Friday, July 06, 2012

which came first...


dear readers, today's post may have more sensitive souls cringing into their cornflakes so i would urge anyone who is eating to finish their nosh first before proceeding.

herself has a rather fine van called dan, which young dave and i are happy to be transported in.  as with all mechanical creatures, dan the van develops rattles and squeaks from time to time which need to be attended to before bits fall off and cause problems.  herself has some tame mechanics who are happy to oblige.  they have been with herself through a variety of vehicles, from the rather fancy arthur the audi, via the decidedly less fancy skoda to dan the van.  herself likes them because they do not assume that being a lady means a person has no understanding of big ends.  

anyway, dan the van was dropped off for his service and picked up later on, having had a proper once over and a new tyre.

"i had to open the windows to air it," said one of the tame mechanics, "it was a bit high in there.  i would suggest you get yourself some fabreze!"   herself rather sheepishly paid the bill and made her escape.  when i heard of this upon her return home i could only concur.  the back of dan the van can get rather eye-watering, especially for a chap of my advancing years.   the main culprit is undoubtedly young dave, who, as my regular readers know, has an unattractive propensity to roll in dead things, rotting things, and the products of digestion.

herself was suitably chastened by the fact that even a very oily mechanic could not stand the smell in her van and got busy with a bucket of hot soapy water.  her labours were accompanied by a lot of groaning due to her bruised rear, the cause of which was a tumble from the magnificent bonzo.  eventually dan the van was finished.  however, the smell had quite clearly not abated.  herself decided it must be a stray apple core under the seat and resolved to set my boy to work searching for it the next time he was seen in a vertical position.

fast forward to a couple of days ago and a trip to the beach with our good friends the terrors.  she had just got us all out of the back and onto the beach when she realised that she did not have enough bags to collect four sets of little offerings.  back we went to the van.  herself opened the passenger door to collect some bags from the glove pocket in the door.  no sooner had she scooped up a handful of bags than she dropped them on the pavement and leapt back several feet.  her pale and horrified countenance made me look more closely at the bags.   they were moving.  out of the corner of my eye i could see that young dave had also noticed this, and while i was merely exhibiting a scientific interest, young dave was mentally tucking in his bib and getting ready for a nice snack.

fortunately herself also noticed this and bundled us back into the van so she could give the writhing bags her full attention.   the aroma in and around the van had got noticeably worse since the bags had been retrieved and on closer inspection herself ascertained that the cause of the movement was around 500 writhing maggots who had clearly been feasting on the remains of an egg.  how the egg got into the glove pocket is probably going to be lost in the mists of time, although i suspect it came from one of my boy's chickens.

herself peered into the glove pocket in the door, then leapt back in horror.  there were many more writhing maggots in the door.   having pulled her fleece up over her face and donning plastic bags over each hand herself scooped as many maggots as she could out of the door and onto the pavement.  she then tried squirting mosquito repellent into the glove pocket, to no avail.  in desperation she found a bottle of sun tan lotion in the other door and poured its contents into the passenger door glove pocket, thus drowning the remaining maggots.  she then collected up the carnage from the pavement and found a bin.  for someone who watches crime dramas about forensic science so avidly i have to say she was decidedly lily-livered about this whole affair, but i suppose we all have our weaknesses.

for the rest of the day we had to drive round in the van with drowned maggots slopping around in a sea of suntan lotion.  eventually herself procured some kitchen towel and removed the worst of it, although a few drowned maggots still remain to be removed.   a joyous task for today!

the moral of this story, dear readers, is not to spend too much time worrying about whether the chicken or the egg came first...

Monday, June 11, 2012

its all pooh

dear readers, i have been prompted out of my silence by discovering a half-written post about a most blogworthy sunday morning.

the sunday in question was a lovely sunny day, which was just as well as it was the day herself had arranged to move rather a lot of the magnificent bonzo's magnificent pooh from the field where he used to live to her friend mary's allotment.  (for the benefit of my overseas readers an allotment is a strip of land you can rent to grow vegetables on if you don't have the space in your garden.)  herself no longer has a towbar on her vehicle as uncle gary has taken over custody of the 4 wheel drive and we now travel in style in a blue van called dan.  she also no longer has a trailer as she rather rashly sold it when money was a little tight.

the lack of any means to move the pooh did not deter either herself or her friend mary.  mary has a trailer but no towbar, so there only remained this final part of the puzzle to sort out and the pooh would be on the move.   herself and mary have several friends with towbars and the shortlist was narrowed down to two.  of these, one had problems with the rest of the vehicle which meant towing anything was unwise, so the lucky winner of the pooh-towing contest was the magnificent bonzo's football coach who is called crisp.  crisp has a truck of generous proportions which herself rather tactlessly said had the look of a drug dealer's vehicle when she first saw it.  personally i would have thought someone involved in nefarious activities would be keen to avoid attention but herself is not known for her common sense.

anyway, at the appointed time herself and crisp called at mary's house to collect the trailer.  it was at this point that the first flaw in the plan became apparent.   at some point in the truck's former life someone had obviously shunted into the back of it, bending its rather fine bumper somewhat.   this meant that there was a smaller gap above the towbar than was ideal and the handle of the trailer did not fit into the gap.   herself went into mary's house and came back with a box of spanners and some wd40.   with a bit of wrangling the bumper was persuaded to wait in the garage, the trailer was connected to the truck and they were on their way.  mary has an injured shoulder so was not allowed to be involved in the actual shovelling operation.

when herself and crisp arrived up at the hill, herself thought it would be wise to call in on mrs collie, the magnificent bonzo's former landlady, to let her know what was occurring, lest she thought someone was stealing the pooh.   other than young dave i am not sure who would be interested in stealing pooh but there you are.  mrs collie's house was full of people who had stayed the night having been to dinner the night before.  they were creating a feast for breakfast and the kitchen was a hive of activity.  this did not deter herself from making a pot of coffee and liberating some leftover banoffee pie for herself and crisp.

eventually they could put off the pooh-towing no longer and went out to the muckheap.  some vigorous shovelling and raking later the trailer was full.   it was not until the intrepid pooh-shovellers attempted to tow it back onto the track that it became apparent that the trailer had a puncture. regular readers will know that this is not the first time that such an event has occurred.   there was the occasion of the wood in the wood.  and then there was the occasion of the camping trip.  so the idea of a puncture was not entirely new.

ever the optimist, herself took out her patent tyre-pumping up gadget from her van.  this plugs into the cigarette lighter thingy. herself pulled the van up next to the trailer and got ready to inflate.  the fatal flaw with this operation was that the cigarette lighter thingy in herself's van was inoperative.

"never mind," she said to crisp, "we can plug it into your truck!"   this plan was unsuccessful as well due to the wire not being long enough to reach from the truck cab to the trailer tyre.  the trailer could not be unhitched due to the weight of the pooh.  herself's van was full of scrap wood and her jack was under the floor under the scrap wood so changing the wheel presented something of a challenge.

as the pooh-shovellers were debating what to do next a group of people came by, accompanied by some dogs.  herself, as is her habit, stopped to chat.

"is that little grey dog called merlin?" she asked, pointing to a doppelganger for young dave, who we have met before.

"no, he's pagan," replied the owner.  i'm not sure what relevance the little chap's spiritual beliefs had to anything but there we are.  anyway, eventually herself was persuaded to return her attention to the flat tyre.

"i know," she said, "i'll see if anyone has a car jack and we can jack up the trailer and change the wheel for the spare!"   with that, up she sprang and sprinted into mrs collie's house to pester the poor long-suffering hungover people.   amazingly, a jack was located and with no further ado the trailer was levitated and the wheel changed.

the journey back to mary's allotment was slow but uneventful and the pooh was duly deposited.  there only remained returning the trailer, unhitching it from the truck, re-fitting the bumper to the truck and then having a cuppa and all was well.

somehow i think it might have been simpler to persuade the magnificent bonzo to position his rear end over mary's vegetables from time to time...

Monday, April 09, 2012

anyone for golf?

watching some deer

at last i have managed to pin herself to the keyboard.  this is because she is rather tired and not in a rush to get out of her chair.

herself's friend crisp has been having a fitness regime for some time and now and again invites herself to join him and his terriers on their early morning walk.  while an early morning walk might sound quite gentle and relaxing, in fact it involves marching up and down a very hilly golf course, punctuated by crisp doing energetic exercises involving benches.

i have not been on one of these walks before as i have been a little under the weather with my feet and my teeth but after a recent visit to the evil vet i am back to rude health and can yet again give those youngsters a run for their money.

the plan was to meet at 7am at the golf course. the day dawned damp and grey but i was not going to miss a walk after all this time and nudged young dave into action. our walk was rather bracing, due to the horizontal rain and biting wind, but otherwise uneventful, until we got to the far edge of the golf course.  by this time herself had been instructed in the finer points of golf, in particular not to loudly ask inane questions when a golfer was trying to line up a shot, and young dave had been dissuaded from helpfully retrieving the little white balls for people.

as we were passing a clump of woodland, the terriers disappeared from view.  this is not an unusual occurrence, particularly in terrain full of rabbit holes, so herself and crisp continued.  however it became clear that not all was well when we could hear noises that were clearly not the terriers coming from the middle of the wood. 

on returning to the wood herself could see a young deer lying in the undergrowth being attacked by the terriers.  young dave and i were able to restrain ourselves (young dave because he did not know what to do and me because i am too old for all that bloodthirsty stuff).  crisp got all four of us canines on our leads and herself went to see what condition the deer was in.  it was obviously injured but could walk and after some discussion it was decided that it would stand a better chance being left where it was for its mother to come back for it.

herself dropped young dave and me off at home and having changed out of her wet stuff went to sort out the magnificent bonzo.  there she spoke to a lady called rocks, who has some experience with animals and said that the deer's mother was unlikely to go near it if it smelt of dogs and that it would probably die without help.  herself rounded up a wheelbarrow, a horse rug and a towel and arrange to meet crisp back at the golf course so they could take the deer to a vet.

the walk from the car park to the deer seemed even further the second time, particularly when pushing a wheelbarrow, but eventually they arrived at the wood.  the deer had moved some distance from where it had been but herself eventually found it.  the deer's eyes were covered and it was gently rolled onto the horse rug, and carried out of the wood to the waiting wheelbarrow.   the walk back seemed even longer, going into the wind with a heavy load in the wheelbarrow, but after about half an hour they were back by the car park.  it was only when herself went to reach for her keys to open her van that she realised she had left her bag in the wood when they were picking up the deer.  this would have been bad enough but the bag contained £250 which herself had got out of the bank to pay for some work that is being done to the house by her friend shorn.

it was decided that the priority was to get the deer to medical attention and so it was loaded into the back of crisp's car.  or rather crisp's mum's car, which is a small hatchback not really designed for carrying deer.  the first port of call was the RSPCA, which is near to the golf course.  as today is a bank holiday the RSPCA was closed, but crisp managed to locate a lady who in turn found a man who told them that there was no vet on site and the deer had to be taken to a local vet.  

after further travel the vet was located and the deer taken into the consulting room.  when it was unwrapped it was clear that the injuries were not going to be easy to treat and as deer are not known for coping well with the stress of captivity it was decided to put the poor thing to sleep.  herself and crisp sat and had a sombre cup of coffee and said goodbye to the vets and the deer before heading back to the golf course and setting off a third time for the wood to fetch herself's bag.

this time they were resigned to being soaked to the skin. not having a heavy wheelbarrow load they made better time, but on arrival at the wood herself could not find her bag.  crisp was on the edge of the wood having a quick cigarette so herself shouted to him to ask him to ring her phone so she could hear the bag.  the phone went straight to voicemail, no doubt because of the poor signal among the hills, so herself had to search the wood, bent double to avoid the hawthorn trees and brambles.  miraculously the bag came into sight and even more miraculously still had the money in it (although i cannot imagine who would be wandering around a prickly wood in the pouring rain apart from a mad old fool like herself).

the walk back to the car park was even wetter and colder than the previous one as the weather had worsened but at least an end to the whole thing was in sight.  herself phoned home ahead of her arrival to ask himself to put on the hot water so she could have a bath.

my boy was still asleep when herself got back but had grasped through the fog of drowsiness that an adventure had been going on in his absence.  part of his course at college is called 'deer management' so he might have been useful this morning...

Sunday, March 04, 2012

some small dogs

dear readers, as i have been having something approaching writer's block, or more accurately my typist has been having typist's block, i thought i would try and keep you informed of my activities by posting pictures of what has been going on. here you can see a selection of small dogs. from the left oyu can see daisy, rosie, bob, harry and misty. the latter two have been our guests for a few days while their human, crisp, has had a knee operation. i have been a little jealous of their comandeering of herself's lap but to be fair i cannot cram my elderly and rather creaky frame into the correct shape to sit on a lap these days so i should be more magnanimous.

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