‘I know!’ beamed George over cooling Weetabix in a recent heatwave. ‘Tonight we’ll take the mattress down and sleep in the Bunny Room!’
Brilliant idea! Not actually with the bunnies… for only their memory-much-hallowed remains. (And perhaps the odd wayward wisp of tail fluff clinging to the depths of the chimney).
For several years Roland and Olly had shared their Room with every tat-filled cardboard box we hadn’t unpacked since moving in. After their tragic departure George leapt into action chucking, tiling, painting, furnishing with snaffled bits and pieces and Loh! it became a real room!
Why on earth had we put up with festering sweatily upstairs for almost a week of boiling temperatures?
That night, armed simply with mattress, pillows, radio, gripping Harlan Coben "Tell No-one" in The (baffling) French (mine), George’s magazine of music accoutrements for problem-free performances and where to get them cheap, glass of water, alarm clock, notebook for overnight mustn’t-forgets or blockbuster inspirations, and the phone - we arranged our new quarters.
‘Comfy?’ murmured George. ‘Very,’ said I, snuggling down in blissful cool.
George had hardly set off on Major Snoring when there came a deep rumble from the walls.
What the Bloody Hell - ? Surely, even our industrial machine afficionado next door would balk at midnight mowing?
Could it be our classic-car-loving neighbour opposite, testing the engine on his Citroën Traction for an imminent rally? Noo - he does urgent tweaks with the sunrise.
Probably an unusually Heavy goods train - ignore it and go to sleep.
A muffled yet terrifying explosion burst into our dozings. A crackle, a buzz, a tinkling… a shudder.
‘Go and see what it is!’ hissed George.
I fib. But he didn’t get out of mattress either.
And then it dawned on us – the Bunnyroom Fridge! We never spend time with this fridge because we have a tiny one in our tiny kitchen. This one houses overload – wine, beer, water, bread, ice cream... Pack of emergency apero nibbles for those awkward unexpected landings of the ‘God - Did you eat All those peanuts?’ and ‘Couldn’t they flaming-well phone first?’ variety.
Anyway, The Fridge was obviously struggling. Too much ice cream? Too few defrostings? Didn’t it like its new position stuffed discreetly behind the bookcase?
A fleeting moment in Dormant mode was inadequate, before it cranked up its gears and blasted off again like something out of Terminator. In fact, I’m sure I heard it take a step.
Blimey - is it dangerous? Or could it be that all fridges sound like this, but are ignored under the cacophony of radio, pan-clattering, talking, singing and general everyday trumpetings…
The Fridge spat, revved up grumpily and continued its ranting.
When the sun finally lasered through the unaccustomed glass door, we’d managed approximately four minutes sleep.
We scrunched up our mattress and bits, and abandoned Sleeping with The Fridge for ever.
But the dreadful thing is – Every Night for five long years, we shut our poor bunnies in with That Thing.
And they have big ears...
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