It could be said that when it comes to unexpected guests I fail to rise to the occasion with aplomb. It could even be that my instincts are, in fact, to run and hide within the comfy confines of my bed, tucking up my toes, and whispering ‘if I can’t see them, they can’t see me, if I can’t see them, I can’t see me, no, wait’. Lately, however, I’ve been inclined otherwise.
Today was an otherwise ordinary day. I raised myself from my bed before realising that it was hideously early and I really ought to nap a while longer – so I went back to bed and napped a while longer. I, most unfortunately, made it work on time. I, even more unfortunately, worked – though not to the best of my ability, I’m having end of week lag. Once that session of incredible boredom was over I hitched a ride home and hooked up my addiction to see what the rest of the world had done. Then there came a knock to the wall and I wandered over to see what the matter was. There were people perched upon the doorstop that was having delusions of wallness. The doorstop was the one having the delusions but the people seemed inclined to be part of it. I waved from my window (you didn’t think I’d open the door to such strangers, did you?) and exchanged a minor and nonsensical greeting with a slightly bruised young fellow. My instincts numbed by boredom and confronted with the ragtag and motley crew who together form Burgher Russell’s band of travelling troubadours (or is that tarts? I’m having some trouble with T words) I threw caution to the wind and opened the door. After that, it was all I could do to stutter a weak and poorly accented ‘Bonjour Messieurs & Mesdames’ and prop the poorly located door open. ‘Do come inside, it’s a pleasure to meet you.’
Opening the door before hosing down my, I’m sure, esteemed guests proved a mistake. It was clear that they had been travelling for some time and knowing, in my own small way, the perils of travel I offered up the most gentle of suggestions about the beauty of the facilities, one area in which the renovation has gone well, and the freshness of the towels. ‘Out the back,’ I cried. ‘No, the other back.’ And was once more alone and able to make my abode fit for company and/or general habitation.
It was a sweeter scented and overly giggly bunch who later trouped into my parlour. Where I used my weak and poorly accented English to offer them refreshment and, inadvertently, I’m sure, a place to call their own for as long as it was needed. (English, it turns out, is an awkward way of offering hospitality to strangers – one comes over all uptight and foolish and makes offers beyond what is really meant. It an also be awkward for just explaining things.) At that point, however, their little eyes engaged in a collective doze and they slumped rather rudely (I rather forgot to offer them fresh clothing and the poor dears were too polite to ask) about the room on any number of soft, squishy, and over-stuffed things. After removing myself from beneath one who had clearly mistaken me for a very modern sofa, I stoked the fire and left the room. Mayhap we will resume on the morrow...