Sunday, 19 August 2012

Blood orange . . .

10 Forsythia Grove
Outer Hamlet

My Dear Ralph
I am restless at the moment pet; perhaps it's the change in the view and having a whole room to sleep in instead of the 'mortuary drawer' experience back at Perfect.  I think the sheep are now getting used to my bowling past every morning at dawn's early light.  Even the not-so-deaf ewes are starting to remain flat upon the grass, eyes shut, when I go by.  The lambs are certainly putting on a bit of meat, owing to several months of cropping on the grass - and the phrase 'leg of lamb' is taking on an entirely new meaning!  It is rather more difficult to put a forkful of said fare into one's mouth at the dinner table, when one has been looking these animals full in the eye for a whole series of days.
I have also been cogitating, dear, upon various means by which I might cultivate some acquaintances.  And today I decided to call upon one Edith, who organizes weekly meditation sessions at her own demesne.  I had not actually spoken to said individual in person but, for some days now, the poster in her front window has been attracting my attention while passing.  I knocked at the door, dressed in my most suitable frock, at 10am, and the first thing that happened was that part of the knocker fell off in my hand.  I stuffed it back of course pet, into the aperture from which it had apparently come.  Just in the nick of time I may well say, because Edith herself then burst through the opening in a welcome which was somewhat reminiscent of the 'View Halloo' uttered, I imagine, whilst out hunting.  But the most striking aspect of the situation apart from - I might as well add - a head of most unruly white hair, was that she was clearly denuded of one of her front teeth.  White cotton wool was wedged into the space from which this tooth must have come.  And it did glare somewhat from the black backdrop behind it.  I'm afraid I gaped pet, but then, who wouldn't?  Edith, not being one of those people to whom gaping and body language is an irrelevancy, then remarked, 'I impaled it on a blood orange during breakfast and it is still sticking out of the flesh!  I hope you will not think I am less attractive toothless?'  Well what could I say dear.  I naturally assured her - that with or without tooth - she was quite the sort of interesting lady whom I would wish to admit into my own personal fold.  I was ensconced in an armchair for hours while she expatiated on her activities as Outer Hamlet's 'compost ambassador' and other activities of a more arcane nature.  We just took to one another and, do you know, I rather think we will become bosom chums!
And this evening I have been engaged upon my fifth session at an introductory beekeepers' training course.  Kitted out in white-netted 'astronaut' suits, we gathered round a number of hives for a demonstration of how to inspect the frames.  The bees were certainly quite chummy pet and showed no inclination whatsoever to divebomb one's attire.  It was actually most interesting to observe them all scurrying about on their frames of brood.  I think other people did observe larvae at the bases of the cells, but I must get around to the purchase of a new pair of spectacles pet - as it is becoming easier to see things without them!  The men in charge also demonstrated how to remove a swarm safely from a tree, as one had most conveniently materialized on the outermost twigs of an adjacent Turkey Oak.  All one has to do is to spread a sheet under the branch, climb up a pair of stepladders, and snip through the twig holding the swarm.  The bees then drop in a clump on to the sheet and one picks them up, twig and all, and places them into a bee box.  What could be easier?!
Returning to more mundane matters, I went to the local paupers' clothing outlet yesterday afternoon and purchased a lovely pink, gauzy, type of curtain and a rusticated pink and green pair of lined curtains.  I think I am beginning to get the hang of this curtain glider and hook arrangement dear.  The net result of all my efforts is that the bedroom window looks very tasteful all decked out in pink, green, and cream.  And it is certainly advisable to start with the easiest window and leave that giant window to last.  However, I am sure I will crack it in the end!
Aunt Agatha

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