He was delayed <sup>held up</sup> by her ministrations <sup>fussing about</sup>. The phrase "fussing about" is gently dismissive, diminishing the importance of and need for her attentions. But it is not said as a hostile remark. It's a kind of affectionate mockery. If someone is making a multi-course meal, say, and is very busy in the kitchen, going from dish to dish, and there are mixing bowls and spoons on every counter top, for someone to poke their head in the door and say "What's all this fussing about?" would be treat those culinary efforts with less respect than they deserve.