Trapped in the net Mrs H has cast when she goes shopping

Is it salmon pink or is it a soft shade of water melon? Neil Haverson often drops his foot in it whe

Is it salmon pink or is it a soft shade of water melon? Neil Haverson often drops his foot in it when shopping with the ladies in his life - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Shopping with the women in his life is causing Neil a bit of an issue - especially when it comes to giving his opinion...

Recently I accompanied them to buy clothes for Brat Mini Minor, our granddaughter. Her father, Brat Minor, had to work. I could tell how gutted he was at having to miss the experience. My part in the proceedings included pram pushing – I must have performed 15 circuits of Primark to keep the slumbering little girl asleep - bag carrier and joining in the search for labels that said: '0-3 months'.

And, of course, presenter of the credit card.

Thankfully my opinion was rarely sought other than to nod enthusiastically in response to questions such as: 'Isn't that cute!' when shown a tiny dress with a soppy rabbit starring wide-eyed at the moon.

I must say my involvement in clothes shopping with Mrs H has decreased, firstly because she can't stand me trailing behind her whinging and secondly thanks to click and collect. She still blitzes the high street but buys online when either she can't find her size in the shops or simply wants to see what's on offer. Mind you, I still don't get away scot free.

'NEYUL! Come and look at this top.'

I present myself at the computer and peer at some perfectly shaped woman modelling something Mrs H has her eye on.

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'Do you think that will suit me?'

I can handle that. No dragging around the shops; no public interrogations deep in the midst of rails of clothes. However, recently I dropped my guard and got trapped. Mrs H was in Norwich while I was wallowing in a few unsupervised hours alone at Fortress H. I had arranged to meet her post shopping in the city. I parked the car and rang her mobile.

'I'm here,' I announced. 'Where are you?'

'In Marks. On the fashion floor.'

'On my way.'

How did I not twig? I was snared.

I hastened to the appointed place. I spotted Mrs H's head bobbing along above a rail of tops. As I approached I could see she was clutching a blouse and a coat. They were thrust unceremoniously into my hands.

'Hold these for me,' she said before bowling a googly. 'What do you think of this blouse?'

For once I had an answer – at least I thought I had.

'You've already got one that colour,' I said. There was a note of smugness in my tone that said; 'See, I do take notice of what you wear.'

'Phworr!' she exploded. 'Mine is pink, this one is more orange.'

Now, earlier I referred to 'public interrogations'. Well, unbeknown to us two ladies had overheard this exchange. As they walked past one of the ladies observed: 'That's coral.'

'Thank you!' Mrs H exclaimed before turning on me. 'See; it's not pink!'

She looked at the label and announced: 'Actually it's water melon. But it certainly isn't pink.'

'Well,' said the second lady dismissively. 'He's a man!'

With that, the pair of them moved away, satisfied they'd inserted the spoon in the marital pot and given it a good stir.

Mrs H returned to the trawl and ferreted out two pairs of trousers.

'Feel that!' she exclaimed, inviting me to check out the waist fastener. 'It'll stick out and make me look fat. Why do they make them so thick?'

Thankfully the trousers didn't fit and she abandoned the coat. But she bought the blouse. When we got home, I was summoned to the bedroom where a triumphant Mrs H had hung the pink and the coral/water melon blouses side by side. 'Look, told yer. Now can you see the difference?'

I agreed before slinking away. Oh how much easier my life is when she shops online.

'NEYULL! Come and look at the computer. I found some boots just the right height.'

Oh no. Spoke too soon. Sorry, got to go.