We called the incident for easy reference GoatyGate. Hubby decided he needed to make some lifestyle changes. “I just need a change”...or...”I’d like to get myself upto date with music...yes...maybe get fitter." GoatyGate had awoken an inner beast. A Hubby who wanted to change, look forward. Take his life out of neutral. A ship becalmed with no sight of a breeze had found a wind to fill his sails. Rather than his usual dose of flatulence.

His first port of call was a musical education. He asked my advice. I told him to start with Gilles Peterson on Saturday afternoon for a couple of hours. “You’ll get a wide range of music and he has some interesting guests on as well.” His relationship with Gilles lasted just over a month.

Although he likened the experience to someone learning Latin he persevered. After the first show he says, “I just listened to Gilles Peterson for three hours. I can honestly say I haven’t heard of anyone he played.” He quotes from the notes he’d been taking asking if I’ve heard of the following: Extreme Giddyness…”No”...Possible Options…”No”...Breeze with the Breeze…”No”...Carla…”No”...Two Dogs and a Pony…”No”...”Okay, I made the last one up,” he says slumping down in the armchair setting off a small dust cloud from the chair's cushion. With false promise I tell him, “It will get better. You’ll pick up on on certain bands and off you go. There’s a new George Michael out there waiting for you.” Bad, very bad analogy, I know.

His relationship with Gilles, however, crashed to earth like a meteor falling from the night sky. Once again his beloved George and Dragon being his undoing.

Upon returning from the aforementioned den of iniquity, the front door closes. He strides into the living room and spreading his arms in crucifix position he asks (more pleads), “Do I look gay?” He decided the G+D would be a good place to bear his soul, telling people with little or no interest of his plan to rekindle his musical knowledge, Gilles Peterson becoming his chosen tutor. Whilst there wasn’t any posters announcing the fact, his openness and camaraderie made him “Tonight's entertainment”. Hubby could be baited with ease and the trap had been set, the scaffolding erected. He provided his own rope, noose and steps.

With news of his musical expedition in place, a few regulars (piss takers) thought it very unusual (suspect) a man would not be involved with football or rugby on a Saturday afternoon. Watching or listening are both acceptable to the male species. Instead Hubby was listening to a bloke on the radio! Nod, nod, wink, wink. No, he didn’t play darts, didn’t know of Kirsty Gallacher, didn’t fancy anyone from the netball team and his wife hadn’t been seen in the pub for a long time. Case closed.

Other predators joined in, the women folk. Veronica, yoga in the mornings, children collection in the afternoons and sexual innuendo at the G+D most evenings, thought Hubby held his beer glass and bottles “in an effeminate way”. Susan aka Suzzies portrayed Hubby as always polite, mannerly, someone who would open a door for a woman, or even a man. He’d actually been seen performing this act on numerous occasions. She said if he decided to “come out” it wouldn’t be a major surprise. Everyone agreed. When the girls becomes the lads you’re in trouble.

He was mortified, I was knackered. It was 3.00 a.m. when we returned to bed from the kitchen seminar. I watched as he held different mugs, cups, glasses in front of the mirror, getting me to comment on the manliness and ruggigness of his grip.

“So, you don’t think I’m gay then? he asked “Definitely, definitely not,” I replied in a clear positive tone. Slightly insecure maybe, but not gay, I confided to a sleeping Smokey.

He says thanks and farewell to Gilles, before moving on to my second suggestion, Cerys Matthews. “Yes now, I know her...she was with the...hold on, it’s on the tip of my...the Cardigans...that’s it, the Cardigans,” he says with a beaming smile. “Close,” I say. “It was Catatonia.” Now after all these years of marriage you’d think he knows when and how to work with me on misunderstandings. “No, I’m sure it’s the Cardigans,” he replies with an air of over-confidence which in truth requires a slap. Instead I throw in a gentle reminder…”It’s all over the front page, you give me road rage.” No, no, no please don't say it, but he does. “What is, who does?” In order to defuse my unpinned grenade, I tell him to look it up online. Thankfully he does, and the matter is resolved. It must have been an hour later during a welcome TV commercial break, Pinot providing my inner peace and tranquility, Smokey farting and dreaming puppy dreams when Hubby wonders out loud, “Was she ever in the Cardigans?” Time for bed.

He and Cerys have been together for two months. He knows the first Sunday they came together. So do I as it’s in general it’s fucked things up a little. No make that a lot.

“I can relate to Cerys. I know some of the music she plays and she explores new genres,” he explains. Genre is a word which has come into his musical vocabulary and he constantly tries to fit it in when and where it isn’t needed, required or making any sense. When we have more than two type of tea bags in the house we have a genre of tea. Last week he complimented me on my genre of perfumes. It’s like feeding a chihuahua with an elephant at one sitting. Just too much.

He makes statements to me which are said in a conversational tone but require no response I quickly come to learn. Sentences are taken straight from either Cerys or her guests. “Did you know Death Daleks have just released their second album 'From Where I Came'? “They played in Birmingham last Wednesday, Sheffield on Monday.” That’s it. He’s just replicating his football chat. A bunch of blokes making statements pretending it’s a conversation.

In the beginning I was content enough to accept on Sunday he was in his study, kitted out with earphones, pen and notepad, making copious notes from the Cerys sermon. Our Sunday was a routine (our life is a routine). It's called not getting divorced, but pleasant enough. By midday we would be driving out to a country pub. Along the way, weather permitting Smokey would be walked, a lead walk. We had learned our lesson. If we let him go free he either (a) Rolled in fox, cow or horse shit, sometimes all three…(b) Finds the local river, ending up happy as a Labrador in water. (c) Runs off, gets lost. We have to go and find him. On occasions it’s a telephone call. Does this wet, stinky dog belong to you? He’s in my garden frightening the children, all resulting in apologies and a trip home. Hubby cleans up the dog, I make Sunday (bloody) dinner. Sunday afternoon, equating to sad, sanguine, seething and sober.

So, onto the pub and the Sunday acceptance everyone is here to drink. It would be rude not to join in…”Yes, I’ll try the Pinot please, darling. If not, a Chardonnay is fine,” I instruct so he doesn’t screw up the order and change my pleasant, affable mood.

When placing my drink on the table I ask if he’s cut himself. “No, I don’t think so,” he says, feeling around his nose and chin, looking and feeling for signs of blood on his cuffs. “Can you see it somewhere? “Yes, it seems to have found its way into my glass,” I tell him. “Really” as he picks up the glass to check. This could take a while. “I asked for white.” Penny is dropping, dropping...ping. “Very droll, they didn’t have Pinot so I got you a red instead,” Hubby says, now taking a long satisfying drink from his pint.

Now at this point it could go either way. I could say. “Would you mind getting me a glass of white? I don’t really like red.” He could say, “Sorry I forgot. What would you like as they don’t have Pinot or Chardonnay (it’s a crap pub)?" Neither of us have any words. Instead I’m thinking he’s just being lazy as he knows I never drink red. Well that’s not strictly true. If we’ve run out of white wine or meths I’ll close off the evening on red. He could have played his get out of jail card...but, oh no.

“What are you drinking?" I ask him. “Cider. A refreshing pint of cider,” he says licking his lips totally unaware of the brewing apocalypse. “Is that what you ordered?” I go again. “Yes, you know I like a pint of cider" (read silly answer). "What would you have ordered if cider wasn’t on?" "Probably a pint of the local brew." At present I’m just gently pricking around the edges of my effigy. “I take it the second option would have been because you like the local brew. It is a slight prod and poke left of the torso. “Er, yes" (read silly question). I pause hoping the clues offered are more towards the easy coffee break puzzle. Instead he’s turned the situation into a cryptic clue of fiendish complexity. Silence. Yes, people did look round, yes, red wine did spill on the table, yes, Hubby was embarrassed, “So, why the fuck can’t I get the drink I wanted (hand striking table)? Is it really so difficult to order the drink I want?" I’m in the zone. He needs to dampen down the smouldering fire. A shit apology, maybe a sizable challenge back. I’m over reacting. Say something and right the wrong. Smokey looks up to Hubby as if to say “You're in the doghouse, again”

Order was restored. He brought back a large glass of Riesling whilst the piped music played 'Love is in the Air'. He offered a sincere apology which I liked, his fault (correct) and I hadn’t over reacted (incorrect).Sunday was becoming a blissful haze. He also requested one of the bar staff dropped by the table just to check if we would like another drink. Yes, we (I) would, I think on three, maybe four occasions. A nice roast lunch, go back home and luxuriate in late Sunday afternoon nap. Bliss. Cerys Matthews has changed all that.

I know it’s my own fault suggesting he listens to Cerys (sometimes now referred to as “her”) One, I didn’t really think it through. Two, I didn’t expect him to find an obsessive gene knocking around his ample proportions. Mind you those proportions are getting less and less. To be honest, he’s looking, how can I put it, fit! So Hubby is happier, slimmer, fitter, his knowledge of music is growing by the week, all with another woman. He’s moving on, I’m still swimming in a pool of bitterness and resentment. Mostly with myself.

When owning a dog it’s practical to place a placard around its neck. It saves the need for repetition. The three questions asked are: name, age and breed. Everyone asks the same questions as the incoming grandma, granddad, child or potential killer comes along for a doggy stroke. When questioned point to the placard. I mention this as I’m pondering if I should get one for Hubby, but his would read Cerys.

“No she fronted Catatonia...yes, a lot of people think it was the Cardigans...Born and bred in Cardiff...she’s been at Radio 6 since 2008"...On and on he goes, his beloved Cerys.







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