If you ask me, of all the strains put upon a modern marriage, I wonder why no mention is ever made of what happens to a relationship when one person becomes much more ecologically worked up than the other. This is what has happened in our house, with my husband having become so worked up that, should an apple core be discarded in the wrong bin, he will fish it out and storm furiously from room to room, dangling it threateningly and demanding: "Whose is this? Whose is this?"
I try to share his outrage. I don't know, I'll say, but I'll check it against all our dental records, shall I? Just give me a minute. Hang on. I think I can tell from the bite pattern that it's our son. Let's put him on trial! Let's get him banged up right now! We have all the evidence we need! Where are the cuffs?
You may ask why I don't do more to protect my son, and hide him in the loft, but the truth is it's getting pretty full up there. As it is, I'm already hiding one niece (she is wanted for crimes against orange peel) and my own mother, who refused to urinate on the compost heap. "BUT I'M 83!" she kept remonstrating, uselessly.
I attempt to do my bit. I seriously do. I switch lights off. I don't turn the television up above Channel 4. I use "bags for life" even though, as I'm always forgetting them when I go to the shops, I have to buy new ones on every trip and now have bags for this life, my next life and the one after. Bag wise, there isn't going to be a life I'm not fully prepared for. If there's a life you might need a bag for, I've got you covered.
But I can't get as agitated as my husband, who berates me for driving to the corner shop despite the fact I always go the long way round (no point taking the car, otherwise), is thinking of voting for the Green Party, even though it sounds like a restaurant booking – "You're with the Green party? Mr Green is already seated. May I take your coat?" – and is also thinking of getting the loft insulated, which could be interesting.
Or, as I say to my niece and my mother when I throw in a hunk of meat every now and then: "Let's hope the moment passes. In the meantime, just stay quiet and keep your heads down and, Mum, would it have killed you to urinate on his compost heap? "BUT I'M 83! I'VE LIVED THROUGH A WAR!" And now I'm getting it from all sides. Great.