The only time I get to sleep with my wife is when her ex-husband comes to stay. Last time she gave up her bedroom and slept with me in mine. This time I’m the one making the sacrifice. Matthias will have my bedroom for a few nights.
At least we didn’t have any trouble with the stairs this time. We’ve moved to a ground floor flat. Matthias finds it much more convenient.
He even had lighter suitcases.
One of the reasons for this was that Matthias forgot to pack any warm clothes.
Lanying told him off for being so thoughtless.
“But now is summer!” he exclaimed at the airport. “It is hot in London, I am thinking.”
We drove back through the torrential rain discussing where you can buy a cheap raincoat. Matthias was getting chilly in his short-sleeved polyester shirt, so I turned on the heating.
Matthias has been living in Kuala Lumpur for the past two years where it’s regularly 30 degrees.
“They don’t have any seasons in Kuala Lumpur, do they?” I said.
“They don’t have seasons in London, either,” said Lanying. “It’s cold and wet every day of the year.”
“You only think that because you spent all day yesterday in a darkened restaurant,” I told her. “It was glorious sunshine all afternoon.”
“People think it’s hot in London when it gets to 24 degrees,” she replied. “Everyone strips off and lies down half naked in the park. But 24 degrees isn’t hot. They’ve got no idea.”
I got a little lost on the drive home from the airport so Matthias had to direct me. He repeated the instructions from my satnav. First I got the sensual Welsh woman directing me. “In 400 yards go round the roundabout and take the fifth exit. Then stay in the right hand lane.”
Then I got the broad Swiss-German of Matthias. “You see, you need to go right round it again and take the fifth turning onto that road that you were on before. That must be the road. You came off it. And now you need to back on it again. Yes. One. Two. Three. Four. Now it is this one. The fifth turning. You see the motorway is sweeping round like that. Yes. It must be the same road we were on just a moment ago. Perfect. Now we are OK.”
He moved the suitcases easily into my room while I went alone into the underground car park.
“There’s been a problem,” Lanying told me when I came back up to the flat.
“Matthias had some herbal drinks in his suitcase and one of the tops is sort of crushed and broken.”
“You mean it leaked all over his suitcase?”
“All over his clothes. Now he hasn’t got anything at all to wear.”
“That would explain why he’s sitting on my bed naked.”
“What, is he?”