It will all work out fine

Country Life Every Week - - Spectator -

via Will, telling him to tell us that the pouch was now in the boot of a car head­ing for Liver­pool. It con­tains her phone. She’s stay­ing in a cot­tage with­out in­ter­net or mo­bile sig­nal, but could we please post her pass­port to the at­tached ad­dress be­cause she’s fly­ing back from Dublin.

We re­ceived this af­ter the post of­fice had closed on Satur­day and there­fore waited to hear more.

On Mon­day, we re­ceived a call con­firm­ing that she would like it posted to an ad­dress where some­body knows some­body who lives there, but not to the iso­lated cot­tage where she’s stay­ing be­cause she might have left and any­way the post­man wouldn’t find it. I ex­pressed a lit­tle windi­ness about this plan and sug­gested that she kept things sim­ple by fly­ing back from Belfast, which is when the penny fi­nally dropped that the driv­ing li­cence was also in the pouch in the boot in Liver­pool. ‘So you’re stranded on an is­land with no way of get­ting off?’ This doesn’t go down well. She makes it clear that none of this is her fault.

Zam was ex­as­per­ated by the lat­est pouch de­ba­cle, but I had to re­mind him that our first two out­ings to­gether con­sisted of my driv­ing him to a wed­ding be­cause he’d lost his car and then col­lect­ing it from Heathrow, where he’d left it with the lights on, so it had a flat bat­tery. It’s not easy to stop peo­ple at air­ports and ask to bor­row jump leads be­cause they’re ei­ther hur­ry­ing for a flight or very tired and cross and try­ing to get home.

I fielded the phonecalls about the pass­port while sit­ting in the wind­screen-re­pair shop wait­ing for my car. I’d fi­nally got round to this be­cause I was re­cently pulled over by the po­lice. Their warn­ing about the speed limit was over­taken by their con­cern about Fletcher the dachs­hund, who clearly sensed that these were the peo­ple in charge be­cause, for the first time ever, he didn’t snarl and bark at strangers.

‘You’re com­mit­ting an of­fence by hav­ing a dog in the front seat with­out a seat­belt, al­though I can see that he’s no trou­ble,’ they said. They then told me that my wind­screen was il­le­gal and my tyres were bor­der­line.

‘I sup­pose it’s be­cause she’s not go­ing to be sacked if she doesn’t turn up for work to­mor­row morn­ing,’ I tell a friend with whom I’m shar­ing the pass­port story. ‘Ex­actly,’ she says. ‘One more year of this.’ ‘And then what?’ ‘And then it won’t hap­pen again,’ she con­cludes.

Olive re­turns home hav­ing had a lovely time, re­united with both her pouch and her pass­port. I tell her about the po­lice: ‘I did not see the speed limit and I did not know about dogs on seats. It wasn’t my fault.’

‘Don’t worry,’ she replies, with to­tal con­fi­dence. ‘It will all work out fine.’

‘You’re stranded on an is­land with no way of get­ting off ?

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