Mrs Canavan and I won’t be going on another night out until at least February.
There are two reasons for this.
The first is that since Mrs Canavan became pregnant our social life has been worse than that of my Uncle Brian, who never married, doesn’t believe in showering, and has lived in a high-rise block of flats on the outskirts of Greater Manchester since late 1965.
Every evening at about 10 past nine, Mrs Canavan will complain about her back being sore and then announce she is going to bed.
We did, in fairness, have a rare outing a couple of weeks ago when we went to the cinema to see, funnily enough, a film. She fell asleep 20 minutes after it started, which annoyed me as her ticket cost seven quid but on the plus-side I did get to nick all her popcorn. On the way home I suggested we nip to the local hostelry for a quick drink, at which point she looked at me as if she was considering planting a kitchen knife in my cheek and said, tersely, ‘if you want to go, we’ll go’ - which, of course, translated meant ‘not a chance sunshine’. Instead we continued straight home, had a hot chocolate, and were asleep by just gone 10. And that was one of our wilder nights.
But the second and most pertinent reason why we won’t be going out till early next year is because we are skint, after having forked out a painfully large amount of cash on a vacuum cleaner.
Back in the day, Hoovers were straightforward. For years I used one that I bought for 15 quid from a car boot sale in Arnside and which I assembled myself. It weighed roughly seven tonnes and as a result it took around five hours to Hoover the stairs for you had to take a 25-minute break between each step to recover. But, still, it was a beautiful piece of equipment and never let me down.
However, since that Dyson fella stuck his oar in, the vacuum cleaner world appears to have gone berserk for there are now hundreds of options.
Mrs Canavan spent many hours deliberating which she would choose and then, using my bank card, ordered it online.
A couple of days later something called the Dyson v8 animal was delivered to our door which, I noted with alarm when I checked my bank account, cost the best part of £400.
In an attempt to justify that outrageous price tag, the packaging had all sorts of exciting claims on it.
‘Self-touch trigger. Conserves power - on when you need it, off when you don’t.’ Which is surely just common sense - I’d be quite alarmed if the vacuum cleaner remained switched on after I’d actually finished vacuuming.
‘Two tier radial cyclones and a highly efficient post motor filter - generate centrifugal forces to fling dust out of air and into the bin,’ it continued.
‘Whole machine filtration - captures 99.97 per cent of particles as small as 0.3 microns’.
And on it went. I didn’t understand a word but it sounded so exciting that I couldn’t help but get carried away.
’Crikey you won’t believe this,’ I shouted up the stairs to Mrs Canavan, who was in bed for it was, after all, gone 8pm. ‘It’s got 150 per cent more brush bar power and fade-free Lithium-ion batteries.’
I immediately rushed to try it and found that what it did was suck little bits of dirt and grime up off the carpet, in exactly the same way that the £15 Hoover did.
I have the distinct feeling that money could have been better used.
Still stewing over that sausage casserole
Being the sort of chap always quick to do something for others (unless there’s footie on the TV), I made tea for my wife the other evening.
She told me she wouldn’t be back until 8pm as she had a meeting at work (thinking about it, she’s had several of these ‘meetings’ since the arrival of a handsome young man in sales called Anton, though I’m sure that’s just coincidence).
Not wanting her to arrive home with nothing to eat, I spent a couple of hours slaving over a sausage casserole, one of her favourite dishes.
She walked through the door just as I had finished cooking and greeted me with the words, ‘ugh, what’s that smell?’
I explained I’d made her favourite meal, to which she replied - and this is absolutely true - ‘oh I’m not really in a casserole mood tonight, is there nothing else we can have?’
A rolling pin lay on the kitchen counter and for a fleeting moment I thought about lightly embedding it in Mrs Canavan’s head.
However, deciding this would be an over-reaction, I instead said, ‘no, but if you want something different, feel free to make it yourself’.
Mrs Canavan reluctantly began to eat it and then, midway through a mouthful, suddenly made a gurgling noise and said accusingly ‘you’ve used two different types of sausages haven’t you?’
She was right, I had - two were plain pork and two were slightly more fancy, pork with apple in to be exact.
She pulled a face and said she couldn’t eat any more because she didn’t like it when sausages were mixed.
This is a true story.
I spent the rest of the evening on the internet researching the cheapest way to file for divorce.