Just Call Me Robin – Without The Hood – But With A Merry Man

Well . . . the last blog hinted that I might have something to tell you on the next blog – and I have. I mean, I’m always telling you something, be it rubbish or just plain nonsense. But this time I have something quite exciting to tell you, though I’m happy to accept that not everyone will share this excitement, each to their own, as they say.

Drum roll . . .

I’m buying two acres of woodland!

I can imagine heels of hands smacking foreheads, puzzled expressions and gentle tittering because I’ve probably just confirmed what many of you have suspected all along that I am a tad bonkers.

Can’t really argue that point or justify it.

To be honest trees scare me a bit. I’ve seen Lord of the Rings and know exactly what they are capable of. I think it’s the way they wave old, wizened branches in the wind and threaten to release an arm or two like a bolt from the blue. I always imagine being crushed to death. So, why am I buying two acres of woodland? Haven’t got a clue.

I guess it just spoke to me. “O.K. You’re pretty ancient and I can see why you might be more interested in a wooden rocking chair than a couple of acres of oak etc. but get off your fast-spreading butt and boldly go into your next adventure.”

Is excitement, adventure and something new only for the young? I think not dear friends.

I’m going to buy my little copse. I’ve already spent all day Saturday designing and instructing Richard how to assemble a two-acre-size bird table. It’s rather large – but I figure it needs to be. I mean, how many birds do you get to the acre? I’ll need to pick out a nasty old hawthorn and chop off its head to leave a natural stand on which to screw it. It’s way too heavy to hang – it would bring down the tallest sycamore. See! I’m already into the terminology – oak, sycamore, hawthorn! I’m beginning to think I was born for this? I’ll be wearing ‘The Green’ next and humming, ‘Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen . . .dum de dum . . .’ 

Betsy, the pile-of-crap Land Rover, is now undergoing repairs, an M.O.T, and a new roof. We are going to need her to bring the logs back for the wood burner. It’ll take us half a day to get there in the old girl, she has a top speed of forty miles an hour – and that’s downhill with a strong tail wind and a prayer to Him upstairs.

Richard was a little surprised when I announced that we were buying a wood but he soon got over the shock (he’s had so many over the years –living with me) and now he’s quite excited too. We’ve already started researching fence poles and stock wire to fence our north border and that’ll be huge fun – driving in fence poles through twisted roots and rambling vegetation!

The grand kiddies were most impressed, well, Jake more so than Grace, but Grace is a girl and wasn’t too sure about the toilet arrangements. Weeing wasn’t too much of an imagined horror but when I told them that they would have to dig a hole and poo in it, and then cover it up, it was met with wide-eyes and a side-ways grin from Jake. When I added that was what Bear Grylls did it all seemed rather cool and they can’t wait.

So that’s my news. What do you think? A mad, impetuous fool, an idiot, or something else?

Take care all xx

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Photo – freepix.com

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I’ve Reached A Worrying Point In My Life

I’ve reached a worrying point in my life. If not exactly worrying, certainly a point of concern.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not a totally new conception. I’ve had inklings of concern over the past 26 years and this, strangely enough, is the amount of time a certain someone has been in my life – Richard.

I mention him quite a lot. Actually, there’s no ‘quite’ about it. I do mention him a lot.

We have a strange relationship. To the outside world our relationship shouldn’t work. I am seen as the Wicked Witch of the West, even on days when I don’t wear my pointy hat and cackle like a demented maniac, and he is seen as a halo-wearing saint. I’m a bossy cow and he is a sweet little mouse, scurrying around, making my life wonderful with his every perfect action.

In reality, none of this is true, other than the bossy cow bit. But, to the outside world, and family, I rule with a very large baseball bat and he obeys. It’s all crap of course. I don’t own a baseball bat. No, seriously, are these people nuts? Why would he still be here after 26 years if I was the devil incarnate?

Sometimes he’ll joke in the presence of family and say things like, ‘You see the kind of life I have to live?’

Little shit!

I merely smile and say, ‘It isn’t compulsory you know. You can leave at any time.’

Then, they’ll be times when he’s confounded by a massive conundrum and I’ll kindly solve the problem for him. For instance, the other day  he couldn’t find the 50ml line on a measuring jug so I assisted by grabbing said jug and stabbing the 50ml mark with a sharp forefinger nail.  ‘I don’t know what you’ll do when I’m gone, and you have to sort out these problems for yourself, I said.’

‘Neither do I,’ he replied.

It’s a throw-away comment and one he often uses –  but I can tell he’s serious and that he means it.

Anyway . . . what am I drivelling on about? I’ve strayed off course by ten miles. What I was going to explain is why I’ve reached this ‘point of concern.’ This is why . . .

On Monday the dear soul toddled off for the day to help my son, who’s a landscape gardener, with the tidying of a particularly neglected garden. I resisted hanging out the flags from the upstairs windows and did my best to hide my joy and stupid grin as he said goodbye and exited the house.

A whole day to myself. What to do? Well, I had a plan.

Some time ago I bought a very large piece of solid pine furniture for the kitchen. The piece in question looked fine in the village shop showroom but when we got it home the buttery-coloured pine did not match the existing table and chairs. Obviously, I couldn’t admit to having made a cock-up and pretended that it was lovely. Delightful. What a good eye I had and what a great choice I’d made.

It looked crap. No other word for it. It stuck out like a large sore thumb. Sooooo . . .  and here’s the thing . . . I decided to restain it while Richard was out.

Doesn’t sound very risky does it? Just whack a colour on top. What were the chances of it still not matching the table and chairs? That wouldn’t happen, would it? Nah, course not.

So, with brush and stain in my little hands, and with some trepidation, I applied a little on the back outside leg and stood back. Then I made a cup of tea.

On return it looked OK. Pretty much OK. With Dell Boy’s words circling my head, ‘He who dares wins, Rodney!’ I started in earnest.

An hour later and it was done. I stood back, compared it to the mirror. The Table. The chairs. Pretty bloody close if you ask me. No more yellowy, buttery, yuck-yuck pine but – well – different.

I washed my brush, because I’m good like that, and then removed a few splashes from the floor tiles and that was that.

When Richard came home, something had cropped up meantime – but I’ll tell you more about that when I know for certain that the thing that cropped-up is going ahead – and I shouted down the hall, ‘Don’t come in we are going straight out.’

He came in.

‘I need to post some stuff,’ he said. ‘It’s urgent.’

So, I waited while he dragged out a chair, found addresses from the P.C, opened one of the drawers, grabbed 5 envelopes, closed the drawer, packed the items, threw them on top of the drawer unit and then stood up saying, ‘OK, let’s go.’

We went.

This was on Monday. It is now Wednesday and HE STILL HASN’T NOTICED THAT THE HUGE DRAWER UNIT THAT HE CONSTANTLY USES HASN’T CHANGED COLOUR!

This is my concern. What if I’m flat on my back on the kitchen floor one day, expired? Will he even bloody notice that I’VE changed colour?

Fortunately, it won’t really matter because I’ll have expired – but it isn’t very reassuring, is it?

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Followers, Friends And Frigging Fraudsters!

So, there was I  . . . (I feel like I should be writing – waiting at the church! You have to be a certain age ) enjoying the day, busily doing nothing. Taking in the bursting buds and the buzzing bees when I decided that it was time I DID do something. Richard had toddled off to visit his mother and I had quite a few hours to myself to look forward to. I left the bursting buds and the buzzing bees, convinced that they would manage without me and trundled back to the house.

Determined not to sit at the laptop all morning, I filled the floor steamer and set about steaming the kitchen and hall floors. That went well so I made a cup of tea, before pulling out the kitchen chair and settling in front of the laptop. Well, I had managed to do something before it called me to it!

I had a quick whizz around Twitter, checked my emails and then opened Facebook with the intention of posting to the gardening group. A post on the general thread caught my eye and I clicked on it. ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.

Window on top of window flooded the P.C screen and a siren sounded. Above the siren, a woman’s voice told me, ‘DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SWITCH OFF THE COMPUTER or a virus will be placed on it. YOUR IDENTITY MAY BE STOLEN and your data accessed. Ring this number IMMEDIATELY and an operative will help you through this.’

WTF?

Something similar had happened a few weeks earlier. Obviously, I did what most people do in this situation – I smashed every key on the keypad, switched off the power, disconnected the internet, blah, blah, blah.

So, here I was again, clicking everything in sight. Banging the keys. Basically doing everything the voice had told me not to do. I couldn’t clear the screen so I took a picture of it and sent it to my brother via my tablet. My fear was that it was genuine. Yes, I know, I can’t believe I even let the thought enter my head – but it did, because it looked very genuine, like it had come straight from Microsoft.  My brother treated me like a five-year old and calmly talked me through it. After a few clicks, here and there, I managed to remove it – my brother managed to remove it.

I kinda went ballistic. No one was around. Only Chea, sitting on the table at the side of me, calmly cleaning her bottom – and she is quite used to my ballistic outbursts.

You see, what makes someone do this? What kind of brain bypass have they had? Truly, if I could have got hold of them I would now be in prison – and they would be in A and E having their tiny, little, insignificant penis stitched back on – all assuming that the sodding moron was a bloke – but I’m sure it was.

And, that’s not all. Once upon a time, when I was naïve (stupid) I’d jump up and down, gushing, thrilled – yes, totally thrilled, even beyond words, that someone wanted to be my friend on Facebook. Not anymore.

Now I vet these ‘friend’ requests with the mind and suspicions of Hercule Poirot. On average I would say that I get half-a-dozen requests a week from men. Single. Divorced. Etc. When I look into them I find an empty timeline and no existing friends – once or twice another female ‘friend’ is evident – usually beautiful and short of enough dosh to buy clothes- obviously.  I’m sorry, but if you are a bloke looking for cyber-sex or a cheeky little pit-pat tennis match/ you show me yours and I’ll show you mine, bugger off! I once had a request from a guy in U.S.A offering me marriage, a home on a ranch, and four children to look after. Now, had he been offering me marriage, a home on a ranch and four horses to look after I might have been buying a one-way ticket to U.S.A – though, in all honesty he did say he would provide that.

Once, I accepted someone based on their profile picture, which admittedly was a little hard to make out but at that point I wasn’t wearing my super-duper P.C. specs and I thought the profile picture looked like mountains. After accepting him, and on closer examination, the mountains were actually his stupendous penis sticking up from his belly. Frankly, I think the whole thing had been superimposed and he’d grafted-on a horse’s penis. Yes, I deleted him.

Social media is not a safe place for the innocent – or the poorly sighted.

And Twitter? Twitter, to my mind, is safer. But you get a trickster of a different type on Twitter. Here you get the ‘follower’ who follows you, you follow back, and then he/she unfollows you. I now use https://manageflitter.com/ once a week to unfollow those who have unfollowed me. Well, bugger off, fair’s fair.

And to finish off with where I almost started – waiting at the church. The punch line to this 1962 song is;

There was I, waiting at the church,
Waiting at the church,
Waiting at the church;
When I found he’d left me in the lurch,
Lor, how it did upset me!
All at once, he sent me round a note
Here’s the very note,
This is what he wrote:
“Can’t get away to marry you today,
My wife, won’t let me!”

You see, more deceit. Watch your backs my friends.

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The Cat Crept In The Crypt – Crapped And Crept Out Again!

‘The cat crept in the crypt, crapped and crept out again,’ is something that a friend and I used to say back in the dark ages – when I was married. My husband was a vet and therefore we lived in a house provided by the practice. It was a rambling old thing, no heating to talk of, damp mites living in the cupboards (but that’s another story) and a mish-mash of old furniture. Did any of that matter? Not really. Except the damp mites of course –  but as I said that’s another story

I was a vet’s wife. I loved animals. I loved him – at the time. And life was hunky dory, I guess.

In this ‘rambling old thing,’ there was a pantry. It lead off the hallway and you had to take a step down to a quarry-tiled floor. It had a cold slab with wooden shelves above it. Having three cats and an English Setter – that wasn’t beyond golloping down cat faeces given less than half a chance, it seemed like a good idea, and the obvious answer, to put the litter trays in there. I will state at this point that NO food was kept in there!

It worked quite well and provided hours of silly tittering. My friend and I would be having coffee or whatever and the sound of the cat-flap swinging, as one of the cats entered to do their stuff or excited having done their stuff, echoed around the house. You see, it was a very large cat flap and swung manically against a metal frame. At this sound my friend and I would look at each other and roar, ‘the cat’s crept in the crypt – crapped and crept out again!’

Little things please little minds.

This isn’t something that I think about on a regular basis – just very occasionally – when something reminds me. And something reminded me on Sunday morning.

Toddling up the garden, on the way to the greenhouse and the uncovering of the tender plants and the turning off of the propagators, I was perplexed to see the far door of the second greenhouse slightly open – about eight inches. Perplexed because I knew for a fact that I’d secured it the previous day. On closer examination I noticed a heap of compost scratched out of the border and deposited on the central concrete pathway. THEN I noticed that the fifth baby tomato plant, only planted the previous day, had disappeared. Yes, I’d done my usually impatient thing of planting them into the ground as soon as they had true leaves but they were not THAT small that they should have disappeared.

I can’t believe that Chea pushed her way in there and scratched it out because she won’t even push through a door that’s off the catch. Oh, no. We have to jump up and down three million times a day to let her out . . . in . . . out . . . in. You get the picture?

So, after applying a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ type of logic I can only assume that a neighbour’s cat pushed its way in, ‘crept in the greenhouse, crapped and crept out again?’ But just why the little bugger had to have it away with my baby tomato plant will have to remain a mystery!20170403_095828

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Take care all – and batten down those baby plants!

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