Apothecary for the New Era

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.

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.