I remember the day very well, we were up at stupid o’clock, anxious, nervous, more than a little scared. Thursday December 19 2019 was the day Noel was to have surgery to be rid of that Bastard Cancer. We knew it was going to be a long day. I decided to buy a sofa.
There was a certain method in my madness. For a start, sofa-buying would be a distraction. Noel was to be in surgery all day and I didn’t want to sit around fretting and eating Marmite flatbreads, my binge of choice. Oh my goodness they are crunchy Marmitey heaven, I polish them off a box at a time and hide the empties in next door’s bin, I don’t think she notices, I bury them under the empty dog treat packets.
There was also the post-surgery recovery which the consultant had warned us would be long and require a lot of lying down. Not one to mince words, he told it how it was and it, meaning the surgery, was serious. Noel would need to rest a lot, but on the upside, with all that running, climbing, skiing and healthy eating, he was good protoplasm to work with. Seriously, he said that and it’s now his LinkedIn tagline Noel Akers, Programming Guru – Good Protoplasm to Work With.
What better aid to recovery, then, than a luxurious, squashy sofa, long enough to take Noel’s full 6ft 1in as opposed to our 20-year-old sofa which wasn’t? He could ligg around all day, ministered to by the cats, and me of course. Something lovely to come home to.
So I hot-footed it from the hospital to John Lewis who, according to my extensive research, had some most excellent sofas on offer. OK, so the research wasn’t extensive, I looked on the John Lewis site and saw one I thought would fit Noel.
I could have ordered it online, but where’s the fun in that? I wanted the full sofa shopping experience with swatches and bouncing on the cushions, followed by something tasty and expensive in the cafe, like we used to do in the old days, the days before lockdown. Turned out they didn’t have my sofa on display, so there was no bouncing, just a swatch book to fondle and make my choice. Ten minutes later I was in the cafe, our bank account several hundred pounds lighter, looking in vain on the menu for Marmite flatbreads.
It turns out sofas are made to order, with a lead time of 12 weeks. Ah well, I thought, Noel would still need to to ligg around, it would be something to look forward to as he started his recovery squashed into our old two-seater. But then lockdown and no-one was going anywhere, least of all a delivery driver with our sofa.
In the meantime Noel recovered, he didn’t need to lie down, in fact he got a stand-up desk to do his programming. That’s good protoplasm for you. I forgot what my rather expensive purchase looked like, couldn’t remember the colour, lost the order and receipt and even wondered it I’d dreamt it. I was also slightly worried that it wouldn’t fit through the door.
Finally, six months to the day after the order was placed and on our 20th wedding anniversary it arrived, fitting neatly into the place vacated by the old sofa and now looking like it had always been there. It came with a free mug, in a box, in a cushion, I have no idea why, it’s an upholstery mystery.
Noel can stretch out on it, so can I, so can the cats. It’s fabulous. Marmite flatbread anyone?