On the same afternoon that the Most Recent Trailer was acquired, the Smalls and I headed back to the vineyard for what had been intended to be five days of housesitting. However, biology intervened. Our host remained in situ, minus her appendix, and thus unable to do very much at all. Had I been on my own, it all would have been very easy and straightforward, but prior to the appendix the Smalls had been very excited to do some more house-sitting and I didn’t feel like I could leave them behind.
Small Z was in an anxious melt, having just completed her first ever term of school and performed in a concert to celebrate the fact, playing violin with a band and then singing a song. She was strung out and adrenalised and not in her comforting boat. Both Smalls were trying to keep their shit together because our host was present. It. Was. Hard.
It was hard for them, it was hard for me. When our host-with-the-missing-appendix left for the last two nights there was one of the most major Small eruptions in recent history. And by that I mean a stereo eruption. One or the other erupts with tiresome regularity, but in stereo? Not very often. Then, of course, I added myself into the mix – outdoing both of them.
After shrieking at them that if they didn’t both get into bed RIGHT NOW I was throwing them physically into the car and driving them back to the boat where I would dump them on the jetty and head off into the night… Small DB passed out almost at once, while Small Z and I prowled around each other snarlylike before settling down companionably to watch an episode of Brooklyn 99.
However, in the back of my head pulsed a small beacon – the owners of the vineyard were returning, but only for a couple of nights. They were then heading away again – and that time, I decided, had just become a Holiday Retreat of Me. The beacon proved to be a lovely buffer for me any time further sibling bickering occurred. This is not to say that all they did was harangue each other and complain to me – they did have fun.
Small DB was in charge of the two baby rats – Benny and Chocolate, and Kittylicious – the black vineyard cat.
Small Z owned the black bunny and the chooks. Me? I got the dogs, and that was good. Dogs are an excellent novelty – and an awesome excuse to get moving. The Smalls were thrilled to be dragged by them all around the area.
Back at the boat, M had (as usual) crafted himself a kind of sparse, minimalistic bachelor pad. Surfaces were bare and shining. Coffee, Luna and his iPad appeared to be the only items of attachment. We arrived back with multiple bags. “Oh wow,” DB said to me. “I’m so glad you didn’t let us bring our iPads to the vineyard because now there’ll be lots of new episodes of shows on ABCMe that I haven’t seen.” And that was the last I saw of her for a while.
In the late afternoon Small Z threw a spectacular wobbly – fracturing the final pieces of M’s hard-won bachelor existence. He disappeared to bed while I thought dreamily about my beacon and mentally began packing my bag to depart in two days time.