In the kitchen there's a slick film of butter smeared across every work surface, icing sugar dredged over my favourite chair and a dusting of flour all over the floor. Priscilla has been baking again. Priscilla loves to bake, which would be clear to even the most casual observer who caught her in the act. She also delights in singing and dancing while she does so. This explains the near-circular trail of raisins picked out between a muddle of her bare foot prints on the flour-strewn floor. I can imagine her twirling gleefully while the shower of dried fruits fell through her fingers.
But the oven is off now. The cake-coolers stand guard over only stray crumbs. Her creations are almost certainly tucked away in tins. There is no whirl of Priscilla, delighting freely in patisserie, to be found anywhere within the walls of our abode. I know this, because I've scoured the whole house, following the tale-telling floury footprints. Priscilla has gone. Which is probably just as well because now I'm alone in my element, able to indulge my own special joy. They say that the the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. But much as I love Priscilla's tastier and messier productions, I didn't marry her for cake. She's my perfect partner in a way that other women in my past frequently used to frustrate.
So I fill a bucket with warm, soapy water and spin the dustpan brush in the air a few times as though it were a cheerleader's baton. I prime the mop, I gather a whole nest of dusters and rags into a bundle and fire off a few token squirts of anti-bacterial spray into the air. Then I remove my jacket and trousers to the safe haven of a hanger in the bathroom, roll up the sleeves of my shirt. Girding myself for battle, clad in boxers and socks I set about having my own fun.
After it's over and the kitchen is pristine again, I shower and wait for Priscilla to return home. Eventually she will, with a smile on her face that mirrors my own. And later tonight when, naked in bed, we feed each other facefuls of sticky, sugary happiness she will be certain to drop plenty of cake crumbs on the floor; just to give me the pleasure of eradicating them with the Dyson tomorrow. Priscilla really is the perfect woman for me.