So … in the interests of a future short story, I’ve been out in the cold with the bro, doing a spot of historical research. There were the usual vigorous sibling discussions, which stopped just short of violence because it was so cold we couldn’t feel our hands, and of course neither of us was wearing gloves because gloves are for wimps.
Armed with google printouts, guide books, and hand-drawn notes we prowled around, pointing and pacing, enthusiastically not listening to each other until other visitors began to edge away. Only when we were virtually the only people left did we eventually reach a bloodless consensus. And we were freezing to death as well.
Obviously, lunch was called for – not least because we knew the pub would have a roaring fire. There was a great deal of cruet and cutlery manipulation as we demonstrated our conflicting arguments and then the food turned up and we lost interest.
There was further discussion in the car on the way home – although we were too stuffed to come to blows – and eventually we reached to a kind of conclusion and parted, more or less amicably, all ready to do it again the next time.
On reaching home, I made myself a cup of tea, fired up the laptop to do some further research, and the first thing I found was a site demonstrating, without any shadow of a doubt, that we’d both been completely, utterly, and totally wrong. I sent the bro the link so he could check it out for himself – and, obviously, to rub salt into any gaping wounds he might still be suffering.
I think the moral of the story is – stay in the warm and just google any information required.
It’s not all work and no play, though. I spent Saturday afternoon learning a new skill – dirty pouring. It’s great fun. Although, I did manage to get paint over everything – me, anyone within a twenty-foot radius, the tables, the chairs, the floor, and – somehow – my brother’s car, which was parked about fifty yards away. I have no idea how that happened. I was wearing a hazmat suit for most of the afternoon, so as I say – a bit of a mystery. I do recommend it, however. The dirty pouring – not the hazmat suit. Messy but therapeutic.
PS – For anyone concerned about my worryingly abusive sibling relationships – the paint-covered car belongs to a different brother than the one currently recovering from this morning’s hypothermia. And before anyone feels too sorry for them, they were both supposed to support me at my recent Waterstones book signing, and whenever I looked up there was no sign of them. As one of them attempted to explain afterwards – ‘You seemed to be doing OK so we pushed off upstairs to have a coffee.’
I am aware that, in principle, selling people is a Bad Thing, but surely
there must be instances where exceptions can be made.