My young husband loved roast duck and orange sauce. A week before Easter he asked me to find out how much ducks were selling for- adding wistfully that if they were not too dear perhaps we could have one instead of the usual roast chicken.
A few days later, back from shopping, unpacking items and stowing them in kitchen cupboards, three small children running around and the dog jumping about ready for her walk, we carried on a conversation in and over all the racket.
‘I found … a duck.’ I called out.
‘Fantastic. How much?
I told him and we agreed we could just extend the budget for such a lovely treat.
‘How big?’ he asked a few minutes later.
Like a fisherman proud of a catch I extended my hands wide about 70 centimetres (28 inches - just over 2 feet in linear measurements).
His eyes widened even more. ‘Don’t be silly, ‘ he said.
‘It is’ I said, ‘and about this high, ‘extending my hands up with a 40 centimetres (16 inches – about one and a third feet) gap.
Shaking his head in growing irritation, he said, ‘You are being ridiculous now.’
I stared at him. ‘It is this wide, and this high, ’ I said firmly, annoyed at my approximate measurements being questioned, ‘with four wheels and a stainless steel handle.’
He looked at me as if I had gone totally crazy. Then I realised, in all the noise and confusion he had missed the bit about my seeing the ideal Easter present for our 2-year old daughter… a bright yellow plastic push-along toy duck on wheels. Cross purposes!