Sorcha has gone away for the weekend to a Himalayan Spa Retreat in a hotel on the R280 just as you're coming into Drumshanbo. She's having something done to her chakras – they're either being repaired, or rebalanced, or maybe she's having the oil and filters changed on them.
I actually laughed when she said it to me. “Your chakras?” I went. “Are they suddenly a thing again?” because – like “arugula” and “work-life balance” – I haven’t heard anyone mention them since literally 2008.
“They’ve always been a thing,” she went. “It’s just that since the crash we’ve all been too busy with, like, staying alive to worry about our psychic energy centres.”
I have to say, I miss my wife when she goes away. Not her nonsense talk – I generally ignore that. I just miss actually having her around.
She's usually my horshest critic, but this morning, she's being weirdly – I don't know – nice to me?
Sometimes when she’s away, I’ll get in the cor and set a destination on the satnav, then I’ll drive in totally the opposite direction, just to hear a woman’s voice telling me every 20 seconds where I’m going wrong.
Then other times – like now – I'll take Honor out with me. She's usually my horshest critic, but this morning, she's being weirdly – I don't know – nice to me?
In fact, she goes, “I’ve decided I’m not going to be a bitch to you any more.”
I’m like, “Really? Why not?”
“You’re always saying I make your life a misery.”
“Well, it’s just that when you say horrible things to me – especially about my rugby career – it genuinely affects my confidence.”
"Well, that's why I'm going to stop. I'm going to be, like, so nice to you. In fact, I was thinking this morning, the Lions would probably have beaten New Zealand if you'd been part of the coaching team."
"Jesus, I'm loving this new you, Honor – even though, deep down, I don't properly trust it"
I can’t even begin to tell you how incredible that makes me feel – even though the girl knows fock-all about rugby. She obviously heard me shouting at the TV this morning.
I’m like, “The key to winning that third test was in my Rugby Tactics Books. Gatland was just too proud to ask me for my input because of, well, things I’ve said about him in the past.”
"Then he's a fool. Because you've got – oh my God – so much to contribute."
“That’s what I’m always saying. Jesus, I’m loving this new you, Honor – even though, deep down, I don’t properly trust it.”
“Well, you can trust it, Dad. Because I’ve turned over a definite new leaf.”
We have two things to do before we go shopping this morning. Sorcha has asked me drop off her laundry at the dry cleaners, then hand a bag of her old clothes into the St Vincent de Paul in Dundrum.
So I pull up on the Main Street. I get out of the cor and I open the boot. And you can possibly guess where this story is going. There’s, like, two bins bags full of clothes in there – one green, one black. Sorcha has obviously told me which bag is for the dry cleaners and which is for the charity shop, but I must have had my brain switched to out of office mode because I can’t remember now.
“The green one is for the launderette,” Honor goes – she’s standing beside me, staring into the boot, “and the black one is for the charity shop.”
And you can see my dilemma, I’m sure. Do I trust her? I mean, I want to? But 12 years of experience tells me to be definitely wary.
Now I'm totally confused. I'm thinking, is she double-bluffing me
So I reach into the black bag and I pull something out randomly. “Oh my God,” Honor goes, “you don’t believe me! That’s her candy-striped jumpsuit that she got from H&M. She only wore it once because you said it made her look like a clown.”
It actually did make her look like a clown? But does that mean she'd give it to the old V de P?
I reach into the green bag and – again – I whip out the first thing I put my hand on. It's her black Alexander McQueen blazer. It's her good black Alexander McQueen blazer. And I think, yeah, no, there's no way she'd be giving that away. So Honor must be telling the truth.
She goes, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you don’t trust me!” and I try to apologise to her, except she won’t listen to me. She goes, “I told you I wasn’t going to be a bitch anymore!” and she gets back into the cor and slams the door.
I grab the two bags out of the boot and I cross over the road with them. And then for some reason I look back at the cor and I catch Honor grinning at me. And now I’m totally confused. I’m thinking, is she double-bluffing me? Or is she double-double-bluffing me. I’m standing on Dundrum Main Street with the two bags, thinking, what do I here?
Then I make up my mind. Honor's playing me. So I give the bag with the Alexander Wang blazer in it to the charity shop and I drop the one with the clown suit into the dry cleaners. Then I go back to the cor. Honor says nothing. She's sulking with me – probably because I didn't fall for it.
We’re about to drive into the shopping centre cor pork when Sorcha rings. I go, “Hey, how are the chakras? Good for another 50,000 kilometres?”
She’s like, “I know you’re mocking me, Ross. It’s no wonder my solar plexus one was, like, totally blocked. Did you drop those clothes off?”
I’m like, “Yeah, no, I did,” and then I very subtly go, “That jump suit brought back a memory or two. I really love that on you.”
She goes, “Ross, you said I should accessorise it with a red nose and a flower that squirts water. That’s why I gave it to the Vincent de Paul.”
I’m like, “Sorcha, I have to hang up,” which I do, then I slam on the brake and perform a U-turn in the middle of the road. I head back to the charity shop to see if I can buy back my wife’s clothes.
Honor laughs. She goes, “This should be a lesson to you. If I was actually nice to you, you wouldn’t know where you stood.”