Sunday, 22 July 2012

Dry cleaning . . .

Perfect Retirement Housing Complex
Inner Hamlet

Ralph dear

I have been rather loitering about, trying to recover from recent exploits . . . And I have decided to utilize this opportunity to embark on a long overdue session of 'dry cleaning.'  This does not, as you might suppose, involve an actual trip to a 'Fresh and Press' style outlet.  It means engaging in an experience of 'hanging about' the environs here at Perfect - doing virtually nil - with the purpose of observing one's own observers.  We, in the Service, discovered this idea in the manuals customarily used by the 'other side.'  And it is a useful one.  So, here I am, meandering about the corridors and local streets, incognito one must hope.  I have been fortunate enough to encounter very few inmates in the hallways and neither did I encounter any on the (long) hike to Economy Fare for alcoholic beverages and chocolate raisins.  I don't usually (as you know) embark on many trips to the perimeter.  However, I am currently occupying a prime parking site - under the one working security light - and I am reluctant to lose it to any car-owning inmate currently surveying the car park through binoculars from his/her flat.
I did brace myself to attend Our Leader's birthday party here last Friday evening, although it was with some trepidation that I eventually breezed through the doors attired in a suitably frilly outfit.  Docker and Muriel had kindly reserved me a seat beside them in the patio alcove (thakfully round the corner to most of the other denizens of the building) but we were still excessively close to the two most ferocious members of the current Social Committee.  I don't think I was imagining it pet, when I say that I sensed a certain bristling emanating from Marta and Flora and I think this may have had something to do with my absenting myself from the preparations surrounding this event.  As you know, inmates require a cast iron excuse, submitted in triplicate, for failing to turn up to any occasion organized by themselves.  However, the party was a perfectly decent affair and both staff and inmates had worked hard to supply buffet-style consumables, which were brought round to us on plates.  I do wish, though, that someone had thought to turn off the overhead 'flying saucer' lights as it is rather a trial to be constantly seated under the kind of lighting one would expect to see  mounted above one at the dental surgery. Entertainment was supplied by Eddie, seated at the keyboard, and the only taxing moment took place a couple of hours later when he asked me for a dance, persistently crooned into my ear that I was 'super' and then asked me what flat number I resided at!  My goodness dear; surely a lady of my reputation can get through one evening here at Perfect without being propositioned by some male or other.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if he was married!  Matters were not assisted by the sight of three members of staff seated on 'thrones' at the far end of the room, all lapping the situation up through their eyeware.  I did, of course, decide that 10pm was a quite suitable hour at which a lady might retire to bed and I did not, thankfully, detect any scratchings at my door at a later juncture!  I was somewhat disconcerted the following morning - upon encountering Marta in town - when she informed me that 'someone' had made unusual ingress into the building at a late hour, and had placed a brick in the door to prevent it locking behind them.  I do hope that Eddie did not secrete himself in the toilet and generally creep about the building in search of Yours Truly?
Meanwhile, the topic of the 'elections' to the new Social Committee has cropped up again.  As usual, there is to be no public AGM and an empty form appeared on the notice board with a request for inmates to nominate themselves, in conjunction with signatures from a proposer and a seconder.  Well Marta was the first to leap on board and, latterly, I have noticed the Gauleiter's signature also appear.  He will be applying for his usual position (except when he was usurped last year!) as Chairman.  God help us pet because what this individual knows about chairing a committee can be fitted on to the head of a very small pin.  Generally, this committee adopts the style of a military dictatorship and there is a total absence of a pre-meeting agenda or a post-meeting set of minutes.  I do find this depressing but, although I feel I know one or two things about the general running of a committee, I don't feel like joining myself and having a stand-up fight with the personnel involved.  Nor, for that matter, do I feel like standing out from the general run of inmates by my ability to spell!  The only consolation this matter has yielded up so far, is that Margaret and Dennis have not applied to join up.  As you will recall dear, this duo threw their toys out of the pram earlier on this year when they resigned their positions on said committee.
I am also having one or two slight problems with my video recorder (which cuts out within 10 minutes of the start of every film) and I am rapidly reaching the point where I think I will be doing without every electronic gadget with the exception of my radio transmitter . . .  It is not as if I am a fool pet; it's just I wish to spend my time on creative ventures of one kind and another or, at the very least, in cleaning my gun!
Your Auntie

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