Mrs H’s goal was a cheese scone

You know how much I admire and respect Mrs H. Well, she has risen even more in my estimation for her performance during the World Cup. Quite willingly she allowed Brat Minor and me to monopolise the television.

You know how much I admire and respect Mrs H. Well, she has risen even more in my estimation for her performance during the World Cup. Quite willingly she allowed Brat Minor and me to monopolise the television. She even took a passing interest and, when she strayed into the room, was happy to give us the benefit of her erudite thoughts.

On one occasion she decided to do some ironing while a game was on. I ask you, how can you appreciate the finer point of the game while you're pressing a shirt? Anyway, there was a heart-stopping moment in one of England's early games. Brat Minor and I shot to the edge of our seats and gasped with excitement. Mrs H joined in with a breathtaking “Gosh!”

Ah, so she'd spotted the importance of John Terry's goal-line clearance. Er… no.

“His shorts are baggy!” she exclaimed.


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Oh well, I guess we could excuse that. After all, I was cut some slack while the football was on. I was not expected to be on duty in the kitchen and the words “Could you just…” were not uttered. However, with uncanny timing, Mrs H did appear in the door at half-time.

“If you want yer dinner, you could come and chop some veg. You're the one that always complains how late we eat.”

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Mind you, I did notice a tray of food, specially prepared for his diet, was delivered to Brat Minor. My quizzical look was greeted with: “Well he needs to eat.” Ah, so I don't, eh?

But she did make sure my England shirt was washed and ironed in time for the big games.

However, she peaked on the day of England's sad demise. She decided to leave us to it for the afternoon and go out with her shopping buddy. The weather was glorious; in fact it was so good they took the landmark decision to suspend the monthly race to reach the credit card limit in favour of heading for the coast.

Anyone who watched that game will know it was agonising; my stress levels went through the roof. Five minutes from full-time the phone went.

“Aarggh!” I cried. “Whoever is ringing us at this time?

“Hello it's me. We wondered how they were doing.”

My voice was distinctly shaky as I barked. “S'nought nought. Rooney's bin sent off.”

“Ok,” she said sweetly. “You can get back to it now.”

But her greatest performance was yet to come. She arrived home to find us bereft. Despite the gloomy atmosphere she still asked: “How did they get on?”

We launched into the obituary only to be upstaged by Mrs H. As we were telling tales of tension and ineptitude we found ourselves listening to a Mrs H adventure; the quest for a cheese scone.

When Mrs H arrives home from an excursion, she spends the first half-hour touring the house reaffirming her authority. Windows are opened/closed, washing-up restacked neatly on the draining board, the newspaper put away and I have to account for my activities.

Having established our nation lost, Mrs H went about her tasks while telling us her breathless story.

I will not inflict the entire saga on you but it transpires that the pair of them decided to go to Sheringham. Having taken the sea air they decided a coffee and scone was in order and went off in search. Now, if you run a café in Sheringham you may remember two women coming through the door, staring hard at the selection on the counter, then marching out. Eventually, in one café, they asked if there were any cheese scones and were told there were “some out the back”.

This sounded dodgy to me but such was the quality of their snack that, while Brat Minor and I were trying to give an emotional account of the penalty shootout, Mrs H was regaling us with the consistency and cheeseyness of her scone. What was worse, we found ourselves following her around the house listening.

As an aside, Mrs H proved once again how quickly she can change clothes when going out doesn't involve me.

Mrs H had selected trousers for her trip to the seaside but when the shopping buddy arrived, she exclaimed: “Oh you've got a long skirt on. I was going to wear mine but I thought I might mess it up on the beach.”

There followed some girl talk about the pros and cons of skirts and their practicality on sand. Mrs H announced she was going to change. She went upstairs and came back down almost immediately. Changed.

“Why can't you do it that quickly when we're going out?” I protested.

“I already had it out on the bed,” she replied as if I was a complete idiot.

Honestly, when we go out, the bed is littered with outfits!

Mind you, I guess I should be grateful. If she didn't take so long to get ready, there'd be more time when we were out to spend dragging round cafés looking for cheese scones - and swiping the credit card.

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