Sleepless in Ilkley

We spent the weekend at Mrs BW’s sister and her family. They live in Ilkley which is a lovely little town a few miles outside Leeds. We had a really good time interesting walks, up on the moor, and a BBQ in the evening. Mrs BW sat up late into the night chatting with her sister by the fire side, the fledglings entertained themselves with their cousins and all in all everyone had a good time. Except……

I took a cup of coffee to bed. The floor of the room we were sleeping in was a pristine cream colour. Sometime in the middle of the night, around about 2.30am I awoke from a disturbing dream and reached out to check the time. There was a thud. I knew instantly that the half drunken cup of coffee was now soaking into the cream coloured carpet. I shook Mrs BW to wake her. She wasn’t best pleased especially when she turned the light on and found that, yes the coffee had been spilt on the floor and that yes quite a lot of it had soaked, in fact was at this very minute was soaking into the cream coloured carpet, but that most of it had spilt on her favourite jumper that she had carelessly abandoned in the danger zone. She said something that would have made even our front row blush, and I went off in search of a cloth. Despite my (well Mrs BW’s really) best efforts to clean it up, the carpet was well and truly stained.

Mrs BW suggested that sleep was the best course of action, turned off the light and promptly fell asleep. I however could not sleep. I was trying to work out how I could explain the mess that I had made.

I needed the loo. So I got out of bed and found the upstair toilet. The bowl seemed to have rather a lot of toilet paper in it so before I did anything I flushed the toilet. The water rose to an inch below the rim and then stayed there. I stared at it in disbelief willing it to go back down. It didn’t. What was I to do? Flush it again? But then it might overflow and in the space of thirty minutes I would have ruined a carpet and been partly responsible for flooding the bathroom. Back in our room I prodded Mrs BW awake. “You re not going to believe this I said” She looked at me through sleep burdened eyes.

“This better be very good” she said and I have to say that there was a distinct air of menace about the way she said it.

“The toilet is blocked. I think that it might overflow and ………”

“Well use the one downstairs and let me get to SLEEP!”

I had sort of hoped that she would have volunteered to go and have a look at it, she being a DIY expert. But she was obviously asleep and it did not seem worth continuing the conversation. I went down and used the downstairs loo and got back in bed.

It must have been about five thirty, that still awake and rehearshing my excuses, that I began to worry about the car keys. I could not remember where I had put them . It was light enough not to have to put the light on, so I rummaged about the room looking under piles of clothing. No sign of them. I popped downstairs to check in my fleece. They were bound to be there but I had better check just to put my mind at rest. So I down stairs I went. My fleece pockets were empty of keys. I began to feel a mild sense of panic. Back upstairs in our room, I had one final look. Nothing, no sign of them. Nothing for it. I prodded Mrs BW. “Can’t find the car keys. Have you got them?”

It must of taken a few minutes for this to sink in. She looked at me, well straight through me for a minute or two before what I had said sank in. “You can’t find the car keys? Its the middle of the night, what are you doing looking for them now?”

“Couldn’t sleep, and I remembered that I had not seen them since the afternoon.” I said.

“And you’ve checked all your pockets.”

“Oh yes, I have been downstairs and they are not in my fleece”

“What about the pockets of your walking trousers?”

My walking trousers! Of course! I scrabbled around on the floor, found them and when I lifted them up I could tell that they were full of car keys!

“Oh. Right well I sort of forgot that I was wear…..”

She was not listening. She had stormed out of bed and left the room. She returned minutes later. “Right, I have found your wretched car keys, tried to clean up the mess that you have made on the carpet, and by the way just gone and flushed the upstairs loo and which has cleared the blockage. Is there anything more that you would like me to do? or can I get some SLEEP”

I thought about saying that a cup of tea could be nice but years of experience and the urge to survive intervened, and I stayed silent. Soon Mrs BW was fast asleep. The sunlight was streaming in through the cracks in the curtains the birds were singing happily outside, while I was left to contemplate what had been one of my less successful nights.

All is well that ends well though. Mrs BW’s sister was very understanding about the floor and said that it had had much worse on it and the VAX would sort it out. I briefly toyed with the idea of telling her the story about our rugby tour to Spain, the hotel bedroom carpet and the story of how I put my mobile phone in the washing machine but thought better of it.

We went for another walk on Sunday and some of us collected billberries and all the fledglings got covered in juice and the sun shone and I slept all the way home in the car to make up for my lack of sleep the previous night. An excellent weekend!

4 thoughts on “Sleepless in Ilkley

  1. Oh my, I got quite the giggle out of that story! Still giggling, actually. I’m not sure who I feel sorrier for you, you or MRS. BW!And I must commiserate – I once dumped a whole glass of red wine on my cousins pristine white carpet. There’s really nothing like that “Oh Gawd…what have I done?!” feeling, is there??

  2. I would feel sorry for Mrs BW. I am a miserable male who deserves no sympathy.It is a horrible feeling which usually in me sets off a trail of “if only I had not” thoughts, which is pointless.

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