10 Forsythia Grove
CORSETTSHIRE ZY6 4GT
My Dear Ralph
I am so glad you are out pet; I feel released back into the freedom of more 'ordinary' confidences!
Here in rural Corsettshire, we are about (thank God) to exit the season of leaf sweeping and enter that of shrub pruning. I must say that leaning on, and pulling against, that rake seems to have been responsible for my latest bout of spinal extremis. Not that this summer's experience of weeding has been all that much better. I have practically worn my knee joints into bone paste extracting Hairy Bittercress from the borders over at Sir Murgatroyd Hoppe's. Have I mentioned this personage to you before dear? I think he may have entered my life when you were off the scene, so to speak.
Some months ago, when I was perusing a local website, I just happened to notice that the Hoppe Valley Hotel was seeking additional aid in the form of summer weeders in their landscaped gardens. So, of course, I immediately decided to motor over and apply for said position (concealing the Banger 0.9L behind a handily-located Cedar of Lebanon). And I was on time pet! However, there was absolutely no sign of Sir Hoppe at his residence just inside the gate pillars. You'd think said individual would have the decency to turn up promptly wouldn't you dear? Well I hovered about inside the vestibule - even at one point thumping loudly (several times) on a giant brass knocker I could see stationed on the exterior of the front door. Silence. Eventually, I resorted to phoning him up on the telephone installed on his own reception desk! The result this produced was that a rather puce-faced Sir Murgatroyd Hoppe whipped open the door and demanded why I hadn't actually used the door bell! Well, I don't know dear. I hadn't actually seen it, concealed as it was behind several thousand Wisteria sinensis stems to the left of the paintwork. And then, just to add insult to injury, he called to his wife from the hall, 'Do you know Annabel, we've actually got someone here who doesn't know how to use a door bell!'
Hmmph. I was fuming pet as you might well imagine. I screeched to a halt on their polished parquet floor and said,
'I naturally thought you would be good enough to be within earshot of your very own door knocker at the time of our appointment. And, furthermore, at least I had the initiative to dial you up from the exterior of the premises.' I did rather think dear, that this might be the end of our interview as our mutual feathers were certainly ruffled at this point! However, I should imagine that he gathered - just from looking at me clad in my best James Bond attire - that I would be just the lady to wield a giant pair of petrol-powered hedge cutters and shear some kilometers of Yew hedge! 'Hrrrmph' he said, 'Let me take your coat for you dear lady.' So off we toddled into his dining room, where we commenced our discourse and where it ultimately turned out that he really is very fond of his garden. Quite despite myself, I found myself declaring that he was actually a very sweet human being (and I never thought I'd ever be uttering such words during our debacle in the hall). He must have liked me somewhat pet because I have been let off hedge cutting and allowed to confine my attentions to weeding and edging!
I hope you are recovering from your bout of incarceration and in-cell intimidation nephew? It must be much warmer in your own demesne where you will now be able to keep your dalek-design duvet wrapped upon you on the bed!