Gloucester, here I come!

A plethora of local children bathing at the Cow’s Drink. Thank God Folly wasn’t born here……

Well, after the bizarre predictions evening, I had word from the Gloucestershire witches that my hedge is ready to move into. And not before time – the rozzers are still investigating the theft of the Library Trolley, and there is a manhunt afoot. It seems an old and buggered librarian was out walking her ball of wool, and managed to describe me perfectly, so I’ve packed up and done a runner. After a fifteen hour carriage journey with a travelling magician and half an assistant, I am now within the confines of a sympathetic county. Thank the Lords!

The local sisterhood have found me a new hedge, with a twig router (4G), and I can get Netflix. It’s not too draughty, and it’s near the pub, which will please Aunt Vom when she visits. I now reside in Hedge 2, at the Cow’s Drink, near the smelly bit of the ditch. The bats have settled well and are fraternising with the locals quite happily, and I’ve enrolled them in the local school. Aunt Claymore is dubious about the move, she’s anxious for me to keep the toads away from the local toads, she fears they may pick up an accent. They croak with an extra ‘R’. Aunt Gourd fears the canal may bring about unwanted tendencies, such as swimming and pointing at things.

I have discovered, in two short days, that most things in this county revolve around three things: bread, cheese and beer. Not necessarily in that order. Most local witches have a romance for cheese, and people with beards are marvellously skilled at baking bread. The bigger the beard, the better the bread.

Aunt Gourd rang on the yogurt pot telephone before I left. She is alarmed by the lack of beards among women on the canal. Her stern warning came with the claim that they are either satanists or deviants. It transpires that the Canal and River Trust issue a separate license to women with beards, amounting to £2,568 per year. Moustaches on men, however, is discounted at £2 for life. Typical. I’ll keep ped-egging my chin.

I am most happy to live closer to the Quedgeley Toad Balancers, whom I mentioned in an earlier post. They are very clever and skilled folk, but I need to pass an initiation into their clan. I must think very carefully whether I want to embrace ‘toad’ for a night on the Frampton Green, and eat flies. Mystical journeys are never an easy path.

I am also interested in the Saul Weasel Copiers, they are fascinating. They venture out during different hours and impersonate weasels running across the road. There is a talk on next week on how to run like a pencil on four legs. It really is the hub of excitement here. I may overlook the Berkeley Badger Feelers Group, badgers can be pretty crabby at the best of times, and if felt too much, may incur injury. A gentleman called James, who runs the society, is smattered with plasters and bandages.

Thrupp Medical Society piqued my interest, until I realised it’s a society dedicated to treating people with Thrupp and raising awareness. It sounds deeply unpleasant. A local boater told me that it’s a local illness and the only cure is a change of diet and cold compress to relieve the itch and burning. Thankfully, as a chimney sweep, she is immune.

I have joined Fretherne Cowpat Club, however, as I am very interested in their annual Frisbee Day. They have a monthly meet in the local hall, and an important man comes to talk about cowpats every bi-month. The hikes through local farmland sound good, with the possibility of bringing something home for the ‘finds table’.

So, I’m sitting in my little hedge, writing these words on my wooden tablet to you. I do love Gloucestershire – it’s the most odd county of all. Anything goes here, and nobody cares. It will certainly do for me. The view is beautiful, all is quiet. I just hope the county can cope when my relatives visit……

Madame Widdershins Beltane Prediction

Saints preserve us! Not content with a simple Wiccan ceremony this Beltane, my elder sibling has insisted that this swaying, rolling-eyed, seventh-daughter-of-next-door’s-dog-of-a-psychic is foisted upon us all.
Aunt Gourd (pictured above) has gone extremely wispy and mystical at the first sign of a fat moon, and decided that she shall follow in the footsteps of our witch clan. She became all premonitious on Wednesday, and went to see Madame Widdershins McMunter (pictured below with Uncle Nancy, reading his palm and telling him he’s got Buckley’s chance of finding a bird unless he shapes up and moves out of his mothers). Shrieks and wringing of hands claim that the woman is a marvel and totally accurate. (I’m not so sure, as the neighbourhood urchins say – chinny reckon…)

Not content with this spectacle, Gourd invited her to my hedge, along with a plethora of others for a group reading. I shall be truthful, this was foisted upon me and I was not pleased. My plans involved ped-egging my chin, a good nettle bath and settling down with the bats on my lap to watch ‘Live at The Apollo’ via my twig router. I’d had a lovely tea planned, a fresh brew of goats rue tea, and a new weasel recipe from Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, with some blessings, but that idea has been totally buggered. I’ve stepped out of the excitement to post this as I’m bored and frustrated, so my readers are carrying the great weight of being my comfort in time of stress. That’s both of you, by the way, so don’t either of you sneak off.

It started at six, when they all arrived. Aunt Vom reckons the whole thing is bollocks but she’s sitting on the bench anyway, just for a giggle (not on Aunt Bench, I might add). Folly is blessedly quiet at the moment, I’ve given her some hemlock and some dead stag beetles to play with. If she likes them, I might make her a gift of it for her 34th birthday next month. It’s either that or anything non-explosive or flammable.
Aunt Turgid is cross, as she couldn’t bring her lizards in, apparently lizards interrupt the mystical signals and attract negative deities. The lizards seem oblivious to this, but didn’t mind waiting in the motorcar.
Aunt Mary Jaffa is ok, there are no satsumas (I won’t even recall the Christingle service episode).
Aunt Bench is sitting worrying about whether she’ll ever have another child. God help us….
Cousin Girda isn’t here. She said, if they psychic was that good, she’d have known she couldn’t make it and would have sent her a telegram with any relevant bits.
Aunt Claymore is not impressed, and boycotted the event under allegations of ‘wickedness’ and ‘horror’.
So dear friends, my simple Wiccan ceremony of prayers, blessings and a little feast, has been hijacked and turned into a circus. The only genuine witch at the table is despondent, bored and can’t wait for them to go.
The toads are fed up, too, and are quietly playing ‘snap’ in the corner with my special edition ‘007 Quantum of Solace’ playing cards. They are so well behaved when Mummy’s busy.
Madame McMunter started by getting us all to place a personal object on the table that she could grope in the slim chance of finding any vibrations. I doubt this charlatan would find any vibrations from certain catalogues, but never mind. In my opinion, she’s all jingly bangles, rings, a woolly barnet, gin breath and bugger all else.
I went first, and put my wooden teeth on the table. Apparently, I am a woman, I live in a hedge, and I have a predisposition to living in draughty places. My two children are ugly (I suppose you could count the toads). My three lovers are warring for my affections (!), and I am about to win the lottery. I have a strong connection to ‘Albert’ (a bat who lives locally) and a yen for chicken bhuna. I hope she doesn’t know it was my bhuna that killed Folly’s tortoise, but she then lost credibility when she said I would be on the cover of Marie Claire having beaten Lea Seydoux as the prettier option. Hmmm.
Aunt Vom put a set of nunchucks on the table, and the mad psychic said she is about to be repaid for her kindnesses to the community, she is viewed as an angel amongst sinners. I suffered difficulty with this explanation, and nearly peed my sack dress – Vom’s only just out of the nick for nutting a copper.
Aunt Mary Jaffa put a thimble down, and it was said that she is ‘special’. Well, we knew that.
Aunt Turgid put her bicycle on the table, which really ticked me off as it’s leaking oil. She is about to get a degree in astrophysics, and pioneer research into the function of the nostril. I could believe anything where she’s concerned.
Aunt Bench put a Wankel Rotary Engine on the table, and the woman got lots of messages from it. Unfortunately, none were for her except that she is to only have the one child (we all clapped at this bit). Sad for her, but when Folly starts setting fire to your feet under the table, this is no joking matter. What made me laugh was Aunt Gourds ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaaahs’ when Madam McMunter voiced quite accurately that the spirits told her that her name is Gourd. (It was on her name tag).
The upshot is, after a lot of guessing, and waving and wailing, was that the woman is a fraud. I did have a premonition when she arrived, which has proved to be correct. That was a hard earned £50 down the shitter.
I’ve booted them out, I’ve missed ‘Live At The Apollo’, but my ugly children are on my knee and we’re watching ‘Murder, She Wrote’. It will have to do.
Bugger the prayers and blessings, I’ve got a weasel steak on the hot plate…..

(By the way….Madame McMunter’s premonitions are not that good it seems. On leaving us in a clapped out motor decked with all manner of pentacles, gods, goddesses and owl talismans, she failed to predict an oncoming steam roller at the Trebollocks M5 roundabout and was promptly flattened. Rescue workers peeled her off the road, intact, and tucked her into a giant jiffy bag to be posted to the lab for investigation. With the postal strike, I doubt she’ll get there before next Wednesday.)

Beltane blessings to you all, and may your gibbon snibblings be fruitious for the coming Summer….

Aunt Vom’s Great Library Trolley Theft

Firstly, I must give my sincere thanks to both my readers who most kindly offered me an invisibility cloak after my night of clandestine shenanigans. I finally got back to my hedge at a little before dawn and tried to find the iron, but I’m buggered if I know where I’ve put it. The upshot is, the rozzers called, I didn’t need the iron, and due to my warty ugliness, they think they are looking for a man. Off the hook.

Other breaking news in Trebollocks is that the break-in and disappearance of the letter has caused uproar among lots of important, jowly men at the College. The sisterhood (pictured below) has increased it’s efforts and is now planning disruption and sabotage. You can clearly see the vengeance in Ivy Fowlpest’s face (far left). The sisterhood want a quiet, subtle attack. Aunt Vom, bizarrely, has been made operations leader….

Then came the call. I was informed, by a muffled anonymous voice, over the yogurt pot telephone, that I am to be outside the Clown’s Pocket at 9pm on Thursday night, and to wear something inconspicuous. I raced back to my valise, and fished out a gown of hessian with something stiff stuck to it, and my shoes made of underpants in case I need to run about. I added a cloak of fake weasel and a cowpat beret.

At 9, I found a group of women in the same costume, sitting outside on a bench (not Aunt Bench), drinking pints of Nun’s Chough. I recognised a few of the leaders, and saw Aunt Vom at the back, mooning at a passing motor car. Ivy Fowlpest hushed the rabble to silence, and we gathered around. This was the plan. Under the guise of weak-willed and silly women, we are to break into the College library again, and steal it’s most coveted and precious item – The Library Trolley.

Gasps flew about the table. The prestige attached to the Library Trolley is without rival. Those entrusted with being it’s custodian, are not only interviewed deeply, but on appointment become a total jobs worth and wheel it around as a way of claiming importance. This would need careful coordination. Aunt Vom is to take out the guards, with some Chinese Throwing Stars that she keeps under her skirts. Ivy Fowlpest will hit them with a pan (if they’re still alive) just in case. We then steal the keys, get in, and remove the Library Trolley under the cover of darkness.

This all sounded splendid, but a few of the sisters needed clarification on several points, which resulted in a two hour discussion. A woman called Urticaria rode roughshod over the conversation, leading around to her suspected pregnancy. She was angry that the doctor wouldn’t prescribe her a toad to wee on for a conclusive result. Another, named Flan, ranted about her divorce proceedings, and the way her husband blames her for setting light to him while he slept. By the time we left, Aunt Vom had had eleven pints and thrown a stool at a man frowning at her, and a woman only known as ‘Squits’ had exactly that. I must admit, I was five sheets to the wind myself, and openly weed in a shrub container in the pub garden. It was only a hebe, and they’re a fairly hardy species.

We arrived at the Library, and all went according to plan, eight armed guards taken out on sight, no hit with the pan needed. Urticaria cut the keys free with a sabre and we were facing the entrance: The Library. There was a huge sign saying ‘Women Forbidden’. Instead of using the keys, Aunt Vom had an illuminating notion and kicked the door in. Our little shoes scuffled across the highly polished floor and we found the Library Trolley. (In case any of you are wondering why I keep writing Library Trolley, and put it in first letter capitals, it is because it’s terribly important and people frown about it and keep a clipboard on it at all times. Reverence and mirth…)

We wheeled the Library Trolley two feet, then realised it squeaked dreadfully. We had to get out before the alarm was raised. A thick mist had descended as the evening made way for night, and the chill set in. Footsteps and torch beams arrived at the far end of the building, so we set of, squeaking across the floor. Squits couldn’t walk fast as she was drunk and reciting lumps of The Lady Vanishes (the Angela Lansbury version, of course). We reached the porch and realised she was a dead weight, none of us could carry her, but we couldn’t leave her behind either.

Vom hoisted her onto the trolley (and hit her with the pan, just in case) and we made a run for it. Unfortunately, at some speed, we hit a pothole halfway down Clunge Hill. Aunt Vom fell, we all let go, and watched Squits and the Library Trolley disappear down the hill into the fog, leaving only her fading wail behind her. Then a crash.

Image result for thick fog

You can’t see her, but I feel the plaintive note she left is echoed by the fog amid the trees. Squits was arrested, so was Aunt Vom. Urticaria fled the scene, and Ivy Fowlpest decided to have a conniption fit, resulting in arrest. This was made worse by the fact that she’d stolen a book from the library – ‘Rare, Infectious and Amusing Diseases Through The Ages – a photographic guide. She will receive 19 years at least. If she’s good, for the last two she serves she might be hung up the right way. To be honest, it shouldn’t distort her current appearance.

I witnessed one of the party’s arrest, a woman I didn’t know but I instantly knew it was her voice on the yogurt pot phone. Every time she was asked a question, she clutched a dead squirrel to her mouth. I like a mystery solved.

I’m still hiding. Today’s papers are full of the damage made by a ‘Woman on Flying Library Trolley (probably read book) Causes Mayhem’. Squits has to face a panel of people who will bollock her for hours over the Library Trolley hitting a level crossing at the same time as the 01:35 from East Bumstead and a motor car driven by a man with a stuffed toucan in the back. It goes on to say there’s a warrant out for a man seen with the women, wearing a women’s finery (?!), and weeing on a hebe in a pot. I need to think of my family honour at this time, be brave and do the right thing. So at this point, I’ve packed the toads, the bats are hanging of the airer, and I’m doing what is delicately called ‘a runner’. The witches in Gloucestershire owe me one, so I’m fleeing. Pip pip, and I shall write again from my new surroundings. Thank Gods for the Gloucestershire Massive.

Women’s Rights In Trebollocks

I received a letter this morning from Professor Crispin In The Meadow St. Bollow, informing me that my Shrieking Classes are no longer required at Trebollocks County College. I am simply livid. I’m tryping (yes, tryping) away furiously on my wooden laptop, out in the open air, with only a twigless router to guide my words. Having replied to him with the British form of a death threat (I typed kind regards, then scribbled it out), I thought I would turn to my readers for solace – so sit up both of you and pay attention. I fear we’ve uncovered an evil ploy to remove the female teachers from the faculty. Men have played a huge role in setting up the college, and I conclude they are threatened by our female colleagues growing popularity and stature. This windsock of a man is shelving me under the excuse that Level 2 Shrieking is not acceptable to be chosen on the same line as Advanced Chemistry or Grade 6 Leaping. In my humble opinion, there are too many social skill classes in the modern day, and others that shall be sadly dropped include Papier Mache for the Nervous, Hiding Grade 3 & 4, and Working With Semtex: From A Creative Standpoint. I sat there and politely thought….f**kers. All these classes are run by the women above, Ivy Fowlpest (far left) has been wise to this skullduggery for 18 months, she alerted the sisterhood and formed a plan, as you can probably tell from her sinister glare.

I did some detective work, and put on shoes made from underpants to muffle my footsteps. Then in the dead of night, I shuffled to the library in the most shuffly of steps. I cunningly broke in through a window by throwing a brick. Any stealth factor attributed to my special shoes was at once rendered utterly pointless by the sound of shattering glass. Deepest Bugger. After a long chase with the rozzers and their sodding blue lights, I hid and fought off a conniption fit. I calmed myself and examined a bunch of papers I’d grabbed just as the alarms were going off.

Well, the document I found is very interesting. And if I dare resurface and risk arrest, I shall submit it to the Board of Long Discussions and Frowning next Tuesday. It reads as follows….

Women have long been a part of building Trebollocks County College, and in the early days when they knew their place, this was a positive and welcome part of our team. The offices had fresh flowers, home made cake to eat, and I had a new tank top every christmas. However, recent developments within the voting system have allowed such females to have a voice in how our political system functions. Women are now allowed to openly drive a motor car, own up to two goldfish, and we find they have been campaigning behind our backs to be allowed indoors at lunchtime when it is raining.
The woman in the photograph below, has been happy to squat and kneel for the last seven years of her employment. But other women, like the one standing in the background, has filled her head with hormonal nonsense. She has been encouraged to learn to read and write, and not simply just fish cards out of a draw haphazardly and offer it to an important man at a desk. Women have formed a secret committee within the area, where they try hard to have their own ideas, develop them whilst drinking tea, and write them down on some sort of doily, probably. Due to the horribly liberal attitude of local councillors, no less than three women are now teaching in the college. This must be stopped. Have they no dignity? Have they no self-control? Have they no housework to do?

In Ireland there was an even more worrying case. It seems the gentleman in charge of the local library left the door unlocked one evening and two women got in and got hold of a book.

This picture shows the two females and their curious and bewildered expressions as they grab the book and try to understand it. Security showed them taking forty two minutes before they turned the book up the right way. The shocking thing to note, is that the woman on the right clearly thinks the situation is amusing. They were jailed for three years each, after they were found in the homes of other women, telling them what they had seen in the book. Had the book been about babies or cookery, the sentence would have been less. But the book was about money, and investments. One of the women later went to the bank for advice (I ask you!) on an account for her family savings, thus shaming herself and her husband in the process. Her husband has cut all ties with her, branding her hysterical and unbalanced. The library is now locked at all times, except for the entry of gentlemen with special members keys. A gun sentry has been set up in the event of more women trying to get into the library.

I therefore am taking an axe to these female teachers, and their fluffy-headed classes. I am sure, Sirs, that you are in agreement and that I can count upon your support. I have an article from Dr. Unctious Moog, stating that women are a danger to themselves and others when in the possession of information. He is submitting the brain scan results of a woman studying for a degree, which clearly shows extensive damage to the brain cells, and shows an overload of information stored in the Piffle Gland. This overload causes hysteria, solitary decision making, hormonal outbursts, answering back, witchcraft and other alarming symptoms.


So, I’m dreadfully torn between blowing the whistle, and risking arrest. I decided to use my finest hiding skills and lurk somewhere I would never be found. I am sleeping tonight on the roof of the local nick. My dilemma is, it’s started to rain and I need a wee.
If any of you dear people are nearby, could you pop down with an invisibility cloak? I’d be most grateful, I could run back to the hedge and pretend to get the iron out in case the rozzers arrive….

Ilfracombe Women’s Fight Club

Since the christening of dear Ruprecht, the aunts and Folly and I have returned to Devon to continue our holiday. The christening took a toll on us that only the musings of Pluto could cast a darker shadow upon. The ambience in our little holiday hedge is a fraction from becoming maudlin. The aunts are restless, and I wish Bench had brought the storm straps for Folly, she needs to be restricted. But we decided to have a day out.

This descended into Dante’s Ninth Circle of Hell when wandering around Ilfracombe, we finally found Aunt Bench (we’d lost her after the Limpet Festival) – she’d found a fisherman. We gently informed her that she need not be a fisherman’s friend. Especially not this one, he has a third eye, and I don’t mean in a spiritual sense. Vom put an end to it. So Bench is now moping about, still oblivious to Folly, who has found some deviants. But that is another matter.

The good news is that it’s Tuesday, and we go home tomorrow. I’m anticipating the arrival back to my hedge home and seeing the toads once again. But for tonight, we are on a ladies’ night, and there is an establishment in the harbour that is sensitive to ‘women of my ilk’. Apparently it is a pagan themed bar with symbolic imagery. I shall offer my patronage with an open mind….I’m as good an earthy pagan as anyone but if it’s full of bloody fairies, I’m off. Can’t stand them – they drop bits everywhere.

Well, we walked into The Wizard’s Sleeve at half seven, it was like a coven meeting after the discovery of a new cheese. They had wonderful musicians playing, who called themselves ‘Matted Thatch’ – the music was heavy metal and it was loud. Coincidentally, I put two cubes of emmental (the only thing it’s good for) into my ears to cope with the volume, so I could stand at the front for what the youth call headbanging. I discouraged Vom from bodysurfing, as she tends to over-egg and use it as an excuse to start brawls. We ordered pints of something called Druid’s Fluid. It sounded dubious, but it was a lovely dark pint with tones of treacle and dried weasel. Vom was a hit with the locals, comparing broken noses (or flat bugles) and they had a contest to see who’s had been broken beyond repair. Vom won hands down. We then found ten pints of Neptune’s Arse on the bar and suddenly, women were squaring up and bets were being taken.

Vom is on the right – she was already in fighting mode as the rules were no beards (it encourages pulling and unbecoming conduct). The woman on the left is Blanda Stent-Coddler, a trapeze artist from Aylesbury. She is a tough nut, and used to live in Plumstead where she’d fight anything with a pulse in an alleyway. Her skills are spitting, biting, and the Quarter-Nelson – she has that much attitude she can’t be arsed with the full half. Vom’s skills are slick, deadly and brutal – the woman could kill someone with a jar of Marmite in the blink of an eye. I was just sipping a fresh pint of Flaccid Bishop when the whistle blew and the crowd whipped up into a frenzy. It was a vicious fight, lasting only 30 seconds. Vom beat her hands down – with the nostril fling and a kick up the jacksy. The prize was 10 guineas, and a trip up Lynton Clifftop Railway (we gave the ticket away).

All in all, a marvellous evening. As we exited the Wizard’s Sleeve, a stool shattered through a window, and a woman punched a random man coming out of the public toilets. I wrote a rude word on somebody’s motor car window, and Bench uncharateristically told a seagull to f**k off. We stopped at the harbour as it was nearing the hour of high tide, and a popular time for people to stand near wooshy bits and get caught out. We were thrilled as four thick people stood low down on the slipway and were surprised by the ferocity of the tide. We left for the Hunan Palace and ordered a giant spring roll each, which was extra crispy, then flopped into bed for a dreamless sleep. Apart from Bench. She woke up at four, screaming about giant ants. Vom chinned her, and we all slept soundly.

Christening And Other Joys

Well, the day went off without any arrests, no ambulance and dear Ruprecht Widdy St. Vitus was named. Aunt Vom and I were a little crestfallen, to tell you the truth, it was a rather stuffy affair with ridiculous bonnets and snakes-bum-in-a-sandstorm smiles. So, to water down my ascerbic tone, I’ll describe the christening in verse. And hopefully it will come out ‘nice’.

Are we not the happiest bunch,
All dressed in black and grey?
All clipped and preened and washed and plucked
For a happy, jolly day.

Aunt Bench conditioned her little beard,
And I ‘Ped-Egg-ed’ my chin.
Folly brought along a dead hedgehog,
Aunt Bench put it in the bin.

Aunt Mary Jaffa fainted at once,
Aunt Turgid read a book to some dogs.
Cousin Girda threw an absolute fit,
When she shared my bath with some frogs.

Aunt Claymore thought the whole affair seedy,
Aunt Gourd did not come at all.
‘It’s the work of the Devil’ she cried down the phone,
And fled to a hole in her hall.

I finally nicked the christening robe,
Made of stuff of which I am vexed.
It’s all lace and silk and embroidery things,
I swear to god we’ll be hexed.

We walked to the barn with the phoney priest,
A one-man-band led the way –
Playing ‘Lip Up Fatty’ on harmonica,
And an excerpt of ‘Whip-Crack-Away’.

When the childs name was first read out,
A snigger came forth from Aunt Vom.
Then Aunt Blenny spun round glaring,
So she quickly sat up with aplomb.

Then, amazed I was at the Godmother –
As Folly’s name was called out by the priest.
What possessed this lunatic pair?
To entrust her with their beast?

Uncle Truss was snivelling proudly,
And wiped his nose on his wife.
And worst of all, on their family side –
Scrofula is awfully rife.

Mrs Stiff Black Hat with her earrings,
Called for a church, with one finger jabbing.
A knife then appeared from under Vom’s skirts,
But I stopped her, I couldn’t do with a stabbing.

At the end of the day, the photo’s were done,
But we were not asked to join in.
So the black suit pious-clan gathered,
Looking like they’d all sat on a pin.

Back to my hedge for some drinkies,
And their noses turned up at the door.
They weren’t comfy in my little hovel,
With the webs and the leaves on the floor.

Stiff Black Hat doesn’t do cuckoo spit,
And ‘the hessian crackers weren’t nice’.
But the Old Earwig’s Reserve went down lovely,
And stopped them all moaning about mice.

After six dreadful hours they left,
Ruprecht happily screaming away,
His beloved moustache was shaved off,
He’d pined for it most of the day.

Thank Heavens they’re going at last,
I couldn’t be polite if they’d linger.
As their car drove off into the distance –
Us girls held up one middle finger.

(For those unfamiliar with the product, a ‘Ped-Egg’ is the cheese gratery thing you use for extra hard skin on your feet. No affiliation.)

A Newborn In The Family – Ruprecht.

This is what happens when two people are attracted to one another from opposite sides of a crowded room…….
Last week, the yogurt pot telephone was ringing it’s string off, only to convey the cheery news (really?!) that there is a new addition to the St Vitus clan. That means I’ve got to go into John Lewis again and nick another christening robe. After the problems I’ve had with the filth, I fear they have a bloody cheek asking.

Aunt Blenny and Uncle Truss (pictured), met two years ago at a Wasp Hiding Course in Hemel Hempstead. Apparently their eyes met and, after his spastic colon pains subsided and Blen stopped singing, they got on like a house on fire. They married in a coal-hole three weeks later, overseen by fifty-six chimney sweeps (St. Vitus has the highest population of chimney sweeps per square foot,rivalled only by Frampton-on-Severn with seven every twenty yards). I was allowed to be bridesmaid with my bestest brown sack poncho thingy and pretty wooden shoes. I even had some goose grass fashioned into a lovely Sticky Bob ball to hold, and a plantain in my hair. It was rather sickly affair, they are both a bit wet to be blatantly truthful. And there is nothing manly about Truss. 

They had a bloody baby. A boy. They’ve already got one boy, Dimity Simba St. Vitus – a child with too much snot in my opinion. And now we have Ruprecht Widdy St. Vitus. Aunt Vom nearly choked when they announced the name, then cacked herself laughing. Aunt Mary-Jaffa thinks it’s sweet. I don’t know what Aunt Turgid made of it all, she was still faffing about with lizards. Aunt Weevil reckons the baby will turn out to be a deviant….? I must ask her on her reasons behind that thinking. Aunt Gourd thinks it’s unnatural, as there was no presence of a bread van to deliver the baby – thus, she’s written the whole affair off as the work of the devil and shan’t be attending the christening.

Great Uncle Colobus will be pleased as he often said marital couplings should involve BOTH parties.. He thought Truss wouldn’t produce a child as he always did it on his own, so that Blen wouldn’t have to down tools (pardon the pun) and stop cleaning.

The family are coming over from Crackton-on-Butt in the next hour, I’ve got 62 baps to butter and a vat of Old Earwigs Reserve. It will simply have to do. Aunt Bench is feeling broody apparently, and spent a lot of time at the docks in hope of something called “jiggy-jiggy”. My palms are slick with dread at the thought. Just as I asked if she could cope with another one, Folly managed to blow her feet off in the garden after playing with some cotton reels and some old semtex. I rest my case. The only time Bench ‘rode the hobby horse’ with anyone, she became infatuated, wrote him six love letters each day, and followed him everywhere until the old bill told her off. And that was thirty-two years ago.

But I couldn’t let you go without seeing Ruprecht. The little darling. We will be welcoming him to the town, by marching in a line behind a one-man-band. Then when we get to the barn, the backstreet bishop will perform the service. He’s not a real bishop, but he’s good at fishing, and Uncle Colobus slipped him a bit of bunce for his troubles. Ruprecht takes after his mother, with a fine moustache already in place. 
Born at three years old, he can already tie his shoes (which he came out wearing), and is a marvel with quadratic equations. I might ask him about the woodchuck question.

Lynton Limpet Festival

Good evening, my little coddled eggs. I am writing to you from a very plush holiday hedge in Devon, which is most satisfactory. Within the windswept twisted twigs, I have a USB socket and WiFi, a luxury bed and a buggered toaster. I’m staying with Aunt Vom, Aunt Bench and Folly for the grand event of the Limpet Festival in Lynton, North Devon. It’s been a mite fractious getting here, as Aunt Vom borrowed (later found out nicked) a motor car and drove us here at speeds that have lifted my eyebrows a whole inch. The upside is I look 15 years younger, but like a startled owl.

Lynton is a curious place, and should be famous for tortoises, as the pace is so crawly. I began to feel old just by looking at other people. There was, sympathetically, a Cobweb Shop, for the young at heart, encouraging people to slow down and mix with the general ambience. For those who have a fair walking pace and avoid dawdling in the middle of roads and pavements, or those who can decide what they would like for lunch within forty minutes, it’s possible to buy cobwebs to place over oneself in order to blend in.

The festival commenced this morning with a marvellous opening speech from a local Limpet name Gavin. Apparently he is marvellously clever, and his vocabulary is unrivalled even by Stephen Fry. He spoke passionately at length about the life of limpets in this area, their plight in facing the building of tidal defences and the certain evictions of rock families, and he touched on issues concerning the rise of flat-earth theory followers and the demise of good manners. This was all highly commendable, and apparently other limpets clapped loudly, but regrettably I noticed Aunt Vom clenching her teeth. It was about to kick off.

Local disgruntled limpets, they want justice not cream teas

The difficulty started when Vom began talking under her breath, someone came over and Shshshh’d her. Her top lip blanched beneath her beard (this is how you tell she’s really pissed), and she reached into her portmanteau for a Chinese throwing star (that’s the other way you know). Vom launched into a diatribe about how we’d all paid good money to travel to see this spectacle of wonder, only to find that because it’s a speech by a Gastropod, nobody has a clue what he’s saying. The organiser tried explaining that although you can’t hear the Limpet speaking, his words speak directly to the subconscious, so you walk away with an invisible gift to the soul. I quite liked this. Vom didn’t.

She chinned him. The organiser began shouting about abuse in the workplace and fished out a clipboard. That was the last straw. Clipboards are like a red rag to a bull where Vom is concerned, at which she swiftly flung her stool at him and the whole crowd whipped up into a brawl. There’s still a folding chair on the roof of the Rising Sun pub, and someone’s cockerel weather vane is well buggered.

Notwithstanding, we did have a very pleasant afternoon. We got Vom out of the nick by fibbing dreadfully about menopause and the effects on the female temper. The fact that it was recently International Women’s Day helped, I feel. So we decided we’d take the Cliff Top Railway which was like a bone-shaking water-powered lift with definite issues of altitude sickness and alarming perspective. I managed to keep things jolly while Vom orated that the whole system is designed to dupe the visitor. She claimed it’s solely for thick people to stand at the bottom, squint up with mouths open like dead fish, pay thruppence, then stand at the top only to squint down with mouths open like dead fish, then be conned out of sixpence for tea and a bun without the pleasure of ‘feeding dangerous gulls’. We almost avoided a fight in the carriage, when Vom stated nobody who lives in the Midlands should be allowed to travel outside the Midlands. Mr and Mrs Ivor Mirkin of Edgebaston were restrained while she rambled, and their sudden fall over the side will remain a mystery. All in all, it was a lovely view and all was going well. Then we had to get Folly out of the Poison Unit, as she’d eaten something in someone’s clifftop garden and began hallucinating and frothing. To be honest, I didn’t notice for twenty minutes.

Clattery thing that attracks people who say ‘Ooh look Stan!’

I am baffled as to three questions, however, which I feel need answering. With regards to North Devon, why are there fudge shops every ten paces? And why do people walking in front suddenly stop without warning to take a picture of something totally irrelevant? And why in the name of Saturn’s Arse do couples decide to walk like a one-man-band with heavy weather clothing, crampons and walking poles when they’re only moving 30 feet from the car park?

Oh, and one more. We were a party of four. Where in the name of Zeus’s nutsack is Aunt Bench?

SOS! I’ve Committed Torticide!

I must confess I made the gravest mistake today. Folly is jollying off on a Hiding Weekend with the ‘Nervous Branch of the Girl Scouts’. Bench became dreadfully fractious on the yoghurt pot phone and threw a total hissy. I was conned into aggreeing to look after Wesley.
Wesley is a tortoise.
Despite the name of my blog, I don’t fare well with these creatures. This particular shelled joy looks like Douglas Hurd when he’s pondering something very carefully.
It’s so frustrating, he doesn’t ‘do’ anything. Well, actually, that’s a slight untruth, he did at first. His head came out, he moved his mouth like an elderly man demanding sustenance, then retreated when he saw me. Now he is dreadfully quiet.
Aunt Bench should have kept him, especially as he belongs to her daughter. Unfortunately Bench is as a spa this week with Aunt Claymore and Cousin Girda. Aunt Claymore is being waxed (head to toe), Cousin Girda is being waned, and Bench is having some splendiferous conditioning jollop carded into her beard by a Tibetan throat singer.
So I’m lumbered with a sedentary tortoise. He doesn’t appear to enjoy entertainment.
I decided to ditch the ‘flinging’ idea at two o’clock due to his look of total disdain, in the
hope he might like some light music. So I put on La Tapatia radio from Mexico. But he didn’t move. I performed shadow puppets, I made a batman mask by turning my hands inside out over my eyes. Nothing. I did the classic – here is the church, here is the steeple – but the ungrateful little boggart gave me nothing to work with.
So I thought – food.
I had flageolet beans with goat’s rue and tree bark for dinner.
And thought he might like some……………………..

My shrieking classes start in a week, and I’ll be done for Torticide. I’ll be imprisioned for taking the life of a small dry thing (by mistake), and sentenced to community service. This is a horror, as it means being present in the community. I’ll have to sort jigsaws for a jumble sale (most have a missing piece and I just want to hurl a stool at the donator). I’ll have to make pleasantries (speaks for itself). Worst of all, I’ll have to ‘unwhelk’ myself and do ‘people’ – that could end in a fight, so I need to tackle the issue alone.
I can’t use the ‘hibernation’ excuse, as I did that with the last one. I can’t say he ran away, as he’s got a tracker built by NASA. I can’t say he’s dead because Bench will get Aunt Vom to get a Triad to kill me.
So I need options.
I have killed tortoise with either flageolet beans, goat’s rue or tree bark.
Or all three.

So I’ve blown the candles out, I’m sitting in my hedge with an emergency torch
and the Radio Times and some Bovril, because I’m in hiding until I
know what to do. I’ve also got my hands placed over my eyes so no-one can see me.
If any of you dear people have any suggestions, please share them with me – I’ve still got time on my side. Bench isn’t back for three days, and Folly’s weekend hiding thankfully only ends when someone finds her.

Yours in fearful imancipation,

p.s. If anyone could post some Twiglets I’d be well chuffed (just put my name, hedge, Trebollocks). Also, if you possess the newflangled contraption of a yoghurt pot phone and you are a solicitor offering free advice, my number is St Vitus 201.

Important Woodchuck Ratio – For The Mathematical Reader

I was pondering aloud a question which has touched the very depths of my brain for years. Just how much wood can a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?One of my readers, Heather, commented on the fact that I should not ask questions about woodchucks and their work ratio with out the backup of advanced mathematics.


Well, I’ve have the measure of this woman with her fancy ways. So, here is a very hard sum. I wore my twig spectacles and brought out an abacus and a sextant, which means I am very clever. This is the result –

I have calculated that 612 over 35-7 for the thing, needs to be timesed by a 4% drop in activity on a 16min tea break. Then times by a 124 degree bend for beak ratio over a wide angle of 631.444 doobreys, divide by Widdy, and add the number of wankel rotary engines in a seven mile radius over a log pile of 619.

The result is: A woodchuck can clear 6 logs, 4 twigs, and clear 2 piles of leaf litter when he’s almost finished.

(And yes, Heather, I have shown my workings)