Wednesday, 8 September 2010

An Unexpected Side-Effect of Wallander. The Swedish Version, Of Course.

Oops, I seem to have accidentally had sex last night. With Max. This doesn't feel like it was a very good idea in the cold light of day, not with my meeting with Johnny set for tomorrow.

I wanted to be in a fever of sexual frustration to justify even thinking about having an affair, not absurdly satisfied and able to recall with rather too much clarity just how good at the whole business Max is, albeit only when there's nothing more appealing on the television. Now I'm a bundle of nerves, all wrapped up with jittery guilt, and I haven't even done anything to feel guilty about. Yet. Talk about awful timing.

Most of the blame lies with the television, actually - or with the schedulers, anyway. If that wretched Ultimate Big Brother hadn't still been dominating Max's otherwise-beloved Channel 4, and if Josh hadn't been out for the night, I wouldn't have dared to suggest that we watch the Swedish* version of Wallander, and nothing would have happened. But UBB is on, Josh is out, and Max detests subtitles, so although he goes along with my idea, he falls asleep five minutes after the programme starts, while pretending that he hasn't.

This procedure - at which he is an expert - involves waking periodically, and saying 'Yeah," or "Hmmm," as if he's genuinely engrossed in what he's (not) watching, but it never fools me, even though I always humour him by pretending that it does. At least, I usually play along until he starts snoring, at which point I can't even hear the TV, so I have to resort to nudging him, hard. Then he gets stroppy and denies that he was asleep in the first place. It's very irritating.

So last night, I decide to try out a new technique, recommended recently by Josh, who tells me that it works to wake snorers up gently. Their gradual return to consciousness supposedly prevents them realising that you've done anything to them, so they don't get grumpy and defensive. Presumably this is only the case as long as you remove your finger from their ear really quickly - whereas mine gets a bit stuck.

"Wha' the hell?" Max says, batting my hand away. "What are you doing?"

I don't want to tell him, so I try to convert the ear-poking into an ear-tickling manoeuvre motivated by nothing more sinister than affection. I forget that Max's ears are erogenous zones, until my "caress" is reciprocated with uncharacteristic enthusiasm, and one thing leads to another. So now I have no idea what happened to Wallander, nor what the hell I am doing planning to meet an International Director of a Global Oil Company for a "date" in a hotel tomorrow evening - unbeknownst to my husband.

Isn't that just bloody typical? My Nan always said be careful what you wish for, 'cause you just might get it - usually at the most inconvenient time, in my experience. I can't concentrate at all - and I'm tired. I'm getting loads of calls about Connaught today but, luckily, most of them are from Council tenants, who are ringing to check whether the company's collapse means that the Council will just move the existing repairs staff over to another company, or whether they'll "get people who know what they're doing" instead.

Although I can just about handle these conversations, I shall probably fall asleep as soon as Mr Beales or any of the deadly boring squad phone, and then Greg will have to try the ear-poking trick on me. He has fat fingers while I have freakishly small ears, so that won't end well either. Subtitles are much more hazardous than has previously been appreciated.

*The Swedish version of Wallander is miles better than Branagh's recent UK version. See here for more information, but don't forget - you can't be too careful where foreign language programming is concerned.


  1. Agree Swedish Wallander is terrific, sadly there may not be any new series though. Also check out French policier 'Spiral', hopefully series 3 will be coming to the Beeb soon.

  2. Oh, I will keep an eye out for that, thanks! (Though I shall exercise extreme caution in the face of subtitles in future.)

  3. But did you have fun though? :)