Its officially six months since we flew the coop, and we’ve been in SE Asia the whole time. Something strange has started happening to my husband Chris. It started with him shaving his armpits. Then he started reading. You know, books.
First it was The Hobbit but then he moved onto, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austin’s famous heart wrenching story of love, impropriety and highly complex, yet grammatically impeccable sentences.
Now he’s engrossed in Persuasion, and I found him checking ahead on Wikipedia, worried he wasn’t bonding with the main characters. He was relieved to find they are considered Austin’s least likable. After that, Chris watched Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightly one, with the oh-so adorable Mr Bingley.) Twice.
Whatever he’s caught is contagious. Snowy, who is but five, said to me;
‘Mummy, why did Darcy say just ten words to Elizabeth and then walk out?’
‘I suppose because he was feeling nervous and that made it hard for him to speak properly’
‘Oh’, said Snowy, ‘like Bertie in The King’s Speech.’
Yes, the period drama section of our traveling DVD collection is no longer a place I can go to hide by myself. Chris and all the children have been camping out there, learning words like ‘prevail’ and ‘condescension’ and wondering if the dresses were perhaps a bit modern.
When the Bintang ran out, my husband started drinking ginger tea. He bought tempeh. (Like tofu, but even crunchier, in both senses of the word)
After that, Chris started writing down his dreams. He said last night’s was really sad. Was he trying to reassure me when he said the sad bit was when an ugly brown Ford crushed his dream car, a green/grey EH Holden wagon and he had to tow if off with the Nissan Patrol? There are no ‘real man’ cars in our life now. Here, we have a teeny tiny little hire car. Chris didn’t blink an eye when it came with two packets of incense sticks instead of a road map in the glove box.
Ten years ago, I sewed him a pair of fisherman pants. He’s started wearing them. And a funky bracelet. And a frangipani behind his ear. Everyday.
Just to fill you in, here is the person I married.
When we met he lived in a little house by the beach with a milk crate for a coffee table. The first meal he cooked me was mashed potato with sweet chilli sauce. He played in a world music band.
He had a pony tail, and a few cardigans.
Here’s how we started out. Yes, that’s a real live orange 1976 kombi campervan. It’s name was Fergus.
Then these little ones turned up…
And Chris started to dress properly and go off to work, a proper job, with rules, and meetings and big machines and all that.
He looked like this.
and even this.
This went on for most of the last nine years. Don’t misunderstand me, he has always been totally lovely and wonderful … but now something has happened.
Enter: Travel. Slow…… slow…… travel.
Six months later I have a chilled out, tea drinking, friend hugging, bamboo-floor sitting, flower photographing, barefooted, singing, baby-sling wearing, blog reading, homeschool advocating, crystal deodorant using, sarong wearing husband who QUOTES Jane Austen.
No kidding, this afternoon, he asked Sparky if she’d ‘like to take a turn about the room’ as ‘its so refreshing’
But I cannot laugh as loud as I am cheering.
With bells on.