10 Forsythia Grove
CORSETTSHIRE ZY6 4GT
My Dear Ralph
I have not had a very good day dear. However, despite feeling distinctly peaky - to say the least of it - I tried to show willing and turned up at my Tree Pruning course promptly at 9am this morning. I hadn't been able to attend last week, owing to heavy involvement in box-packing activities (belongings, not bodies, pet) and seem to have missed out on a session planning how to dismantle the giant oak tree situated alongside the tennis courts. I am not altogether sure I can tell you what the words 'chogging' and 'snatching' mean, but I believe they have something to do with methods by which large pieces of timber can be lowered out of a tree! I don't somehow think I will ever actually be practising these pursuits myself; all sorts of kit, in addition to the obligatory chain saw, is required and I personally would much rather be penning a story from the comparative safety of my desk! I say 'comparative' because the subject of draughts, sat here at said piece of furniture, keeps on capturing my attention. Anyway, I don't know if I am unduly tired, or what, but it would have taken more than a pair of matchsticks to keep my eyelids propped open on this tree dismembering activity this morning. Feeling that, at any moment, I might actually slump over the table, I made it as far as the coffee break before easing my way out of the situation and motoring back home. And, apart from a short excursion to purchase a pair of warm slippers, I have been napping in my reclining chair for the rest of the day. You know dear, it is not easy to get used to feeling chilly in August when one has been experiencing the opposite extreme at the Perfect Retirement Housing Complex. Indeed, I do feel a mite envious that the inmates of this establishment will not be having to peel off 17 layers of clothing every night at bed-time - and nor will they be having to endure bathing in 7.5cm of tepid water whenever they feel like washing! But here I am moaning again. I have a lot to be thankful for in my new abode: fresh air is certainly not in short supply and Chumley and I have more than one room to walk about in now - plus an actual back door.
Unfortunately, Pom-Pom phoned when I was in the aetiolated condition described above and he appears to be in a virtual state of extremis: left back at the Perfect Retirement Housing Complex all alone. I was regaled with a lengthy exposition of his plans for ending it all, despite all of them sounding most impractical for a man who can barely exit his armchair unaided. He described the suspension of self from the light fittings method of auto-annihilation and the leaping from a first floor window method of achieving the same. I did point out, of course dear, that neither of these methods were all that practical - given, firstly, a very low ceiling and, secondly, a particularly lush-looking lawn on to which he would fall (given that he could fit through the - small - window). I would speak to the carnivorous Xanthe on this matter if I thought it would help. But, unfortunately, said daughter has a detestation of Yours Truly which amounts to the nearly homicidal. Surely there is room for us both, pet, in Pom-Pom's affections? Speaking of homicidal intentions, one recourse is the possibility of using my Licence to Kill to delete Xanthe and to get Pom-Pom installed in a more healthily-run, and more comforting, establishment. I have cogitated (at some length) on this option, but one is required - absolutely - to act under licence only and my licence has expired! And, inevitably, this does mean that I am unable to offer effective aid and succour to a good and decent man in the hour of his greatest need.