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!