Thursday, 17 March 2011

Half a Boiled Potato Will Not Save Us

Dear Mother,

I know I've raised this issue before, but keeping that 'half a boiled potato' on the wire shelf of your fridge will not save us in the event of global lockdown, outbreak of war or famine.

Every week, after the Sunday roast, it appears.

And there is stays.

For a week.

I don't know where it goes in the end but I'm guessing it isn't anywhere exciting?

No sooner than it's gone - it's back! Our little friend.... going slightly dry and grey and beginning to crumble..... Not once have I ever been tempted to do anything with it which it involve digesting it afterwards. And neither has anyone else.

That and a mysterious tea cup with something that looks like toxic sludge in it. I think it's 'dripping' but nobody is about to start spreading it on Yorkshire Puddings and dipping them in sugar so just give up, yeah? Unless you have a plan for this dripping then I'd suggest you accept it's no longer 1952 in Chesterfield and if we want a 'sweet snack' we'll opt for a chocolate finger.

We'll leave aside the homemade coleslaw which was last seen fizzing wildly and presumably turning itself into some kind of 'cabbage wine with a mayo finish' as I don't want to embarass you too much....but..

....whilst we're on the fridge, lets be bold and move to the freezer.

Ahhhh the freezer.

In that freezer there are many many 'freezer bags' containing odd items.

These freezer bags have special label bits you can write on. The idea is that you write on what is in the bag and when it was put in there. You seem to have missed this point?

Week after week after month goes by and nobody EVER defrosts ANY of them. It's a lucky dip too far.

Do you think it's not now time to bite the bullet and accept that it's highly unlikely we are ever going to ask for any of the following for tea:

- the cockerel (who may or may not have been gay) who was like a pet but you got killed due to 'over population of cocks' and then nobody could bear to eat (or it appears throw away) so lives his life in some kind of cryogenic suspension, year after year, in the freezer. I think he's been in there a decade now. Look, even if there are big jumps forward in science and technology it's highly unlikely they will be able to ressurect him and undo your guilt. For a start he's missing his entire head. And legs. And I should imagine his innards. Let him go.... just let him go.... and NOT into a Coq au Vin.

- the 'trout' which your friend Colin caught and kindly gave to you, but with a warning that it came from a 'pond' and would therefore be 'very muddy' and possibly 'highly unpleasant'. I would hazard a guess here that you are NEVER going to be hungry enough to eat a 'muddy and highly unpleasant' ancient old frozen trout? And frankly, neither am I. Once again, let it go....

- the pheasant (which may actually be another cockerel or possibly a duck) that has been in there SO long that it probably needs carbon dating in order to work out just when it should have been thrown away..... Apparently you didn't eat it because you were worried it would be dry and a bit tough. Well I should think that's no longer a worry, more of a dead cert.

- the potted shrimps. Potted sometime shortly after the 2nd World War I think....

- the alcoholic homemade icecream that I have now eaten twice and been violently sick afterwards, errr, twice. How many more times are you going to poison house guests? You claim throwing it away will be messy. Here's an idea! Let it melt and then pour it into the hedge or something. I've cleaned up worse.

I mean I'm all for 'thrift' and 'waste not want not' but it's time to now accept I'm never going to sit down to a meal of fizzing coleslaw, dripping, muddy trout and 20 year old frozen cock with toxic ice cream.


Yours, not hungry for once,

Your Daughter

Monday, 7 March 2011

The Wrath of the Ancients

I have previously spoken via this blog about the 'very old line dancers' who rule, sorry 'rent', the village hall where I also happen to 'hire' (or should that be 'am begrudgingly allowed into') a room to do my stuff.

Well I have been back at that hall recently and boy oh boy are the line dancers not happy about my 'invasion'.

The class started well. Namely as there was no sign of them.

Then, at around 7.30pm, the fire exit flew open (how DID she open the fire exit from the outside?) and a very elderly lady dragging a suitcase on wheels (dare we ask what was in this suitcase? Her stetson, a pair of diamante studded chaps and not a lot else?) began to plod back and forth through the center of my class.

We all looked on somewhat aghast.

The hall has several other doors yet she had opted to use the only one that would mean she got to stomp stomp stomp all over my diagrams of fetal rotation

'Don't mind me - I've got to bring my stuff' in she grunted a manner I could only describe as a 'warning shot'.

And then there were two.

An elderly gentleman joined her. This wasn't the same elderly gent who previously threatened one of my clients (for making a joke about dolphins of all things) with the line 'you might want to think about it very carefully before you make any more smart remarks sonny' (gulp - he was clearly missing his 'fighting days' but really - picking on bemused expectant fathers? Wrong - just wrong!), but he did look rather sinister. In a sort of 'be he alive or be he dead?' kind of way.

Up and down they went.

A while later the music started up. It's not the traditional Country and Western I'm used to associating with line dancing. It's something to do with an accordion and rather gloomy. Actually is the kind of music you might sacrifice bats to. If you're into that kind of thing.

I took the chance to glance into their hall. Turnout was disappointingly low this week - there were 5 of them (always an awkward number I find) and even more disappointing, the raffle prize, keenly displayed on the top table, had fallen from the heady highs of 'Pack of Orange Club Biscuits' which it was at before Christmas to 'Pack of Bachelors Instant Rice'. I can only imagine the euphoria that would produce in the lucky ticket holder.

Now if they just stayed in there and danced (or shuffled, or snorted instant-rice flavouring, or practised getting a good tune out of Jerry's organ or whatever it is they do actually do in there) I'd live with it and stop moaning - but no. They share use of the kitchen and boy do they like boiling that kettle and 'plating up biscuits'.

They spend inordinate amounts of time arranging custard creams and Digestive half-coats on plates. Stacks of them. Mountains. Lofty peaks of fondant cream and crumbly stuff. This a silent and serious task so you never know they're in there. You nip in for a cuppa and find them all, huddled, beady eyed, round a Family Pack of malted milks, dividing them up and stacking them. You get 'the look'. The look that says 'this is private business. Turn around and walk away. Pretend you saw nothing. Speak to nobody of this'. That kind of look.

I've tried to be friendly. A cheery 'hello!' or 'they look tasty!'. But no. The most I get is a grunt.

It is clear.

They have been using that hall since sometime shortly after the First World War and I, with my out of control balls and knitted breasts (well truthfully I don't actually have knitted breasts, I have enough trouble controlling my real ones, but I know a woman who does.....) am not only an intruder but as I don't live in the village I'm also an outsider.

All the same I was slightly shocked on Tuesday night when they tried to actually smoke us out.

Yup - huddled in the kitchen - over their hordes of shimmering cheap baked goods - they lit up.

Not literally (as in their skin started glow and one by one the emitted a neon glow - though I should imagine it might be possible) but as in they started smoking cigarettes.


I could hardly let this aggressive tactic pass. Apart from fumigating a room full of pregnant women they were also about to set off the fire alarms.

I (reluctantly) went into their lair. 'I'm really sorry' I mumbled 'but could you not smoke in here, its blowing straight into the room and anyway it's not allowed'.

5 pairs of ancient eyes stared back at me. The message they transmitted was 'not allowed? There is no such thing as not allowed'.

'Edith' bellowed the very old man standing next to Edith, 'they can smell our smoke'.

'Humph I'll open the fire door then' she shouted back.

And with that they all moved about 3 foot further towards the door.


And with that awkward stand off I retreated back to my room (wondering why on earth smoking hadn't killed them yet).

Eventually I finished and left. Only to realise I'd left some very important things behind (namely my biscuits) so back I went.

On arrival they'd locked all the doors so I had to peer through the window and try to locate them so I could be let in.

They had moved into the area we had been using.

They were sitting on our chairs.

Head's tilted back they were laughing raucously.

Hands poised they were eating..... they were EATING MY BISCUITS!

I banged on the window. Hard.

Eventually one of them moved in my direction and broodingly let me in.

'Ive come for my refreshments' I said'.

'Ohhhh they're yours are they? We thought you'd finished with them' said Edith.

'Err no, I need to take them thanks'.

Edith stopped and looked me up and down. Head to toe and toe to head and then back down again. I wondered if in a past life she'd worked auctioning cattle.

''Hmm' she pondered 'that is a VERY pretty outfit you're wearing'.

'Errr thank you' I said, utterly disarmed and somewhat floored by this turn in events.

'Yes' she pondered 'and it must be EVER SO hard finding pretty things, you know, at YOUR size'.


Round 1 to Edith.

When I pick myself back off the floor I shall plan my sweet revenge.....

Edith - mess with my fig rolls one more time and you're going down my love. Do you hear me DOWN!