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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Dirty Habits

Don't get too excited about the title, it may not be what you think.

I live in Silverstream, a pleasant leafy suburb of Upper Hutt, to the North of Wellington, our capital city in NZ. 
I live in a pleasant, spacious and sunny house, with my Beloved, myself, my son and our little dog.

I am happy content.  My life really suits me.

But last night I was shocked and bewildered.

I need a cuddle

I had had a tough day at Nuova Lazio High School, with endless changes to the timetable we are constructing for next year.  Every time we (there are 4 of us working on it) get it finalised, with everyone in their correct classes at the correct time, someone "remembers" that they need something special, and ask/insist/demand that a part of the timetable be changed to suit their perceived needs. 
"It's only one class" they say, "What's the problem?"

They don't seem to realise that we're so short of resources, rooms and teachers that there is no 'fat' in the timetable, no extra rooms or spare teaching hours, so any change has an immediate effect on everything else. 

Especially the rooms. 

We're so short of classrooms that we are having to use a semi-defunct metal-working room as a classroom.  It's not a very friendly teaching space, with bare (and cold in winter) concrete floors, metal work tables, lathes, drill presses, milling machines and welding equipment scattered around the walls.  It always smells of oil, and everything has a gritty feel (mostly because there's a sandblasting machine on a large bench at the entrance to the class)

Good luck in trying to teach a class on Euclidean Geometry while the compressor is throbbing, the sand is being blasted out under high pressure and the kids (from another class) using it decide to have a high velocity sand fight.

We're so tight for teaching hours that when asked to make a change of 1 teacher swapping a class with another took over 25 separate changes in other's timetables.

So I was a little tired and slightly stressed when I got home.

I had my meal with my son as my Beloved's ongoing nausea prevents her from even sitting with us while we eat.  The doctors now think that her nausea, which has been going on for over 2 months now, is being caused by the neurological effects of a severe food poisoning she suffered about 3 months ago.  They think some of the sensory nerves in her gut have been damaged by the toxins produced by the causative organism(s) in the contaminated food (which is why I NEVER eat raw fish. I'm a microbiologist, and know of what I speak) and are sending spurious signals to her brain, giving her waves of nausea throughout the day.  She's lost over 15 kg, and is beginning to look a bit gaunt. 

The good news is that they don't think it will be permanent. 

The bad news is that they think the nausea will continue for about a year.

After I had washed and dried up, ably assisted by my son, I decided to have  shower to help me relax.  I also had an eentsy-weensy, tiny whisky for the same reason.

Suitably refreshed, and clad in pyjamas and a dressing gown,  I sat down beside my Beloved for an undemanding gaze at the babble box, while my brain regenerated from the day's toll. 

Don't leave.

I forgot to mention that I also had Ringo to put up with.  He had asked me to print out a complete class set of reports (one of my other bloody jobs) at the end of the day, at about 4:30pm, but after I had finished the reprint and went to take them to him, I'd discovered he had gone home.

Then my Beloved had turned to me and put her hand on my bare knee

Oh-oh, this could be the precursor of two or three things.

  1. She was feeling a bit frisky and wanted demanded sex.
  2. She wanted to have a long and draining talk about our relationship.
  3. Something else.

 "Dear" she said in a low voice.  No clues yet.  I braced myself invisibly for whatever would come next, but kept a quiet receptive smile on my face (Blokes learn quickly to be great actors.  We can even pretend that we listen.  And care.)

I've learned

"Dear" she said, and hesitated.  SHIT, that ruled out 1 and was a routine ploy in 2.  I didn't want to discuss our relationship

I just wanted to sit there and veg out for an hour. 
I just wanted some peace.
I just wanted another whisky.

"Dear" she said, "I want to discuss your habits"

Oh-Oh-Oh.  Bloody hell, which one?

What had she discovered?

Was it picking my nose while I was in the car waiting at traffic lights?
Was it farting in bed/in the garden/while out shopping with my Beloved/at anytime?
Was it the surreptitious scratching of my private areas in bed/in the garden/while out shopping with my Beloved/at anytime?
Was it cutting my toenails in bed?
Was it my snoring? Again?
Was it my collection of earwax I kept in my bedside locker?
Was it the emergency snack food I kept beside the earwax?
Was it the bottle of emergency whisky hidden stored in the garage?
Was it the disappearing food from the refrigerator?
Was it the occasional cigar I had at work?
Was it my blogging?  OH DEAR GOD, had she read my blog?
Was it anything really personal?

I braced for what ever cam next.

"Dear" she said again, "You're making the bath mat very wet after you have a shower"  "Could you try drying yourself inside the shower cabinet before you get out?"

I was so relieved that I just bowed my head slightly and said that I would try and remember.

But internally I was thinking "The shower cabinet is quite small, and it's difficult to dry myself"
Then I thought "Of course the bloody bath mat gets wet, that's what it's supposed to do, soak up the dripping water and keep everything else dry"

It gets wet.  Its supposed to get wet.  That's its purpose.

But I still kept quiet.

I was still relieved that nothing disastrous had been discussed/ been discovered.

We settled down in companionable silence and watched the crap on the TV.

Inside I was still screaming;

again and,
again and,
again and,

Says it all really


  1. Great post. It certainly rings a bell. 'Dear' said in that way that you know something serious is going to follow always sends a list of things you have done/haven't done flying through your mind. Its always a relief that she doesn't know/doesn't care/doesn't mention the things that you think are bad.

  2. TSB I can never get over what a kind patient DEAR you are. Your Beloved is lucky. NLHS is lucky. We are all lucky to have you around. Me thinks your Beloved was nit-picking somewhat over the bath mat. Unless she enjoys winding you up? Chin up - have another dramm. Last day tommorrow! Will the TT be finished though??

  3. LOL!! I ask my husband to dry himself in the shower too. Otherwise he soaks the bathmat and it never dries and the floor is perpetually damp. Anyway, it's warmer in the shower stall, so nicer to dry oneself in there.

    I'm sorry about your wife's nausea. My mother-in-law had something similar after eating bad fish in Florida. It did get better. I had a bizarre, nausea-inducing illness that lasted for months that I think was caused by eating unpasteurized goat cheese--I was really, really sick and somehow acquired a heart murmur out of it. It was not fun, but I got better and my heart seems to be functioning normally.

  4. Hang in there TSB. We're nearly at the finish line.

  5. TC: I thank you. We have to be careful... Nobody knows who's reading this.

    VG: Yes I am Perfect in Every Possible Way. (Except my typing when I've had a few) TT should be complete by Thursday, then I can start on my faculty stuff. Would you believe that the bloody NZQA have selected my Level 4 Database for moderation. Sux to be me.

    Patience_Crabstick: OK. Maybe ladies just like to nag their guys. It's obviously your fault. Change the bathmat more often.

    Glad to hear the heart murmur has ceased. Was it Listeria?

    Richard [of RBB]: Thanks mcoz, I'll try. TWO MORE DAYS!!

    Pity the zoo was rained off.

  6. Timetabling - I'd give them a window to get any final additional reequests in and then SAY NO as it's unfair and disruptive of them to be so unprofessional and unreasonable. Anyone making change requests would be automatically co-opted into the timetabling rota for next year.

    Drying in the shower cubicle - is she serious? Nae chance I'm afraid for me as it's far too small.

    Emergency whisky in th garage.....

    I'm not sure one bottles enough.

    Hope your Beloved feels better soon though.

  7. Alistair: Unfortunately, I'm not the guy in overall charge, one of the DPs has that honour, and he's such a nice bloke that he wants to try and satisfy everybody as well as we can.

    I tried to dry myself in the shower cubicle last night and almost broke my right elbow!
    I didn't mention the SIZE of the bottle, now did I?

    Laoch: Which power? My Beloved? Ringo? The enire staff?


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