Thursday, 9 August 2012

My new demesne . . .

10 Forsythia Grove
Outer Hamlet

My Dear Ralph
I am finally enjoying the pleasures of my new demesne dear!  I can hardly believe my good fortune at having escaped (alive) from the clutches of the Perfect Retirement Housing Complex.  I have Sebastian's kind intervention to thank for this miraculous change of circumstances and I don't like to dwell on it too much because I feel overwhelmed with emotion!
Perhaps this is the moment to express one or two thoughts about 'sheltered' establishments . . .  I am sure there must be places up and down the land where the culture is sound and inmates feel allowed to grow and evolve, even in old age.  However, at Perfect, the opposite situation has seemed to obtain - with an inwards-looking and insecure culture frustrating any attempts in the direction of positive change and creativity.  Our Leader, while himself at least able to call a spade a spade, has seemed to lack both inner security and a wider gaze upon the world.  Any potential suggestions for change have thus, in my opinion, led to reactive aggression and a consequent reluctance, on the part of inmates, to express their thoughts and ideas.  Equally, if not more pernicious, has been the lush character of Our Deputy. This individual has appeared to gush with the kind of false sincerity which she herself equates with goodness. Self deception at its worst.  I am a great believer in one's instincts dear and I believe that sometimes evil is heavily disguised beneath a sugary pink coating.  After all, where would an operative be without this ability to sense the devil at 100m?  Of course, Perfect itself - distantly located - is the most culpable party for it should be a priority to ensure that only staff of the most exemplary calibre are appointed to these roles.  Do your best pet, won't you, to stay out of a place of this nature?   For only personal funds, as far as I can see, will afford protection to the vulnerable.
Dorian, meanwhile, has been down all week and worked like a beaver, upon various DIY-type tasks, to get everything up and running and generally sorted out.  We spent the whole of one afternoon up in the loft laying down bales of rock wool insulation.  This necessitated the wearing of suitable attire since, apparently, this stuff is composed of glass fibres which can have a crippling effect on one's eyes and lungs!  So, kitted out in breathing masks and goggles, we ascended a ladder to give it a go.  It is certainly not easy to either see or breathe when attached to this type of equipment!  But I must say pet, that with most of the rock wool sheathed in some kind of silver space blanket, we only placed ourselves in peril when we had to cut it into lengths to fit the space.  Most of the danger seemed to arise from the clouds of dust and thousands of spiders' webs which littered the arena. 
Chumley is settling in nicely, although the repeated pacing round the sitting room does get on one's wick somewhat.  I will be relieved when he can go out!  In the meantime, I have made up tens of placards with the word 'CAT!' on them and stuck them on all the doors and windows.  It is all too easy to relax one's concentration for a few seconds and throw open a window.  I have one particularly high window which actually requires to be opened using a 3-metre-long pole with a hook on the end of it!  I have visions of whacking a hole in the glass with it dear, and it is certainly quite a pest having it lie full length on the carpet.  I think I must get a set of gun mounts and affix it to the wall!
This morning I have been out for a stroll down to the river.  I took a bag of bread with me, with a view to feeding the swans and ducks, and it was most disconcerting to be accosted by a flock of sheep - all apparently interested in feasting from the bag of bread.  I believe these are elderly animals, with not very good teeth, and this is their last year (before slaughter).  Anyway, I pushed my way down to the water's edge, pursued through the scenery by what appeared to be the whole, loudly baaing, gang.  They gathered about me in much the same way as the swans and one actually had the temerity to paw me with a hoof, in a request for more fodder!  There was one anxious moment when I thought I might actually have to swim across the water in order to get away!
Well that's about it for the moment.  I am about to motor off to a beekeepers' instruction session and, this afternoon, I am trotting down to the Buddhist encampment for a lecture in the Art of Happiness.  I hope you are thriving and look forward to seeing you soon - although, remember pet, I have counted all the tablets in my bottles of medication in the bathroom.  You are not to take any!
Aunt Agatha

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