Phew. What a week.
I finally arrived back in Bavaria after a gruelling 10-hour journey from Dublin, via Amsterdam. When I got back home, I discovered that Mr G had killed my lavender. View the evidence:
When he heard me shriek, he hastened to my side.
"What did you do?" (actually, it was quite clear that it wasn't what he'd done, but rather what he hadn't done: the soil in the plant pot was dry and dusty.)
"What's that?" he said, in shock.
"It was lavender," I said.
"How long has that been there?"
(spluttering) "Ages! For crying out loud, man, you open the blinds every morning! Did you not notice the plant pots on the window sill?"
At this point, Mr Gingerbread - an accomplished actor - makes a big deal of rubbing his scrubby beard and making contemplative "Hrrrmph!" noises. Essentially, this is his way of admitting that although he's opened and closed the blinds at the window daily, although he's had to stretch over them to open the windows, he's never taken notice of the plant pots. Ever.
This is not unusual: many things in our household do not exist to Mr G until I point them out. In fact, if I buy anything new, I have to introduce them to him and him to them several times before he acknowledges their existence
("Husband! These are our new mugs. Aren't they nice?"
"Oh, right. Yeah, lovely."
"Where did these mugs come from?"
"Oh, please. You remember our new mugs, don't you?"
"Remember, yesterday? In the kitchen? You were standing beside the fridge and I held them up? Remember? I put them in the sink and I washed them? You dried them and put them away? Remember?"
Beard scratching. Slow head-nodding.
"That sounds familiar. Was that yesterday?"
"Yes. Remember? You made yourself a cup of coffee, then dropped the mug on your foot and bruised your toe? Remember? You spent twenty minutes hopping around the kitchen and cursing? Remember?"
"And remember how you spotted that pigeon on the roof, pooping into the gutter, and you wanted to throw the mug of coffee at him to frighten him away. Remember? And I pulled it away and told you not to use my new mugs as long-range pigeon missiles? Remember?"
Head-shaking. "Was it really that mug? Are you sure?"
Now, if I don't do this, we'll continue to use the objects in question for months till one day Mr G will pick up a random household object and say, suprised, "Where did this come from?" and I'll have to convince him that it's been part of our inventory for X amount of time, retracing the object's life cycle:
"Remember our wedding day? Remember? I was the woman in the white dress, you were wearing a suit? Well, do you know the couple that was there, too, the little blond woman and the big man with the curly hair - the little blond woman gave birth to you. Your parents, that's right. Well, remember the box with the coloured paper that they gave us? You opened it and we all cried. Yes, that's the photo frame they gave us. Yes, we've had it for two years."
And he just shakes his head in wonder.