Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Gardening Leave

The old hubstar, Kevin, is on gardening leave. In the UK that's what they call being between jobs.

The Gardener makes for a solitary figure eating his Chinese chicken salad lunch outside.
My friend in a similar boat warned me: "A husband home disturbs the cosmic cycle. I seldom watch daytime TV, but it's nice to know I can. Now that possibility is gone."

I had envisaged Kevin's sojourn at home as an invigorating melee of grocery shopper, chauffeur, stylist, receptionist, tech guy, dishwasher and lady's companion.

And dog walker. Off he went with Teddy who is still not great when he sees other dogs. Sighting two dogs across the road Teddy started lunging at his lead. The owner trilled a warning to her perfect pooches: "Dog behaving badly! Dog behaving badly!"

How humiliating for Kevin. Otherwise the day was going quite well. My computer wasn't connecting to the printer so I kept emailing attachments to Kevin in his office yelling: "Print now please!" That worked.

At the end of the morning, he appeared at my desk with the latest print out and asked wearily: "Is this really how it's going to go?"

Next I sent him off to get the dry-cleaning and buy me a donut. "Take the dog!" I called helpfully as he left. Kevin arrived back with quite a sad story.

He'd parked opposite the donut store, got Teddy out, and Teddy diarrhea-ed all over the grass. Kevin looked around for something in the car to clean it up, but no luck. Checking furtively for witnesses, he scooted quickly across to the donut shop, intending to buy me a donut and grab some napkins to clean up Teddy's apocalyptic mess.

While Kevin was in the store,  outside Teddy was barking at everything like a crazy dog. This panicked the shop assistant who hissed: "Just go outside. I'll hand them to you." Kevin returned to the car, napkins in hand and cleaned up Teddy's watery accident.

Returning home he handed me the custard donut, whereupon I might have said: "Not the jam one? I did say jam."

Sloping off to his office, I head him mutter: "I used to be in charge of people. I used to run a company..."

"Print now please!" I yelled through to his office.

Think it's going really well don't you?


41 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness this post is so funny, You and your husband are so cute!! I hope being at home smooths out for him lol

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  2. Aw, he shall be back in the game soon or you shall be dead...hoping for the first, would not be surprised by the latter.

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  3. Honestly I think it couldn't be better! Donuts? Also he can print things, brilliant. I'm the person who does that in my house. Actually I'm the one who goes to get donuts too which I can't even eat because of my stupid gluten-free diet.
    I don't know why all of these people are complaining about Teddy! I mean really!

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  4. I know what you mean - I both like and dislike it when my husband is travelling. Hope Teddy's health is OK. Sorry you didn't get the jam donut - when you invest all the calories that are a donut, it should be the right donut. (Maybe I meant ingest?)

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  5. Oh I HATE that period between jobs where all day consists of applying, talking to 'head hunters' who barely speak English or interviewing. And more recently, taking lots of tests. It's like the worst job you've ever had, plus it pays nothing. And then the dog poops all over everything.

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  6. I've heard that it is not advised to both retire at the same time...or to both go to the donut shoppe...especially in ones jammies...or did you say jam?

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  7. I love your light-hearted spin on things and hopes he finds something fabulous quickly for everyone's sake! "Is this really how it's going to go?" You are too funny!!

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  8. Oooohhh--- now I want a house boy--- I mean, to spend more quality time with my husband! ;)

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    1. I knew there was a reason for husbands.

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  9. I know exactly where you are coming from...Mr Fascinata works from home...I have learned I have to ignore him until he surfaces after 6pm or so...
    It's been a transition for sure. Hilarious recount. Hope Teddy is okay. Do you think K stressed him out? ;D xx

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  10. Vinomaker prints stuff for me too. He's just better at it :)

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  11. When my dad started working from home it drove my mum mad. She said she married him for better or worse but not for lunch. :)

    Hope your husband's boat comes in soon. My DB is going through a similar process having decided to come off his 2-yr motorbiking leave. :)

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  12. I really need my husband to have some gardening leave, and when I say that I mean he really needs to do some gardening, and diy, and house maintenance and finish the building work, we'd probably have to buy a dog for him to walk in his spare time!
    I hope Kevin is coping with his new role!

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  13. Do you worry that the hand that cleaned up the Teddy debacle handed you the custard donut? Or is that just me and my germ phobia?
    Wishing the hubstar (and you) a quick return to an office space that is not located in the home.

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  14. ha! We had this problem till Barry networked my computer to the printer and now I print with abandon! Poor Teddy!

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  15. Oh you do write well.
    My husband is not good at being at home either. He will start coming into my office with grand plans about what is happening in six months' time, when I'm trying to work. Not exactly mindfulness...

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  16. Hahaha! Poor Kevin and poor Teddy! It sounds as of people have very high expectations of canine behaviour in your 'hood!.
    Hope the gardening leave is short lived, and in the meantime, handy to have an assistant to do your printing ;-)

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    1. He certainly can press that "print" button

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  17. My husband loves Gardening Leave. He swans about to personal training sessions, has coffees with people, plays golf and practices his golf at driving ranges etc etc. When he is at home he drives me up the wall with rearranging of my routine/ organisational abilities etc. It sounds like you've managed this much better than I...
    Sounds like Kevin may cut his Gardening Leave short if possible... is it a contractual one? I fear he may not be able to hold out if you've reduced him to being Teddy's gimp!! Too funny xx

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    1. Kevin does give me loads of helpful tips about diet and food from all the health food mags and books he reads but as you've probably gleaned I have a unique ability to ignore those tips

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  18. Interviewing and waiting for callbacks is the worst. And those preliminary phone interviews! I'm convinced they're recorded and run through a program that deduces one's age, social and ethnic background from voice, vocabulary, intonations - all those questions that can't be asked?

    Kevin is a treasure and you are right to treat him like he is not an invalid. But darling Teddy needs to get with the program!

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  19. I have very much enjoyed reading this post during my office tea break. I wonder if my boss' wife feels similarly about him being at home (he is part time). He often talks about "trying to make himself useful" or "keeping out of the way".

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  20. Hello,
    It is precisely because of the disruption to the 'cosmic cycle' that we so enjoy being together at home. Work, sadly so necessary in life, was always very much overrated in our view and we so enjoy life so much more now that we can be lazy tarts! Perhaps where it is going wrong, just a little, for you at the moment is that you still have expectations....that the dog will be walked....that leaking taps will be fixed.....that jam doughnuts will be bought.......what works best, we find, is that one just throws oneself into the day and let' serendipity take its course! All will be well.....

    We have found you by a very circuitous route in the Blogosphere but have so enjoyed your posts that we have stayed. We look forward to many happy returns!

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    1. Welcome! That is so lovely you get on so well together. Sharing a blog together is pretty cool!

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  21. lmao you might want to go hide the sharp objects hahaha

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  22. I love clicking over, you always make me laugh. I think it's going great, Kevin is no doubt going to find a new job where he can take Teddy with him.
    xo Mary Jo

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  23. I know just how you are feeling. My husband has reduced his working hours so in effect has a week on, week off schedule. It's quite strange having him around especially as he comments that surely I don't need another coffee and chocolate break.

    As the months have gone on, it's exciting when I know his days off are coming up and we start to plan things together. However, the day he goes back to work I secretly enjoy having the place to myself again.

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    1. It's great to have someone to go out to lunch with - and plot future trips, and just drivin' around

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  24. This had me laughing out loud. I hope Kevin finds something soon. For his sake and yours LOL!

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  25. Sweetie - I have two questions - what does gardening leave mean in the states ? - if it is indeed gardening I don't see any spades or sprinklers
    And did he cleanse his hands after handing you the doughnut ? bearing in mind what he was doing before ( the doctor in me .. ) - R. London

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  26. LOL! That's what husbands are for. We both took early retirement and I've been bossing him around forever. He gardens so he can hide from me.

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  27. Hilarious, but not so much for your husband. Being between jobs stinks. It's nice he's such a helpful fellow. My husband works from home, and he drives me crazy, most of the time. And donuts? He's a gem. Poor Teddy. Feeling better now I hope.

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  28. I'm sure he will be back on the hamster wheel soon......although a little break is good for the soul sometimes. ...... can't you find him lots of little jobs to do as an incentive to return to the world of work? x

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  29. Haha...poor husband. I put my husband to work when he's home. Usually it's my youngest that drives him crazy though. He has no idea being at work how crazy she is, haha. The dog accident sounds gross, I would not want to clean that up!! Bless.

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  30. It sounds like it's all going rather well to me....thanks for the laugh out loud about the watery di........;) A true delight!
    Happy Mother's Day to a fun mum!
    xx, Heather

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  31. Oh, dear! Poor Kevin! And you've got him under foot as well.

    Think of it as a trial run for retirement. It certainly sounds like a trial.

    Blessings and Bear hugs to you both!

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  32. Poor guy... parts of this are funny... and parts, not quite so...

    ~shoes~

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  33. I was on self-imposed gardening leave in January and February (had started to go slightly crazy working locum nights in A&E so stopped that and was looking for a new job but had no idea what that would be ... My lovely new job fell out of the sky and of course at that point I had no idea it would do that!) and I was wretched. I felt superfluous and useless - no amount of helping others, doing things I'd been putting off for years and cooking budget gourmet meals made any dent in this - and became quite depressed. I'm so glad you can laugh about it (so important!) but am also sending you both hugs and well wishes. And the reminder that my wonderful, fulfilling, extraordinary job came up because my dad had a conversation at a formal college dinner with an old friend who used to teach the guy who used to do my job (this is a simplified version, but not much). I had no idea any of this was going on behind the scenes, and suddenly I'm doing a job which combines more of my skills, interests and experience than my last one, and is also better paid! Miracles do happen :-)

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    1. So great, that really is a miracle. But I'll be you did a great job of putting yourself out there and responding quickly when the dream job was offered - good on you!

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