But El has still not had her baby. She has been to the hospital for a check-up and it got her quite gingered up. “I’ll see if we’ll let you go home” was said to her. No, you don’t say that to a grown woman (who has done her research, knows her facts and in real life has a job with a high level of responsibility and who – shall we go there? Fuckit, why not? – is paid more, when working,* than the midwife who is trying to patronise her – who simply happens to be pregnant. With a commendable tolerance, she didn’t rise, but did say that she would prefer not to have daily monitoring. She’s having another check-up on Tuesday. I haven’t spoken to her today, but we’ve exchanged emails and she has thanked me for not fussing over her.
I do this complicated rota, you know? Three months at a time. Columns for two readers, sidesman, musician and coffee-maker, and a further column for additional notes, such as the rare weekends when I’m away (so someone else needs to bring keys). Some people only come to one service a month, some to any but one (not necessarily the same one) and some not in the school holidays. I ask for notice of inconvenient Sundays, so that I don’t make other people look for swaps, though people will always fill in. It’s all very good-natured. But it’s not effortless. So it was slightly disappointing when the second reader and the coffee maker forgot. The former didn’t arrive, the latter didn’t bring milk. There was an emergency packet of biscuits, I am not a careless sort of Z.
It was pouring with rain so, since I’d walked (cycling with an umbrella is a non-starter, really), someone gave me a lift home for the milk and the same kind someone read the lesson. It’s mildly frustrating that the one who forgot to come is a helpful chap who always offers but often doesn’t turn up. When I asked for extra sidesmen, my heart sank when he offered and, indeed, he doesn’t arrive early, so all the work is already done, half of it by me, and chats cheerily after the service so doesn’t help clear away. There are reasons why it’s impossible to say anything, but he’ll protest if I don’t put him on the list. I have to put it together in the next few days. I sigh.
But first, I’ll have dinner. It is entirely veggie. Blue Witch would approve.
*She was the highest earner in the family, before she went on maternity leave.