Sunday, April 25, 2010

In Flagrante Delicto

“It’s Greek,” she offered.
And you know I was surprised. It was last back end that we went to Crete for a week but this didn’t taste too bad even so. If you like olives and leafy stuff that you cant really indentify that is. In fact I would go as far as to say that it was quite passable. I even decided to chase it off the plate with a glass of red wine….and perhaps that was the mistake. One glass led to another and then a whiskey….or two.
The next thing you know I was there at two in the morning. Hosepipe in hand, dripping wet, and stinking of smoke. Mind you I was breathing a sigh of relief.
Oh and for the future… I think it best that we don’t mix fireworks and alcohol. It’s a bad example to The Boy and came close to being very difficult to explain to the very nice people that offer financial protection to Hallett’s Mountain in case of fire.

The day had started well mind you. I was up at eight after an exceptionally long lie in and shortly afterwards heard the cuckoo for the first time this year.
I shifted a ton or two of logs that had been left beside the barn. I made a new flowerbed for night scented stocks. Visited The Metropolis that I used to work in. Even helped She Of The Townhouse carry the vegetable garden to the car.
No surprise then that by the end of the day I was well disposed to someone else burning the tea and found myself looking forward to relaxing in front of the box.
Actually that’s a little bit of an understatement. You see there were really far too many boxes. Forgetting that some of them had duff fireworks in them was silly.

Shortly after dark we lit the fire and as the flames soared 10 to 20 metres in to the air I could hear The Boy giggling like that hyena. You know… the one in the Lion King… the one that has a marble less than a full bag. Oh yes, now that I think, I seem to remember She Of The Townhouse hiding behind a tree as some of the single ignition boxes stared to cook off and jump all over the place. After that it all gets a bit hazy.

Still. All’s well that ends well.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

99 Red Balloons

OK, I know you will have noticed it as well but! For the sake of my own record then. A week on Hallett’s Mountain without a single plane breaking the wind…..errm breaking the silence.

I was sat sitting in the sunshine the other day underneath a clear blue bowl. A bowl stretching from horizon to horizon. She Of The Townhouse was off in the Unions Capital. Visitors were departed for home. I was alone with my thoughts in the garden. A cold cider close to hand. Beyond the birds in the bushes the only sound was the faintest of whispers of a train in the valley.
Trains in the valley leading people far away. Over the mountains and across. The bor… here hang on a mo! I nearly went back to my Herman Hesse days there. That was a narrow squeak. Ooh don’t start me on that track it always leads to trouble!

The thing was that I was struck by the beauty and simplicity of the sky. No vapour trails. No sardine cans scurrying packed people down the jetstreams to Manchester or beyond. No daily flypast of jet fighter heroes, scraping over the ridges of Craig Celynin. Not even the angry chatter of the police helicopter.
And you know its not till you have a week off that you realize just how intrusive it is.
I was stood out in the garden at ‘sparrows’ this morning around ten to six. Hoping that all the dust in the sky would produce a glorious sunrise picture for A Black Country Boy (Alas it wasn’t really there mate).
After days of profound silence, I was aware once more of the low background hum. Fingers of white cloud chasing the 747’s east. Broken sky.

Some time this week I shall hear the cuckoo.
Hopefully the St George’s Mushrooms will be out.
I’ll probably let you know….

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Something Nasty In The Woodshed Fridge

I am amazed by the amount that can be forced down a plug hole. Determination, the aid of barbecue skewer, and soon the bodies will be gone without trace.
Hallett’s Mountain is being spruced up you see. And for the second time in a fortnight no less.
Its all about visitors again. While I toil at the chalk face next week, my friend Grayson will be enjoying the frugal comforts of my humble abode. Along with Gadgetgirlie and The Captains Mate, her daughter and mother respectively.
Can you imagine, three generations of women aiming to run their fingers along the Hallett dado rail looking for dust. Good job I haven’t got any dados that’s all I can say.
I have though got a fridge. A fridge whose darkest crevices have lain dormant… nah, dormant is wrong, dormant suggests that nothing is happening… The crevices in which the things that live in the fridge accumulate, breed and fester. Crevices that have not had a great deal of attention since Mike and Mrs Mike came by last, have been exposed to daylight.
If you look at old episodes of Star Trek….oooh hey incidentally have you had time to catch up with the new digitally re-mastered original series yet….umm where was I.
Ah yes …Star Trek.. the cutting edge of low budget special effects aliens from the sixties often had some coloured latex that was being quivered by a man out of shot with a stick. This posed as ‘life Jim but not as we know it’ and was either erased by setting the phaser on ‘turn to plasma’ or was welcomed as a new facet of the all embracing federation. It all seemed to depend on how misunderstood it was.
Eh? Pardon? Oh yes, the point.
The thing is that these aliens live in my fridge and occasionally need evicting. People are kind but sometimes you sense that they may just be humouring me.
Anyway, I cant stay long. I now have to gird my loins for the stirring of the midden that The Boy inhabits. That is going on to a whole new level……

(I am comforted to see that the Microsoft dictionary has no concept of midden.)