‘I am going to write a book,’ says Him Indoors. ‘It will be entitled ‘Living With A Writer’ and trust me, it won’t be flattering.’
‘Go for it,’ says I, in a huff because there’s nothing in the cupboard for dinner and this is my fault because I forgot to add it to the Tesco’s list, or even to write it on the blackboard hanging in the kitchen. Or even to think about it, because currently I’m working out how to murder someone, and it ain’t easy.
My long-suffering partner suggests holidays and I shriek: ‘Go where? When? I can’t spare the time, I’ve got this deadline, I’ve got the edits, these characters just are not gelling, can you please go away and leave me to stew here in peace?’
I don’t suppose living with a writer is very easy, really. There we are, perpetually caught between two worlds – the real one, and the other one happening in our heads. And to be truthful, the one in our heads tends to get a lot more attention than anything else.
And then there is the toenail issue: we crawl into bed having dined on fish fingers and beans (yes, yes, because I forgot to add anything to the Tesco’s shop, I know, I know) and Him Indoors yells: ‘Ouch!’
Wearily I snuggle under the covers. ‘Yes. I know. I will cut my toenails tomorrow. They are only an inch and a half long, what’s your problem? If I were an Indian swami you wouldn’t complain, I’d be venerated, wouldn’t I, and generally fawned over and made a fuss of with my long toenails. Write it on the blackboard will you?’
Then there are the constantly missed and rescheduled doctors’ appointments, and the dentist, and the hygienist, and the hairdresser, because there is all this story unravelling in my head – and that is far more important than reality.
‘If you’re going to write this book then I have to tell you, ‘Living With a Writer’ doesn’t exactly leap off the page,’ I complain, sleepily. ‘The Pen and the Sword, how about that? Or Death by Quill?’
‘Ah, shaddup,’ he says, and exhausted, we fall to sleep.