Good Evening, my little blennies, I trust the Yuletide season has treated you well and is passing without event. I felt I was blessed this year, for upon Christ’s Eve, there was no invitation from strange family, nor announcements of arrival from the even stranger arms of family. My lucky binman’s shoe had done the trick – I thought myself free. Then on the day they call Boxing day came a rapping knock on the hedge (more a rustle actually), when I flung back the shrubbery, I saw Aunt Mary Jaffa standing in a quivering state.
I think I have mentioned before, her unexplained terror when confronted with the satsuma. No doubt her arrival meant an overload after repeated Christingle services over the Christmas calendar. Nonetheless, I was armed and ready. My dear friend, Mrs Fuschia Cowdung-Bletchley gifted me the most marvellous and intriguing book. I’m thrilled, it’s all about local Gloucestershire remedies from the canal and riverside plants. I’ve been aching to try them.
Aunt Mary Jaffa clearly has a case of the Tetters. In my tradition, it the book states she needs a soothing with a balm of wattle yeast, stewed gin and the nasal excretion of a fine sheep. I tried to harvest this with difficulty. I know it’s Veganuary, but Mr Sheep was getting rid of it anyway. Good friends of mine who communicate with the secretive Sheep Nation (a thing I am not initiated into), told me this was acceptable. Sheep gribly is at a premium, yet does not hinder the beast, and they are grateful of a nose blow on a chilly morn. All is well. Or so I thought.
It didn’t work. The Tetters persisted, and the toads became unruly and petulant with the upset.
I went back to the drawing board. I’d been hanging the boiled roots of a Loss Adjuster for hours over the Yuletide period, but they have little substance, and fall apart when you try to hoik them out of the pan. Yes, hoik, it’s a word, you know. I gave up on that and realised I needed wisdom. I visited the Fretherne Apothecary, run by Mr Gavin Codslap, a very tutored man. There is simply nothing he can’t cure, and he’s quite a dish with the ladies.
I ventured in and asked him some questions about satsumas, shaking and general gubbins. He is so handsome and so clever, he made me blush, even the wart on my chin quivered a moment. Apparently, I need to make a salve to calm Aunt Mary Jaffa’s privities in case hollow fistulas ensue wreaking havoc with the tunicles of her brain. I also need to beware of using Calendula as it may upset the balance of her clefts to the fundament, I must use Violet instead. She may have hot swellings to the matrix, for which Violet is a marvel, yet the fistulas must have Teasel applied to them (not whole, I feared, as they are prickly, and the woman cannot face a satsuma). Then onto the nerves, for which Senna procures the mirth (it certainly did in Carry on Cleo), followed by a fumitory which loosens the liver and spleen. Last on the list was Old Man’s Beard, to be rubbed on the earlobes thrice daily for calming effect and to encourage equilibrium within the soul. Hat on Biccy! All is simple!
Alas…..The last ingredient I needed was the sweat of the most diligent chimney sweep in the county. Gods! Is there no end to this labour!
After five exhausting hours following two of them near the canal, I pounced with a cloth of muslin and wiped their brows. The woman sweep was a mite annoyed as she was getting ready to venture out, and in fairness, looked lovely in her finery. The man was deeply frustrated as he was practising the violin, while waiting for the bathroom. I was sent off on my way with an interesting volley of comments and the most expressive eyebrows.
I finally got home to find Aunt Mary Jaffa sprawled on the moss bed, watching something suitably gloomy on Netflix. I was annoyed, she probably had not considered a thing called data allowance. I only have a twig router, which restricts me to five minutes of Upstart Crow per evening. The bloody woman had not only eaten this up, but no doubt incurred a massive bill. Note to self, find more twigs in the morning and bypass the connection.
However, I concocted my brew, adding and stirring while the bats nodded their appreciation of my efforts. The toads rubbed their webbed hands in glee as it poured into the mould to cool. I chanted over it while it cooled, and let the full moon shine through upon the whole process. It was epic.
Unfortunately, although the mixture was marvellous, I had another visitor that evening. Mr Fogus Brap, an unruly individual who sells fruit and veg at the market. He’d noticed Aunt Mary Jaffa and cat called her earlier in the day. She’d apparently smiled and they’d struck up a rapport – him calling her ‘totty’ and her smiling coyly. Match made in heaven…
As I walked in with my stinking salve, he was holding her hand promising her a proper life, with stolen bread, diamonds and a share in a wooden leg company. I strode forth trying to stop his babble of riches beyond her comprehension. But, to my horror and relief simultaneously, he produced not an engagement ring, but the luxury of a satsuma.
She went off on one good and proper.
And that is when, for the first time, I called Aunt Vom….
Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year. I’ll post again after the cozzers have left….please don’t worry, I have a good left hook, and my nose is alright.