The Letham Craft Shop

Every marriage goes through this stage. After some 21 years of frantic, hand-to-mouth, 80-hours per week working, the Sprog moves out and suddenly.. We both have a huge amount of time on our hands. I am forced (doctors orders) to take at least one day off per week, and the missus - although working full time and looking after Casa Buchan (and by extension - me) - now has hours and hours to fill.

I recognised this last Christmas, and by means both foul and fair, conspired to obtain her a Nintendo Wii. Which she loves. To the extent that she's actually FINISHED games such as Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Batman, Da Blob, and is starting again on Wall:e. So far so good. But my daughter took her to a jewellery making class (its an even longer story, involving vegetarian rock band heros - dont ask), and now the wife is hooked. Thanks.

So at the weekend, I was under a three line whip to escort SWMBO to the 'Letham Craft Shop' and meet Sprog and VB for lunch.

You must have somewhere like this near to your marriage. Somewhere where wives take husbands to ostensibly punish them. Somewhere with the odour of old ladies, beads, Hessian, and suchlike. In our area, the Letham Craft shop fills this void in these ladies lives - a cross between the Tardis and an explosion in a warehouse. Where the 'aisles' are three foot wide (exactly the width of a pepperpot lady and basket) and it takes 20 minutes to get from the door to the 'coffee shop' where other husbands such as I - ones not brave enough just to go to the pub - hide and conspire behind our papers. And listen to time being sliced in ever thinner slices by the clock on the wall. Praying for death..

Finally, Sprog turned up sans Veggie-Boy - it transpired he played the 'Going to the football with his father' card. Good for him. Whilst a manly pursuit, it should be borne in mind that it was (a) below freezing and (b) he supports one of the teams from Dundee. So not so much of a swerve. However, this did give me the leverage to basically slip away and do stuff by myself for a number of hours. Bliss! I could actually go and do stuff I liked... !

Dundee, a compact and friendly town, doesn't have a Hooters bar. (I did stumble into an old-folks Karaeoke bar there once - horror!). Nor does it have a racing track such as Knockhill, Silverstone, or the Nuremburg Ring. It does have a PC world (shallow sustenance for a Mac-boy like me, but I did score a new keyboard and mouse). I looked at cars, having decided that sharing a car would only hasten me to my death. Hint: Looks like there's another mIni on the horizon. I did look for a Lotus Excige that I could afford - but no. Millionaires with short attention spans and surplus lotus sportscars are rare in Dundee, as I'm sure they are rare in your part of the world. Still.

Finally we all reconvened at the local Odious cinema, to see of all things, the 'Quantum of Solace' Bond movie. The SWMBO, only recently having seen Daniel Craig in swimming shorts, declared herself a fan and demanded we went. Again, a strange day and another role reversal. Thank god theres not another bloody Bridget Jonnes film on. Filmwise, it was fast, plot free, full of amazing stunts, and full of people dying in interesting ways. Loved the idea of a meeting using wifi-headsets in a crowded opera. And of course the good girls died, and the bad guys died. And he seemed to find hydrogen fuel cells incredibly explosive - much to the annoyance I suppose of Ford - one of the sponsors with a hydrogen fuel-cell equipped car. So yeah, unplug brain and enjoy.

An amazing weekend, full of domestic boredom and bliss. I loved it. Is this what normal people do?