Friday, 1 January 2010

A difficult beginning.

Oh dear, 2010 has really not started very well at all – I am quite distressed. I have asked Ellis to allow absolutely no visitors across the threshold whatsoever, and Mrs Swann is bringing me a cup of Earl Grey and two aspirins. Honestly, what a fuss; I do think Ponty was unreasonable.

Naturally he likes to go out with his friends on New Year’s Eve – I believe he was heading for Town with the intention of meeting up with some other young people in Trafalgar Square, where they were all intending to have a lovely time and possibly pop into a nearby hostelry for a little drink at some point. I did rather wistfully enquire if that Complete Saddho would still be of the party, but after staring at me in blank amazement for a moment, Ponty appeared to recover his wits and said with a guffaw that his friend had urgently to head East to quell a revolution. I must say Ponty does have some exciting associates, though I should have thought a political uprising is no laughing matter even at this safe distance.

Before he went up to Town yesterday he asked me as a favour if I would record a television programme for him – normally Eustacia would do that, but she was taking a nap and Ponty seemed in a hurry to set off, so Ponty asked me if I would do it for him.

I wish now that I had been sensible enough to consult Eustacia, and then I would never have made such a silly mistake. I suppose I felt proud that for once one of my dear children had seen fit to entrust me with something important, and had faith in my ability to master the management of electronic controls, which I realise has been shaky in the past. Results have been uneven, and I am the first to admit this.

But I was determined to do it by myself, if only to prove that I could: and I see now how foolish I was to act with such arrogance.

It was not that I failed to set the recording function. I got out the little booklet that came with the DVD recording machine, and followed the rather longwinded instructions with care and success, despite their being written entirely in Spanish.

I must confess I felt a little surprised that Ponty was so keen to avoid missing an episode of Supernanny. I might have seen the sense in watching it myself a few years ago, but Ponty has no children of his own – or at least – well, never mind; Ponty is not married.

So it was not until late this afternoon when Ponty, having returned from Town and slept in until after luncheon, emerged in his dressing gown to catch up on his programme, that I discovered my mistake.

With a puzzled expression on his face Ponty watched the first fifteen minutes of Jo Frost correcting the ways of a shockingly insubordinate three-year-old who was in the habit of exerting perfect tyranny over its cowering parents – and then erupted with a bellow of rage, showering upon my unsuspecting head the most blistering attack of really disgraceful expletives.

I was completely bewildered.

Eustacia enlightened me later, after she had come down to see what all the fuss was about. Apparently it was not Supernanny at all that Ponty wanted me to record, but Jools Holland's Annual Hootenanny: but, honestly – how was I to know? It sounded like ‘Supernanny’ to me!