that'll teach us not to check the weather forecast.

I leave bags everywhere too, I think I got it from my dad, the general forgetfulness. Maybe it's father to daughter genetic. Drives Tom, as it did my mum, demented.

Mrs. Chili said...

This is beautiful. I think that the creatures you had beating at your house were the same that were trying to break and enter around here this weekend; thunderous noise, lots of rattling and scraping, and many trees grateful that they don't yet have leaves.

Rosie said...

I will profit from my moment of internet before I get cut off again. I think there is hardly any orange left to squeeze.
amy- no of course I wasnt angry, I told her she would suffer ordeal by posting and that was enough.
Hexe- well its the sort of spring I can do without. I'll try and get to your blog before I get cut off again...
Lucy- I must admit that I saw it on English tele first
Mrs chili- happy to share weather with you

meggie said...

I heard the warnings on the TV news I never watch. It all sounded very scarey.
I zipped over to read about the left behind backpack! What a heartstopping post!
I rarely forget things, but my second son always does. When he was little he sometimes took his PJs to school still clutched in his hand!

Casdok said...

Bag leaving gene! In sync too!!
Yes we are having lovely gales over here!