It’s the seventh day and, as you’re probably aware, Madeley’s day of rest. I hope you haven’t come here expecting a post containing any significant events. This is just about waking up on a Sunday morning in bed next to Judy. Or not next to Judy, as happened to be the case.
I was awoken in the middle of the night by the sound of a Mexican band. I’ve been woken by some pretty odd things in my life: burglars, racing pundits, hairless Armenian car salesmen. But never by a Mexican band, not even during Judy’s marimba period. It’s why I thought it odd enough to get out of bed to investigate. I stuffed my toes into my slippers, wrapped myself in my dressing gown, and emerged on the landing ready to complain about catchy South American rhythms in the small hours. The band was somewhere downstairs and it wasn’t going to be hard to find them. They were sitting in the living room, the light of our huge TV creating a false dawn.
My body woke up a little more as I took in the scene. Judy was sitting on the sofa with her trombone in her hands. In the other chairs were Denise Robertson with a tupperware tub and Judith Chalmers playing castanets made from a couple of spoons.
‘What the hell is going on?’ I asked.
The three women looked at me and then burst into laughter.
Then Denise began to smack her makeshift drum. ‘There’s only one Ricky Hatton!’ she sang as Judy accompanied her on the brass, Judy on the tablespoons. ‘There’s only one Ricky Hatton! One Ricky Hatton!’
‘Ah,’ I said, looking up at the screen at where the old man in the Stella Artois had shuffled off and we were back in Los Vegas for a Sky Box Office presentation. ‘I forgot that tonight’s the night for the sport of kings. Or, at least, Kings who can afford to cough up fifteen quid for something they should really be getting as part of their subscription package.’
‘I thought horse-racing was the sport of kinds,’ said Judith.
‘I was thinking of the more bloodthirsty kings who are almost tyrants,’ I answered as I watched Sky’s coverage of the big fight continue. ‘So how long is it before our boy arrives to get knocked out?’
‘I didn’t think you wanted to watch it,’ said Judy, taking a rest from her trombone.
‘I don’t. Who’d choose to watch a horrible sport that’s sure to end with the combatants coved in blood? The only way I’d want to watch a man from the North West being beaten to a pulp is if that man were Paul O’Grady. But that’s never going to happen… Never going to happen…’
‘So you’re not a sporting man, then, Richard?’ asked Denise.
‘I wouldn’t say that. I just to prefer to watch my beach volleyball. The worst thing you can say about that is that the ladies sometimes suffer mild sand chafing and the occasional gathering of the bikini between their cheeks.’
‘Sexist pig,’ I thought I heard Denise mutter, though it was hard to tell. Judy had chosen that moment to clear the trombone’s valves with a gust from her lungs.
As the girls launched into another verse and chorus I waved them my goodbye and climbed back up the stairs. I slipped between my sheets and set the ‘Z’ button to repeat. I had a wonderful sleep as, in the room below, three blood crazed women began to call for Mayweather’s blood.
Seven hours later, I was awake again. The same could not be said for my wife, Madame Defarge, nor her twin sisters. The scene in the living room this morning was one of small scale devastation. Judy was sleeping in the middle of the floor while Denise had the sofa and Judith was out in my favourite lounger.
I put toe to wife who woke with a snort.
‘Knock his bloody block off!’ she yelled before shrugged off my slipper and rolled over.
‘Good morning,’ I said. ‘Did he win?’
Judy groaned. It was the only answer I needed. I took off my dressing gown and threw it over my wife who had sank back into a deep sleep. I went to the kitchen and produced a large pot of coffee, a generous stack of toast, before adding them all to a tray with a jar of marmalade. With the newspaper tucked under my arm, I climbed the stairs and went back to bed. It’s from where I’m writing this and this is where I shall stay until the house stops shaking to the sound of Denise Robertson’s snoring.
Boxing matches can be vile, animalistic contests. And what goes on inside the ring can almost be as bad.