Bone chilling cold and the strangest of dreams. I go outside to say goodbye to my daughter who is leaving with a group of friends.
‘Can I please have some money?’ she asks. She has very little these days. She’s not working much and is trying to save the little she earns for a trip overseas later this year. In the meantime, she must live. The front veranda is covered with stuff, cupboards and boxes. Soft toys hang from a series of strings pulled tight across the ceiling of the veranda. Who’s done this? I wonder. I turn to leave my daughter and notice that the verge of the footpath has finally been fixed after years but beyond the footpath and into our driveway the bricks are all higgledy-piggledy, as if someone has uprooted them to work on the drains. There is water too covering the front yard all the way down to the drain and I realise that my stockinged feel will get wet. I tip toe across raised objects to get back to the veranda calling to my husband as I go. I can see through the wide-open front door that the water is spilling down the front hallway onto the veranda from inside the house. The water is steaming.
‘Hot water,’ I yell. ‘We’ve sprung a leak.’
My husband tears apart bricks to get to the source of the problem. He’s furious with me it seems.
‘That bloke you organised. He’s stuffed it. I’m left with the problem.’
My husbnd is terse clipped and cruel. I burst into tears and run inside. There’s mess everywhere and I realise that in his rage with whatever mess or problems that were there in the first place, my husband has compounded them by dragging almost everything out of its usual place and I will have to spend the rest of the day setting it right. Worst of all I have not been planning for this. What will people think if they arrive for a session to a veranda covered in junk?