"You're not going to like this," said Hubby. "How about tonight?"
"NO!!" I said.
It was one word, with serious feeling. And then I put the phone down.
Hubby called again. I ignored it.
Still I ignored it....
How could they do that I thought? At the risk of being seriously prima donnarish, as opposed to just a bit, this was MY night. Eleven years after having got an Equity card I was finally getting an agent to come and watch me act. Anyone involved in the luvvy arty stuff will know that this is no mean feat. It takes a lot to get an agent to take you seriously, and even more to get one to travel as far as Cheltenham - a hundred miles from the big smoke - to come and watch you.
But they were coming. Tonight. Now.
I had had nothing else planned for the day. I was simply going to do a very simple dinner to leave for everyone and take it easy. It was my first night of my play and I was to say the least, nervous.
Hubby on the other hand had taken a call from Social Services. They were desperate. They had to place someone forthwith, now. It was another asylum seeker and it turned out that he was in fact a thirteen year old, in need of a home.
Hubby rang again.
"Fine. I'll do the room." I yelled down the phone.
I rang the social worker to find out a little more about the boy in question, including his name. I then rang the person that he was currently with to find out a little more.
It seems that she was aware that this boy was to be placed with us three days before.
But ...... no-one had remembered to call us, the people who they were planning to place him with for the next two and a half years. Nor had anyone remembered to to a "pre placement visit."
Unfortunately his emergency 28 day placement had now run out and he therefore needed to be placed in a home by the end of the day or else the social worker would turn into a pumpkin or something.
"Why didn't you just say no?" I eventually asked Hubby.
"Well I did effectively. I said that it might prove difficult."
"No." I remonstrated. "You said that it 'might prove difficult.' That means, in translation, that you will go back to 'Mrs Awkward', ask her, and then give an answer. If the answer is YES, then 'Mrs Awkward' has consented. If the answer is NO, then clearly she has acted awkwardly, and has put her foot down. Either way I look like a class one bitch with no feeling."
Hubby agreed to pick up the new incumbent on his way home from work. I left for the theatre feeling cross and a little upset that I had to leave Tinks and Gymnast waiting for our new arrival with no other adult in the house. I pleaded with ESOS.
"Would you mind just watching tele with them until Dad gets home?"
Grudgingly he relented and went to watch his beloved (not) 'Hannah Montana.' "Have you any idea how much I HATE, and I mean HATE this programme?" he complained loudly.
As I drove into Cheltenham, I saw Hubby's car driving past me in the other direction. I called him.
"Why are you just leaving Cheltenham? I need you to be at home with Tinkerbell Mushroom and Gymnast!"
"It must have been some bloke that looked like me." He said. "Wasn't me."
.........The flowers left at the stage door were very nice.
And the new boy is very sweet..................
But next time..................it would be very nice to have at least twenty four hours notice please Mr Social Worker.........................
4 weeks ago