My ability to open my mouth, say some words then have it dawn on me that I should have kept my mouth shut has been the bane of my life.
In an effort to keep my digestive system in the manner to which it's become accustomed, I accepted an offer of work from a rich widow lady who lives alone in a big house.
There are lots of rich widow ladies living alone in big houses round here.
Some of them have buried up to three husbands. This means there's a thousand and one odd jobs that need to be done that a dead husband just can't be relied on to do no matter what the inducement or how sharp the tongue.
I was asked if it be worth restoring this garden furniture:
The alternative to restoration was taking it to the local tip and purchasing a new set.
I said it could be restored. All that was needed was a lot of blood, sweat, wire-brushing and a tin of Hammerite paint which I would then apply liberally to the furniture and myself.
This would save the rich widow lady a considerable amount of money.
I wrote the word 'Hammerite' on a piece of paper and dispatched the rich widow lady to the hardware shop telling her that the colour of the paint was entirely up to her but the tin must have the word I'd written on the piece of paper printed somewhere on it.
In her absence I had time to reflect on the fact that, if I'd have said it should be dumped and I would gladly take it to the tip myself, I could have spent many happy hours sat at the table outside my shed drinking exotic cocktails as the sun sank behind the horizon.
When I'd finished the job the table and chairs looked like this:
I now have a clear conscience and a full stomach but, as I sit on an old tree stump outside my shed, I feel a sense of emptiness that my exotic cocktail can't quite rid me of.
Linda's emptiness is even greater than mine as she burnt her tree stump during the last cold snap.