My beloved and I went to Manchester at the weekend. He did all the planning; booked our hotel, purchased the wedding gift, sorted the social arrangements. He helped me to decide which shoes to take, confirmed that my necklace matched my dress and reassured me that my hair was fine. He did all this while suffering from a horrible dose of a cold, which had sent him home early from work.
Eventually I thought I should make some small contribution to the outcome of the weekend.
Me: "do you want to take the train, or shall we go by car?"
Him: "car would be easiest, if that's ok?"
Me (while silently thinking mean, uncharitable thoughts along the lines of - "well of course it's easier for you - you can't drive") : "Yep, that's fine."
Him: "shall I sort out some CDs for the journey?"
Me (while silently thinking mean uncharitable thoughts along the lines of - "what's the worst possible thing I can inflict on him for a journey of 250 miles?") : "I thought we might listen to my new Jack Johnson CD"
Him: (total silence)
The following morning, we packed our bags and set off, hoping we'd timed it right to miss the early morning joys of the M25.
After about half an hour..
Me: "do you want to put some music on?"
Him: "I thought you were bringing Jack Johnson"
Me (trying to pretend my evil meanness of the previous day had never really existed): "But that was only a joke, you know I wouldn't really have made you listen to Jack Johnson all the way to Manchester"
Him: (total silence)
After another half an hour...
Me: "what about the radio?"
Him (suddenly springing to life and with a slightly disturbing gleam in his eye) : "do you mind if I flick?"
Me (while thinking the exact opposite) " No,of course not, see what you can find".
So, for the next five hours, while we struggled past broken down lorries, crawled through the contra-flows of endless roadworks and generally cursed the decision to travel by car, my beloved 'flicked'.
And what gems of airwave magic did he find?
His first discovery, after all the London programmes had crackled away to a whisper, was Jack FM; a station that appeared to have no presenters, just some decidedly odd pre-recorded soundbites between the tracks. Luckily, it did not specialise in Mr Johnson's music, but we never got to find out why it was called Jack.
As we drove on and Jack FM faded out of range, Philip fast-forwarded; past the mind-numbing horrors of Heart, Magic, and Smooth. He kept flicking as we reached Warwickshire where he landed at Touch Radio, a station specialising in 'songs to sing along to'.
I was in my element. Although, strangely, my beloved seemed less than delighted that our car had become a mobile karaoke booth. He became even less amused, as in due course we drove on and out of the local radio's limited range...
Me (sniggering) : "Oh, I think we're losing Touch"
Him (silently shaking his head)
Me: "Don't you think we should keep in Touch"
Him (quietly sighing)
Me (admittedly scraping the barrel now) "Ohhh, I really wanted to stay in Touch"
And so it went on, him flicking, me shouting with glee or disdain as the miles and the radio stations slipped by.
I should have known better than to insist that we listen to the whole of Black Eyed Peas' 'I gotta feeling' . After that, it could only end badly.
And eventually, just as we got to Manchester, and as I peered wearily at the Motorway signs looking for our exit, he tuned in to 106.1 FM - Rock Radio.
The Home of Classic Rock Favourites.
In no time at all, Led Zeppelin was blasting from the radio, succeeded by the dulcet tones of ACDC then Jimi Hendrix. He had finally found his revenge.
I won't try to describe the joy with which I spotted our final destination.
But was that vengeance enough for my mean uncharitable thoughts? Apparently not.
I'm sitting in bed as I type this and I'm feeling rubbish - it's nothing major, I'm just struggling to overcome the germs that my dearly beloved shared with me so generously in the car, all the way to Manchester.
And as they say - that really will teach me