Saturday, 14 July 2012

A lady of refinement (part two) . . .

Perfect Retirement Housing Complex
Inner Hamlet

My Dear Ralph

Well the afternoon wore on . . . and - having off-loaded the 'exercise the beagles' session on to Alfie - I realized that I would have to patrol the exterior of the premises with Sebastian's own two animals plus, inevitably, my electrical 'zapper' gun.  (One must take one's duties seriously at all times, mustn't one pet?)  It was, of course, pouring down with the type of rainfall that looked like it might last for some days.  I did go to see if Sebastian had any umbrellas in the umbrella rack but, naturally, he was only equipped with those vast, fluorescent-red, stripy ones used, I believe, in the practice of that game involving long, clubbed, sticks and bunkers. And how can one possibly survey the surrounds for interlopers while enveloped - glowingly - in such an item?  I decided in the end to attire myself in one of Sebastian's own svelte green hunting jackets and, having attached a lead to Gelert - who can shoot of like the proverbial greyhound at the slightest visual temptation - materialized at the outer portals. It is certainly most delightful walking around the specimen trees on a country estate at the weekend pet.  I did wish I had thought to attire myself in gumboots of some description, but the swimming pool (heated of course; Sebastian does not favour a morning dip of an actually icy nature) is fortunately located in the vicinity of said portals and one can swish off excess soil from the grounds in there.  The dogs had a marvellous romp anyway, although it is always of slight concern when they vanish into the shrubberies for an extended period of time.  Suppose they fell into some kind of hidden pit or other?  And it would be just my luck for this to happen!  Sebastian is rather given to getting out the magnifying lenses on his return from any outing!
The other thing is that, during the course of our peregrinations round the estate, Gelert and Tugger had come to hold quite some litres of rainfall in their coats.  Before I could think about it, they had pelted up the short flight of stairs into the downstairs hall and I was just in time to see Tugger, in particular, shake himself and a huge spray of water and mud rise up in the air and on to the nearest sculptures!  I didn't dare go into the (locked) cellar to fetch the dog towels in case it set off a wave of howling sirens so, hissing 'Sit!' at both animals, I dashed off to the nearby toilet and kitchen to fetch such tea towels as I could find.  They were so fluffy dear and had such attractive designs of famous English generals on them!  What they looked like after a vigorous rubbing down of Gelert and Tugger, I will leave it to you to imagine.
I spent the rest of the afternoon - exhausted from my efforts on a variety of fronts - slumped in the dog basket with the dogs and awaiting Sebastian's return.  We had such a fine view of the bannisters from the basket!  Thorough as ever, Sebastian inspected the dogs for their degree of wetness and enquired if I'd thought of drying them off . . . I said that, indeed, I had thought of it (if a little too late) and had availed myself of items found in the toilet and kitchen.  And, fortunately, even Sebastian didn't think - then - of inspecting the sculptures under his magnifying lenses. However, he may yet be on the telephone making one or two enquiries of me on this subject!
How are you getting along pet?  Did you take my advice regarding attendance at that 'Wean yourself off Ativan' session that we discussed at our rendezvous last week?  I know you have to pay what sounds like an extortionate sum, but surely we can rustle up some synthetic bank notes from somewhere?
Aunt Agatha

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