Well, not exactly. We haven't actually met, let alone been introduced but we are becoming more and more interlinked each day; our lives running along side by side joined by a thread of deepening awareness.
It (for I know not what sex "it" is and God knows there's enough to choose from these days) lives in my car and has done so apparently for over a week. Hard to tell when it arrived but I first thought "Hello, I've got a visitor" when I found a loaf of granary bread had been tampered with. The type of bread is unimportant other than to indicate I had opted for the healthy option but the tamperer had only had a nibble, not voracious, but noticeable and certainly enough to render the healthy option unappetising to the tamperee.
"Bastard" I thought. Then it had a go at my cough sweets in the glove compartment but obviously couldn't get the wrapper off. A few chewed pieces of newspaper indicated something verminous. I cleared the car but found nothing. I handed the car over to the Polish Handwashki at Cow Roast for a full valet (15 quid- excellent value) who cleaned and Polish-ed her till she gleamed. I drove away confident that matey was now half way to Tring, propelled there, I hoped, on the end of a Polish power washer's jet.
The discovery of my atlas in a state of distress (eaten the whole of Wales and the bit about road signs) meant my confidence was ill founded. The bastard was still about. So being of a kindly nature I set a humane trap (which surely means they are to catch humans!?) I baited it with a little chocolate cookie biscuit....correction-three biscuits have now been devoured but the trap is empty. Bastard.
So what have we learnt. Our new friend has a cough, an interest in Wales, a liking for chocolate cookies and can't read. How do I know it can't read?
We've upgraded the weaponry to poison the sod. Whatever it is. Well whatever it is it can't read. Or rather if it can read it can't comprehend that this stuff according to the packet is irresistible to little furry bastards. It has resisted it for two nights and got stuck into shredding a towel (Egyptian-Dunelm)!
Some of this might strike you as an over reaction-live and let live etc but those of you that know me-or rather the inside of my car- will know that my lifestyle is such that approximately a third of my possessions travel with me; sometimes on their way to the launderette or Council tip but more often because there is no room for them elsewhere. Add to this the fact that at this time of ball-breaking coldness the car makes an excellent additional fridge. Until visitors arrive that is.
So I've removed everything from the car so there is only the irresistible poison left. My fear was that it would take a fancy to the wiring instead which I know with my experience of glis glis is catastrophic.
Well, nothing's been nibbled, disturbed, chewed, confettied for a week. .........
|looking cool in a hat from France courtesy of Auntie Natalie|
In the interim a trip to collect Caz and Mathilda.
They came to stay with Pam for half term and it was lovely to see them.
All babies are great and I'm a big soft sod but Mathilda is gorgeous; absolutely gorgeous.
======================================== Somehow I've got involved in my local Patient Participation Group and have been drafting a newsletter to be sent to patients. I thought I'd include a few of cartoons which I now share with you.
Ever now and then the sun appears and brightens our lives and encourages us to look forward to the Spring. Not soon enough as far as I'm concerned. Just filled up with diesel (which runs my central heating) from the wonderful Juels' fuels. £132! Since 8th January! 31 days! £4.26 a day! Actually that's not too bad and that I hope is the coldest month dealt with. Mind you there's also coal and logs for the real fire, say, 40 quid a month. No wonder I want the Spring to arrive. As does I am sure the little beauty to the right who just perched on my ropes for at least two minutes hunched against the biting wind blowing up from wildest Berkhamsted. I was so excited to snap him, to see him in fact. Such a treat.
One of the places a chap should be able to retreat to on a cold evening is his local but as the whole world knows the Cow Roast Inn is shut, its future uncertain but the view hereabouts is it's closed for good. For some strange reason a giant skip arrived for a couple of days suggesting some action but nobody saw anything happen and it disappeared again.
And now Lent approaches. As an O level Catholic I struggle with Lent, or rather the giving stuff up bit. I have proved conclusively over the last 71 years that I have sod all will power, never ever able to maintain those Lenten resolutions.
The whole world knows I must lose some weight but do I seize the opportunity of 40 days without beer or bread? Nah. Well maybe at first but then the negotiations start-maybe I could have a beer.....or two....on just a Friday and perhaps just wine with meals.....and bang crash wallop nothings changed and Lent is over and so is my weight.
It's Shrove Tuesday so decision time. Tomorrow is the kick off. What to do....I'd better not announce my intentions publicly for fear that the odd (very) friend that reads this crap might spot me skulking, cream horn in hand, and denounce me. Come on now Michael it's only 40 days-you must be able to give up something fattening for just 40 days...but what?
It's absolutely peeing down as I write. It's enough to drive a man to drink.
|This was meant to be a photo of the MSWIB in the snowdrops|
but the MSWIB obviously decided otherwise
The MSWIB? I hear you ask. Well some passing toff said to me something like "Your wife is the most stylish woman in Buckinghamshire" which was nice...except the "wife" bit; the MSWIB wasn't too impressed with that.
Some more pictures.
To end on' a couple of RIPs.
Friend and publican Mario O'Neill died last week aged 64 I think. Mario and I first met years ago when he temporarily managed the Cow Roast Inn during one of its many hiatus periods. We got on well and kept in touch thereafter until eventually he took the tenancy of the Rose and Crown (now closed) which was a few doors from Pam and therefor very handy. For some reason lost in the passing of time but probably to do with the fact we were both taught by priests he would usually greet me with "Good Evening your Reverence" to which I would respond "and to you your Grace"
Ever happy with a wind up when a customer asked Mario (in my absence)why he addressed me thus he kindly explained that I was a defrocked priest and then to make sure half the pub ignored me added "but he's a tax inspector now"
A few days later I was waiting for a train at Berko and saw one of the R and C customers just along the platform-I knew he was a builder so probably not a big fan of HMRC but when I waved at him in cheery acknowledgement he blanked me. When the train arrived I saw him climb aboard but as I took my seat I saw through the window he had got off again. Methinks he had a lot of unpaid tax. Mario and I enjoyed that story often.
RIP Your Grace.
I didn't really know Malcolm Snow other than the odd exchange of a good evening in The Lamb. With no disrespect intended I mention him for another reason. A couple of years ago in the lead up to Christmas-let's call it Advent-the Lions had organised their traditional Santa on a sleigh touring the streets of Berko and generally raising an air of jollity. Unfortunately on this occasion the snow and ice had visited early and the sleigh lost its grip on the hill leading to the High Street and Santa and parcels and elves had careered acrossthe road T -boning a parked car....owned by Malcolm Snow.
Whilst having sympathy for all concerned I would have loved to have been in the Insurer's Office the following day to hear that Santa had crashed his sleigh into a Mr Snow. You couldn't make it up.
Back to Mooring matters and thought is being given to the St George's annual party and in particular whether to have an auction. It does take a long while and if it's chilly, which it usually is then it's a bit tough on guests having to put up with the hawking of a fair amount of junk whilst hypothermia sets in. Some say it raises money so what the hell. I'm ambivalent.
I do feel it's got a bit tired and a rest might be a good idea. A suggestion is that if anyone has anything actually of value they price it and leave it on a table inviting offers. After that it's up to them whether they pocket the proceeds minus 10% for charity or make the whole thing a donation.
A topic for discussion for the next month.
Before I publish I'm just going to check the car once more when Ady and I go for a pre-dinner tincture. It's over a week since any sign of Mr Mousebastard so fingers crossed........
No sign thereof so hope the bugger has gone elsewhere.
On a note of celebration cos Ady and I had a bet on Wigan to beat Man City 1-0 at 74-1 and cleared £148 profit!!!.
Cheers for now