The (Not So) Secret Life of Mr Carmichael

I have time on my fingers this Monday morn because I am no longer required to collect my husband and V……., his long time buddy, from Luton Airport.

Why? Because they missed their flight home from the Alps and are now flying, later today, into Gatwick. Gatwick Airport is about as distant, and just a tad further, than we like to fly from/into because it’s so bloody far from Casa Carmichael. Luckily for V…… his home is near by. Unluckily for V…… his car is here.

This missing of the return flight does not come as any surprise to Yours Truly. In fact with a prescience born from years of experience, I predicted the very event to Daughter #1 in a phone chat yesterday evening.

So, when my cell phone woke me early doors with hubby’s ringtone I began to laugh before I said “Morning”. And continued to laugh through the, albeit brief, conversation.

These things are funny when you’re not directly involved.

I was involved in their departure which I did not find quite as funny. Again, it was very early and because of this and the lack of proximity, for V……., of home to airport we had a guest the night before, enjoyed a convivial evening and a libation or three.

And it must be said that Mr Carmichael, who packed après supper, rose at 5.00 am, showered, dressed and disappeared downstairs in accordance with all departing on time etiquette. A rare but intensely gratifying occurrence. Not so V……..

I did mention at 5.15 that Hubby might like to give him a rouse but in the macho world they were entering this type of interference is apparently verboten. With the taxi already in the drive I woke him at 5.25.

Downstairs I could hear Mr C making tea in the kitchen. Nice, you say but by now ETD was -5.00 minutes and although I hadn’t asked I know that the taxi would have been booked for later than sensible. It’s that macho again.

Obviously they would forego the cuppa and head straight out now that V…… was alive and kicking. They had tea. I was in dire need of rescue remedy or something stronger and began to pace the landing, hoping the taxi didn’t leave without them. I heard footsteps heading towards the front door. I started to breath again. My husband came upstairs. This, my daughters and I know, is both a frequent and disastrous turn of events in the getting away in any semblance of on timeness stakes in the Carmichael homestead.

I needed to lie down.

He eschewed the bedroom and headed for his study. ETD at  -12.00 minutes I leapt from my bed of pain and followed him down the landing.

“Have you got your driving licence?” I asked sweetly.

Mr Carmichael was sitting at his desk flicking through papers. My stomach clenched.

“You know the taxi’s here don’t you?” Again saccharine loaded.

“Oh great, ” says he. “V…….,” he calls as he saunters down the stairs. “Taxi’s here.”

Hardly a surprise at ETD -16.00.

“Brilliant,” chirrups V……. from the kitchen where he proceeds to finish his cup of tea and toast.

I stood at the top of the stairs, watched them load the bags, waited for Hubby to ring the bell for whatever he’d forgotten, watched the taxi exit the drive and stood for moments longer awaiting its frenzied return before I went back to bed. It was just before 6.00am.

I couldn’t get back to sleep.

In times of yore I have travelled home from Brisbane alone while Mr C, with the help of Aussie’s finest, found his missing passport.

I have run, in Malaga, shouting and gesticulating like a mad woman to stop BA closing its checkin counter while Mr C hunted for a way into the car Rental Returns.

parking reserved for Mr Carmichael (
parking reserved for Mr Carmichael (

I have discovered that when he said he’d ‘parked’ the car at Luton he’d, in reality, driven it twenty yards down the road and and left it on a yellow line so late were we arriving at the airport. This was the 80’s and it was still there a week later!

I have had to catch the Inter Island Ferry with my daughters and leave husband o’ mine in a car queue in Picton overnight. He had underestimated the girth of that one spectacularly.

I have been forced to wear a sludge coloured tee shirt on an achievers’ trip to Magnum P.I’s ranch, Hawaii. We were so late exiting our hotel room that the only bus left was for waifs, strays and the Carmichaels and the only tee shirt hue, sludge. Said waifs and strays turned out to be our ‘team’ for the whole day in Hawaii 5.0 like competitions and it has to be said I ‘packed a sad’* on arrival. The discovery of stunning pink, blue, purple, lime and tangerine tees on full bus loads tipped me over the, tolerating my then boyfriend’s peccadilloes, mercury count. Suffice it to note our team came last and I refused to engage or let him drive me on a jet ski.

I have risen at the crack of sparrows’ to drive the love o’ my life to Heathrow only to discover he’s not checked which terminal his flight departs from but ‘he’s pretty certain it’s Terminal Three’.

I have been phoned, whilst navigating the inner Heathrow ring road, to come back to Terminal Three and take him to Terminal One (where I told him we should go in the first place) and to do it as quickly as I can because he’s now running late.

Dear readers, all in all, it’s been, and will continue to be, hell. No ifs, and or buts.

I do however hope they’ve had a super ski and the small but perfectly formed macho chicane is but the stuff that tales are made. From where I sit, awaiting their arrival, it most certainly is that.

* ‘packed a sad’: had a mini tantrum and sulked.


51 thoughts on “The (Not So) Secret Life of Mr Carmichael

  1. A nail biting tale leaving me a slight bag of nerves though from this emtional distance it was more fun than piste off. My Mr G always needs to return for something every time he leaves and when in a hurry to depart finds a 101 things to do while I’m on the starting line by the door

    1. It is so a man thing. And the asking if If I know where IT is?

      The distance to epicentre is always in direct proportion to the enjoyment of the retelling. Glad you enjoyed the metaphorical black run and hope your nails are still show standard.

      1. Yes, you’re right.

        It’s more “where’s my ski pants?” or the faintly quizzical “Have you seen my………?” and then “So you’re just going to sit/stand there while I look.”

  2. Thankfully here in the ‘Shires’ I am now let off airport duty. No more dashing along the M25 to Heathrow (actually in recent visits the M25 seems to have turned into a giant conveyor belt).

    The distance to Manchester is 2 hours, Bristol 2 and a bit, and Brum about an hour and a half if there isn’t a log jam on either the M5 or M42 AND they charge you to drop off or pick up so not my favourite. OH goes by train now, and usually the night before – he likes to be ON TIME. Which usually means when we travel together we have a good few hours to kill in the airport lounge (Yawn). I guess it is good that we pick partners who are opposite to us. 😀

    1. Well, that’s certainly a half full attitude, Jude and well done for being so positive. I too am released from airport deliveries but by my own authority. The wrong terminal fiasco was the last in a long line of almost last, straws.

      An airport lounge is, in my opinion, preferable to places we have found ourselves when we should be way further on.

      1. Haven’t done the wrong terminal, but I do recall waiting outside T3 I think (managed to get in a drop off spot) nervously watching the security staff in case they moved me on. Getting no response from OH on the mobile after 20 mins I decided I’d best go park. On way back from the car I spotted him waiting outside, but by the time I got back down he’d disappeared. I was pretty cranky by the time I found him and even more so when he told me he had texted me (I never rec’d that text) instead of phoning!! He hates phoning and it DOES MY HEAD IN!

  3. I would be fuming with all the delays, what a paragon of patience you are. I chuckled all the way through your story. I am like Jude’s man I like to be on time, in fact well before time.

  4. Ditto for Mr Sweet Thing, but not quite to that extreme. He’s done a lot of traveling; I prefer not to get involved unless I absolutely have to! And the ‘have you seen my…’ oh yeah, I regularly hear that at our scheduled departure time, followed by ten minutes of searching and swearing whilst I back the car off the drive and wait outside, quietly fuming. And still somehow, it’s all my fault!!!

    1. so easily done! And it transpires yesterday was a repeat of Malaga.

      The ‘boys’ got there in time but arrived in the French not the Swiss (or visa versa) part of Geneva Airport and so had to leave again to get the hire car dropped off.

      Soooo glad I wasn’t there.

      1. That’s something I would do and yes, glad I didn’t have to deal with it. We foolishly assumed we were flying out of the same airport we flew into. Learned a big lesson that day. I hope the rest of their trip is easier. I always say if you travel you must have a sense of humor or you’ll be miserable

  5. Oh WHAT is that macho thing about? Mr Litlove knows a fine distinction, though. If the event is of his choice and planning, he stresses like mad and orders us all about like a sergeant major. If the event is of my choice and planning, he’s down the shed in his gardening clothes while I’m standing at the back door with the car key in hand. Is it wrong of me to feel a sense of satisfaction that your hub and V are now a) late and b) on the wrong side of London? It’s just I do so know how it goes, and that’s only on 50% of our outings. What you must feel like, I can only imagine (but it’s kind of fun imagining it!).

  6. I’m sorry, your story is, as always, clever and entertaining (especially since it doesn’t involve me having to speak with anyone at 5 am) but most of all I’m thinking, “you have taxis that will wait?” 😀

  7. Gaaah! Just reading this makes me feel all stressed and sweaty. You must be angelic to cope with this mrs c. Anyway, look on the bright side… I’m assuming you had a lovely time entertaining yourself while mr c was away.

    1. ah you know me so well. Not quite as lovely as I’d hoped since I got the week wrong and thought he was going a week later. So had uni drop offs in Birmingham and other time sucking events to get through.

      However on the `Sunday I had a full day to myself and watched back to back movies while stuffing my face with things I (and only I) like to eat (and drink).

  8. I have to admit, in my household, it is the exact opposite. Mr. H is extremely organized when it comes to travel and insists on allowing extra hour/s – which usually results in a lovely meal over wine while we wait for our gate to be announced. I, on the other hand, am still still living down last year’s “oh dear I’ve forgotten my passport on the kitchen counter, an hour and a half away” fiasco – and the “oh dear I’ve forgotten my dress for the black tie event we’ve traveled two hours to attend” fiasco of 2011.

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