Yes, indeed! The Retired Husband (TRH) plays. This is not an entirely new phenomenon. He has been known to play on the odd occasion over the years. However, now that he has successfully extricated himself from the rat race of earning a crust, he has figuratively let down his hair. I say that advisedly as in reality he has very little of it. Hair that is.
There has been a further decluttering in the lead up to the Festive Season. This, I believe, was in part responsible for the letting down of his hair. You see, he decided to divest himself of the tray top on his work car. This was a major step in the process of divesting himself of the ‘ties that bind’. In the process, he had to empty it. And my what an emptying that was. It really is amazing how much stuff can be fitted into little spaces. Unfortunately I was blissfully unaware of what he was doing. Perhaps that is not quite right. Unawareness in this instance was not exactly blissful. He was keeping himself occupied. Which is good. Banging and clattering in the man cave is not unusual. Had I known what the banging and clattering was about, I would have taken some shots. No, not at him! Of him. Photographs. He didn’t tell me till after the event. That in itself is not unusual.
It is well known in the extended family that if you tell TRH something it will NEVER be passed on to ANYONE. He will either forget it immediately. Or file it away in the never to be retrieved from behind the “pretending to look interested and listening” trapdoor inside his brain. Or simply his brain is otherwise engaged whilst you are talking to him. That means he looks like he’s listening. He is not. (This is a skill he learnt as a youngling when he was supposed to be paying attention to his mother.) What it means now is I never get to find out. Until someone mentions the matter casually in passing. Then notices my look of confusion. “Oh. He didn’t tell you?” Over the many decades of living with TRH I have never quite managed to perfect the skill of not getting upset about his trapdoor brain.
What all this means is that I cannot give you a blow by blow visual of the work. Suffice it to say that this is a photograph of one section of the tray with its neat little rows of storage containers. Which were FULL of screws, nuts, bolts and other tools of the trade paraphernalia. A large amount of which was snapped up by another roller shutter installer person who arrived with his gopher (Aussie slang for a helper) in his van to collect a vanful. And left very happy.
Needless to say, a further substantial amount of tools of the trade paraphernalia found its way into the decluttered man cave that is his workshed. Which now needs another wave of decluttering. There are multiple cordless drills and other such things. None of which have their neat storage boxes (take up too much room!) or their instruction manuals (who needs those?!) This last issue is a whole other story. And hundreds of kilograms of extruded aluminium scrap. Leftovers from shutter installation.
The tray top sold within two hours of being posted online, sight unseen at asking price. That put a smile on his face. The aluminium will turn into dollars when delivered to a scrap dealer. Having divested himself of these weighty accoutrements, TRH was decidedly more mellow during the Festive Season. Which is good. I was a tad concerned he may suffer pangs of attachment withdrawal. It was a relief to see that was not the case. Another step in the right direction. The door was left open to play.
Christmas brought Star Wars into our home. The latest movie had been avidly watched by all of us the night after its release a week before Christmas. TRH was gifted an Ultimate Collector’s Edition Star Wars Tie Fighter by son number one to add to his X-Wing from last Christmas. This is one instruction manual that was followed religiously, all 152 pages of it. Even requiring assistance from said son, a lego expert from age 2. TRH was totally immersed and absorbed in construction for two days.
In between bouts of Lego construction his nose was absorbed in one or another of the ten books he also received at Christmas. All this and smoked salmon. His idea of heaven on earth!
Star Wars found its way into all of our stockings. T-shirts, caps, mugs. And two robots.
BB8. How can a robot be so cute?!
Darth Vader- not so cute but integral to the plot.
And my favourite – in my stocking, a little Yoda to join my mini minions.
Having consumed a large portion of the smoked salmon in stock and two novels, TRH has now sailed away over the horizon for four days to bring in 2016. Thank goodness he is at last giving himself permission to let his Inner Child out to play more often without getting the guilts .
© Raili Tanska