So at seven in the morning on a Sunday the door-bell rings, and someone is suspiciously calm while I panic and start to wonder about who in the family has been injured or killed or sent to prison because who shows up at the door at 7 am on a Sunday morning except the bearer of very bad news that can’t be said over the phone?
I head downstairs, stepping into my track trousers as I run down the stairs, and pulling a T-shirt over my head just before I get to the door. And there’s two stout blokes in beige uniforms on the door-step, and behind them is a big van, and one of them hands over a clip-board with a paper for me to sign.
“Huh?”, I say and stare at the thing. I have no idea what’s going on. I haven’t had my tea yet.
“Go on, sign it,” Someone is still casually leaned against the door-post to the kitchen, and he’s looking intently at his nails, and refuses to say anything more beyond a dismissive shrug. He’s not going to tell me what’s going on, so I sign the board.
And then they wheel it in. They open the back of the lorry, use the lift to lower a huge bundle to the ground, and they wheel the damn thing past me. Mark finally reacts and points at a wall against which they prop the bundle.
“Happy anniversary”, he then says and gives me a kiss, and pull the covering cloth off the bundle, and it’s a piano. Apparently one of his relatives needed some space, and they had this Bentley upright piano from the early 1990s that took up all that space, and they let Mark have it for £80. So, he’s taken a huge chunk of his salary from the brick-laying job, and he’s bought me a flipping piano.
“You need something to do,” he says. “Or the next 18 months is going to be filled with you whinging about things. I’m not sure I want a whinging husband”, he says. “Happy anniversary. It needs to be tuned since it hasn’t been used for years, but I’ll let you get that sorted.”
I have no idea how to tune a piano. I have no idea what moves in that pretty head sometimes. But I do love him. But a piano? I haven’t learned to play the guitar properly yet.