Will Milner has been left to his own devices this summer. But can he survive?
I don’t know whether to be touched or offended by the telephone conversation I just had with my wife. She has gone on holiday with the kids and, as I think we both understand, my dearly beloved has been checking up on me. The issue is not one of trust, more that she is genuinely concerned for my survival.
Am I eating properly? Did I water the plants? Have I taken the bins out? Can I please try to remember to check my trousers aren’t inside-out before leaving the house? That type of thing. Her assumption that my social skills and graces regress to those of a 14-year-old boy the moment her back is turned is mildly annoying.
Unfortunately, her worst fears are being realised. The pot plants are about as healthy as my diet and there is a funny smell coming from the kitchen. Still, I’m happy to announce I am still dressing myself without incident.
My annual summer bachelordom got off to a bad start when I smashed a coffee mug playing indoor football, downloaded two gangster movies from iTunes and ordered a giant family-size pizza for one. It wouldn’t be so bad, but that was all by 11am – I only wiped the tears from my eyes after kissing them goodbye at the airport at 9am.
There is a point to this that less observant readers may not have spotted. This is not an article about the psychological pressures of the salary man. Nor is it a cry for help to my wife to bring the boys back a week early. No, if you learn one thing from reading these words, I hope it is this: there are people and websites that, for very little cost, deliver food and movies direct to your sofa almost 24 hours a day. HOW BRILLIANT IS THAT?
Don’t for a second misunderstand me. I can’t wait for my family to come home and I am literally counting down the days until the end of their holiday. But like a lot of Dubai dads, the summer is one time of year that I can lie in bed all morning or stay up late. It is the one time of year I know I won’t have to listen to a Wiggles song (although I’ll probably still play with Lego toys while they’re all away). I can swap sensible family restaurants for gut-busting brunches and super-size steaks, and I intend to make the most of it. If my health really does start to suffer, I know the whereabouts of some pot plants that are still green enough to constitute a salad.