• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 11
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How much longer?

How much longer is this going to take? I'm too fed up for words. It's exactly the same every year; I swear he pays more attention to it than he does to me. This morning he spent hours grooming the thing, hoping it will win but it never has. That doesn't seem to put him off and his enthusiasm rarely wanes. Instead he invests good money, dressing it up and treating it to makeovers, while I'm resigned to living in the same coat I've worn for three years and can't remember the last time I enjoyed a basic shampoo and set. "It will pay off in the end," he reassures me. I simply reply: "If you say so, darling," refusing to engineer an argument because I know there is little point.

The ride home is a solemn one. I sit in the passenger seat saying nothing while he drives erratically, evidently cheesed off because for the first time in years, his dog wasn't even placed fourth or fifth. The highest award it's won is bronze, but this year it never came close; no certificate or rosette; not even a badge for taking part. The whole day has been a complete waste and when I get home there will be no time for relaxing because the house needs cleaning, the washing up from this morning was left undone and there is laundry and ironing to sort out. "There's always next year, I suppose," he says, trying to convince himself rather than me. I, on the other hand, say nothing; why? Because I have other things on my mind; housework and domestic drudgery mainly. But I'm also planning my evening in front of the television; The Generation Game, Dr Who and of course the new series of The Professionals starts tonight. That Lewis Collins - what a dish.