Good day, my little sackbuts, I trust you’re all well and behaving yourselves. I received the most intriguing set of instructions through the hedge mail this morning. It’s left me completely flabbered. It’s come from a relative of mine, pictured below. This is Cecile Stealth Bum-Trinket, a member of the more intellectual side of the family.
Cecile is the most glamorous of the Bum-Trinket clan, favouring nights at the symphony, flying planes (despite it being illegal for women), and international travel. She’s had many an interesting tryst with mysterious, cultured gentleman and constantly receives flowers, wine and gifts from Kings and the wealthy elite. She never has a hair out of place, her ensemble is immaculate (even when skydiving), and was the first woman in the family to shock by adopting the goatee over the full beard. Very modern and very, very chic.
Well, as I said, I received instructions. The note was delivered this morning by a crow, which waited in the tree while I read. The note was written in her beautiful copperplate script, and said ‘Meet by the canal bridge at 9pm, wear dark clothing, and bring the triffid. Now eat this note’. I did, and belched as elegantly as I could manage. I’d always suspected her a spy, her glamorous lifestyle and they way certain news would follow her visits. One family holiday to London resulted in a death by poison in Claridges. She used mascara laden with strychnine, and lent the brush to a foreign dignitary in the ladies. Occurrences like these make you wonder….
I fetched out my sack dress from the back of the hedge, I was the filthiest one that wouldn’t stand out. In fact, the aroma was so bad I could even convince a badger that I was a relative. But then, a dilemma. Where the buggery bollocks would I find the triffid? I had one somewhere, but it kept wandering off down the towpath. I set off with a length of rope (the bloody thing is 5′ 9” now, and built like a fell runner). After twenty minutes, I heard a scream and saw it boarding a dutch barge moored up on my side. Thankfully, it hadn’t started spitting, so I lassoed it and dragged it away from a lady threatening it with a teatowel and some tongs, and retreated with apologies saying ‘Oh he’s friendly, just a bit exciteable’.
At nine o’clock, I was by the bridge, hiding and telling the triffid to be quiet. He makes these clicking noises when people approach and nearly blinded two cyclists. Cecile whistled from the shrubbery, and we found each other. She looked so elegant in the moonlight, all in black, carrying a machine gun and a grappling hook. I passed her the triffid, who started pining for me but she tempted it away with the promise of the cyclists so he trundled off with her quite happily. That was that, or so I thought.
The next morning, I switched on my wooden laptop, and there, on a news headline was a picture of the woman below with this information: WOMAN FOUND DEAD FROM VIOLENT TRIFFID ATTACK NEAR YURGA! BRITISH ESPIONAGE SUSPECTED! Apparently her name was Uvula Bumova.
I clutched my wattling chins in horror. Was I now to face years of guilt as an accessory? To claim ignorance would not alter the fact. The shock was so much I let the toads stay home from school and we watched Netflix all day. Then just as I was about to clamber into my hessian pyjamas for bed, there was a knock at the hedge door. Another note. It read ‘Do not leave the hedge, you will be contacted – listen for the phrase ‘The moorhen has not returned his library books’. At first this made no sense – we’re in lockdown, the library isn’t open. Then I realised it was some sort of code.
The next morning, there was a dark figure lurking by the towpath and I heard ‘pssst!’. I ventured over and heard the magic phrase. It was Cecile, disguised as a cheese rolling competitor. After a long conversation, I had the full picture. Uvula Bumova was one Cecile’s counterpart spies, and had upset a wealthy businessman in Vilnius. While amid the throes of pleasure in a hotel room, she’d nicked his 100 year old family recipe for crumpets. These were easily more light and fluffy than British crumpets, and a well known British firm, and the government were appalled by this.
Then, while Uvula pretended to be visiting an elderly but dreadful folk trumpeter in a home, the secret recipe had been placed in a bedpan, for collection by a trapeze artist masquerading as a bread seller. The bread seller then hid it in a walnut and sesame loaf, who sold the loaf to Cecile, who’d flown it back to the UK to present to the well known distributor of crumpets. Uvula had become unstable and had to be ‘taken out’, hence the triffid, on the orders of the British Secret Service. I was at least, exhonorated for my part in keeping crumpetry alive and wonderful. I was given 6 packets, but told ‘jog on, love’ when I asked for a medal. However, Terry (the triffid) was returned to me alive and well. And spitting.
Cecile had had her light aircraft impounded after it was discovered on an abandoned airfield. She never used the same one for security reasons, so she’d cleverly managed to make herself another plane on the kitchen table out of a Boeing 747, components of a Dyson and two penny farthings. I was quite impressed.
After clearing the mess off the table and putting the larger components in a skip, we had a lovely afternoon of tea and crumpets. She fled at dusk into another mysterious foreign adventure.
I wish to extend my thanks to my readers (both of you), and wish you well. Enjoy the glorious weather, and please be careful of triffids on the towpath. Pip pip!