When my dad moved back from France, my mum changed the locks on our front and back doors. Or rather she got a little man to do it. That was her phrase – a little man, get a little man in to do a job. Most of the time they weren’t little. And this particular little man that came to change the locks was actually a woman.
‘It’s still a little man,’ she said to me. We were standing in the kitchen, drinking tea. She’d just made one for the locksmith.
‘Mum, she’s called Florence, she’s blonde and she’s a woman.’
‘But she’s doing a little man’s job. And she has two sugars in her tea. She should really be called Stan.’
‘Why is she doing it, Mum?’
‘I don’t know – maybe she didn’t work hard enough at school.’
I frowned. ‘Mum, why?’
‘It needed doing.’
‘No, it didn’t.’