As the kids would say: OMG! This week I had a big meeting, and, much like treating verrucas or the amount I spend on hair care, it is something I’ve accidentally deliberately been avoiding. ‘Are you all set?’ asks my hubbie the night before the meeting. I shove a square of chocolate into my mouth. ‘No,’ I mumble, ‘but I will be. Can we talk it through?’ He nods. ‘Yup, right after Police, Camera, Action.’ I grab another square of chocolate, hesitate and grab the packet. I think I am going to need it.
The truth is this meeting is a really big deal to me. It’s one that’s been on the burner for the past month or so, the date having been moved due to busy diaries and, basically a busy year. But I am really nervous, if I’m honest. I can’t say too much about what the job is yet, but, without getting all CIA on you, it’s safe to say it’s a writing one and if I get it I’ll be chuffed to bits. That night, I go through my blog and, with the help of my hubbie, print off all the relevant writing pieces to show at the, shall we call it, interview. ‘Blimey,’ says hubbie, grabbing a handful of paper as it slips from the printer, ‘I didn’t realise it would be so much.’ I tear out one of my columns from the newspaper I write for. ‘I can waffle. You know that.’ He rolls his eyes and tuts. I smile. ’15 years you have known me. 15 years of my funny little waffles! Luck, lucky you!’ He sighs and squints at the column I have in my hand. ‘Don’t take that one,’ he says. I look at it. It’s the column about the libraries. ‘What? Why?’ He reloads the printer. ‘Just not right. Do you want me to go through them for you?’ I crawl over to him and plop the newspaper pile in his lap. ‘Yes, please!’ And with that – and more chocolate – the preparation for the meeting continues.
The next day, my lovely hubbie gets out the sat nav and prepares to describe to me where it is I need to go. ‘Right,’ he says, setting the thing down on the breakfast table, ‘I’ve loaded Jessica up.’ (Sorry – Jessica is our family pet name for the sat nav. She sounds like Jessica Rabbit when she speaks. It keeps us happy for hours.) I look at Jessica, sorry, the sat nav. ‘Okay, thanks, honey,’ I say. ‘And,’ he continues, ‘I’ve drawn you a map of where you can park and how to walk to the building from there.’ He pushes a well-drawn piece of paper to me. ‘You can’t go wrong. There’s only one way to go. Go to the right, by the café. To your right. It’s fool-proof.’ At this point our two girls laugh into their breakfast bowls. ‘Hey!’ I say, ‘have faith in mum. I can find my way around!’ They nod, solemn. ‘Yes, mum,’ says the eldest, grinning, ‘of course you can.’ ‘Thank you,’ I say, turning to give my hubbie a hug. He checks his watch. ‘What time are you leaving?’ I think. ‘9.30?’ He stretches his arms and yawns. ‘That should give you plenty of time.’ Yes, we all agree, plenty of time for mum.
The A38 is closed for road works. Palms sweating, windows open but no air, I find myself down some country lane, Jessica having re-routed me, cars stuck to the side of the road like moths to light. After a nail biting 25 minutes extra on my journey, I eventually find my way to my destination, my back sticky with sweat, my mouth cursing me for not having air con. Stepping out into the heat, my hair springing to an unwanted frizz, I squint at the map and frown. Huh? It makes no sense. I turn the map. I turn myself. Nothing. I call my hubbie on the mobile. He picks up and laughs immediately. ‘You’re lost, aren’t you.’ I frown. ‘The car park is in front, not behind. I don’t get it.’ I can practically hear his eyes rolling. ‘Find the café. Can you see it? Good. Now, remember I said go to the right?’ The penny drops. ‘Aaaah,’ I say. ‘Good luck!’ he says. I tut at myself. ‘Bye. Thank you, honey.’ ‘You’re welcome, you muppet.’
Once I apply my lippy and find the building, the meeting itself goes really well. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I really enjoy it. We talk through lots of ideas, and once I get going, being a fully paid-up member of the blarney-stone-kissing-club, I am off, chatting, shooting out thoughts, thinking on the spot. Which is all just as well because while outwardly I am calm, much like a swan, take one peek beneath the water and my legs are kicking like crazy. ‘I think we can get you on board,’ says my jolly nice interviewer (as I shall call him for now!). I try not to grin like the Grinch – not a good look – so instead I opt to squeak, ‘Thank you!’ and with that, I have the job.
Chuffed to bits, when I get outside, after I’ve breathed into a bag (only joking!..It was a cup), I call my hubbie and tell him the good news. Next, I get on to twitter because there are some lovely folk on there I have to thank, without whom, before the meeting started, I would have got far too panicky. (They the very wise: Beth Williams, PR guru, @bw58; Steve Marchand, writing wonder, @CitiOfVilleJoie; and Sue Ryan, marketing master, @SueKelsoRyan). That night at home, with the kids in bed, me and the hubbie have a cold glass of bubbly to celebrate. Just as we take a sip, my best buddy phones up and I regale to her the events of the day. ‘Oh sweet Jesus!’ is her reaction, followed by, ‘Jesus! JESUS!’ I think she is chuffed for me. Once we’ve had a good old natter peppered by more expletives, I cuddle up to my hubbie and think about what I have to do the next day. ‘I’ve got to put a couple of short story entries in and edit another one,’ I say, inspecting the bubbles in my glass. ‘I’m on the radio on Wednesday,’ he says. ‘Great! Things are coming together,’ I say. We sit and watch the evening sun, quiet, happy. Then, my husband starts sniffing the air. ‘Is something burning?’ he says. ‘Flip!’ I say, ripping over to the cooker. ‘The dinner!’ OMG! O.M.G.
I’ll be taking a little break shortly (hurrah!), so the next Wednesday Wafflings post will be out the following, you know, Wednesday. Take care.
**Out on Thursday “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest newspaper column to my blog. This week it’s all about the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee…**