The past couple of days has seen yours truly twice venturing east along the A64 to undertake decorating duties for my son Jonny and his fiancée Jenny. The destination a village on the outskirts of York, a place they’ll forever recall as the locale where they climbed upon the housing ladder.
The couple’s exciting new odyssey, resulting in their biggest monthly financial outgoing now being a mortgage payment to a financial institution, instead of shelling out rent to the residence’s owner.
Although both forms of putting a roof over their head are high-maintenance suitors, at least lining the banks pockets, as opposed to a landlord, means they’re now investing their hard earned salary towards property ownership.
My wife Karen traveled with me during Sunday’s venture; putting in a good shift at cleaning windows and minor painting tasks. On Monday, though, her previous days exertions had taken their toll on her body weakened by tumours; as a consequence she stayed home and cleaned our house!!
To be honest, she shouldn’t have put herself through the vigorous efforts on Sunday. However, she was determined to contribute towards helping her beloved son and his fiancée putting their stamp on their new home. Sampling the happiness the pair exuded at the excitement of becoming homeowners for the first time.
Not only was she a great practical help but my missus, by following a quirky old tradition passed through her family, has been incredibly benevolent with her house warming presents for the young couple.
Karen’s family’s generational legacy that of buying a present for the newly relocated person(s) that begins with each letter of the alphabet. Twenty six gifts, unless the letter F’s offering is ‘F*** All’!
A habit that’s so far led to my spouse, along with numerous other endowments, to purchase Jonny and Jenny an Airfix kit, a Benny Hill sings Slim Whitman DVD, not forgetting the Cat Stevens Live at Tel Aviv Working Men’s Club compact disc.
Today, to cover a present starting with W she thoughtfully bought her son and his fragrant partner a wisteria plant from B&Q DIY store. A beautiful, aromatic addition to their garden. Leaving my wife of 30 years on the cusp of concluding the alphabetic list; with only the letters X, Y and Z left to fulfill. That being said, this is where things are getting trickier for Mrs Strachan.
With Jonny (thankfully) already owning an X-Box, she’s struggling to source a legacy beginning with the letter X. Despite this fly in the house-warming present ointment, on the plus side Karen’s currently learning many important life lessons – Among those the knowledge that B&Q don’t sell xylophones.
Consequently, as I write, my betrothed is mulling over how she can maintain her family tradition by sourcing a trinket beginning with the letter X. I understand she’s thinking of buying the 1923 single ‘Yes, We Have No Bananas’ to cover Y, and earlier I witnessed her googling ‘Zebra retailers’, which I’m assuming covers the letter Z.
Anyhow, I need to bring these lexilogical meanderings to a halt. I’ll let my missus ponder a gift beginning with X while I concentrate on lighting the xylanthrax on the barbeque.