Monday, 17 December 2007

Haven't you been here before?

Well, it's been a weekend full of activity here in the village. The Christmas tree lights are all up around the square, twinkling in the frosty evenings. Last night a man came to view the cottage. He was 40 minutes late and as we were just about to go out he got the bum's rush. I recognised his voice from the warmth of my front hall, as he was sent away with a flea in his ear. This was the little, goatee-clad and bespectacled pixie who had called at my door two years ago claiming to be not only a mystic but the reincarnation of James I. The biggest fool in Christendom indeed! Apparently he was attracted by the ley lines crossing through the square. He told me all about the ancient tribe that lived on the hill, kept gesturing to his little car and talking about someone called 'Olive' (I wasn't sure if he was referring to the car or an imaginary friend in it). Now I had a name, I googled him. Yep, found him. Now a mystic but one-time founder member of an obscure band that once had a hit in the 1980s.

Breaking news
Scooter Boy almost ran over the new man from the electricity board, who spent all day reading people's meters. He turned up on my doorstep at 8.30am, clutching a list of addresses and an perplexed expression on his face. The look of terror on his face was down to his encounter with Scooter Boy who, late for work again, was roaring through the village. All he wants for Christmas is a new silencer.

I managed to get through the second reading at the village carol service without coughing and without any sniggering at the words 'I am a virgin'.

That's about it
Maddie x

Thursday, 13 December 2007

I love ewe

One of our nearest towns is Chard, the birthplace of powered fight and home to the cooked meat factory, whose smells envelop my vegetarian sister's house like cling film wrapped around a cucumber. In the Seventies Chard was reputed to have the highest crime rate for a town of its size, second only to Glasgow. The highest town in Somerset, where the water in the gutters on each side of the street ends up in different places - one goes south to the English Channel and the other turns left and goes to the Bristol Channel. The town is full of Chard Hards, who tend to go sleeveless in the coldest weather to prove their masculinity. And that's just the women. Several people I went to school with ended up being murdered or turned out to be murderers themselves. One went out in a blaze of glory in an armed police siege in a lane high above the town. One of the best bits about Chard these days is Lidl. There are special deals all the time but I'm not surprised there are lots of frozen lobsters and crabs left from their 'luxury' week. Chard people know you can easily get crabs for free.

Breaking news: The woman across the road is parked on the pavement, blocking the dropped kerb. A law unto herself, she works as an artist in the attic while her devoted husband works in the cellar in his photographic darkroom. She is probably a bat, who hangs upside down during the day and goes out at night, while her husband comes out of his silk-lined coffin in the basement to haunt the village after dusk. Although now we've got new bloody street lighting more appropriate for the East End than this forgotten village he would be spotted a mile off. The street lighting is another story.

There are lots of sheep around here and it's only just dawned on me that many of them must have been just been pleasured by the ram, as the ewes have blue dye on their backs. I think the ram's belly is painted so that when a ewe is serviced, the farmer knows the task has been achieved. I am slightly alarmed about those ewes with dye on their heads.

Scooter Boy forgot to put on his alarm clock this morning because unusually for him he was 10 minutes late, narrowly missing Glidoh-Girl (her bike's so smooth she glides) going in the opposite direction.

That's about it
Maddie x

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Introducing the world from my window…

Hi, I’m Maddie Grigg and the world from my window is ever-changing. Living in a village square, you see all sorts of things – from morris dancers performing outside the pub on a balmy summer’s evening to huntsmen gathering for the stirrup cup next door before setting off for their first hunt of the year. We have Palm Sunday processions down to the church with a donkey brought in for the occasion, drivers parking like French people – anywhere – to nip into the shop for a paper and cows being herded to fresh pastures on the other side of the village. It’s hardly the most exciting of places, but you never quite know what’s going to happen next. This week, a ginger wig blew past the window up Church Path.

This morning I see the paperboy going about his round in his usual sleepy state, nearly getting knocked over by Scooter Boy who zooms by at 7.30am on the bike-with-no-silencer, followed ten minutes later by Glidoh-Girl, whose moped sounds so smooth it glides. The paperboy is walking up towards Cherry Fields Lane, past the new houses designed to look more like a village than the village itself when, suddenly, right in front of him, a blob on the pavement comes to life. With a hissing sound, the blob turns into a giant plastic reindeer. It is not until the paperboy is nose to snub nose with the animal he realises it is the inflatable Christmas decorations on number 22, the ones that pump up and come alive but only during the day.

Other breaking news: We’ve just found out that the vicar has been done for drinking and driving. It has been hushed up for several months but an incensed parishioner has leaked it to the local paper. A rota is being drawn up to ferry him from church to church to sick, needy person to sick, needy person. Such tolerant sympathy. Ironic really - our last vicar was almost hounded out, not because she’s a divorcee but because she’s a woman.

The milkman’s milk is so expensive but people don’t want to give it up because he’s Mandy Freeman’s brother, he’s local and been doing it for years.

A 16-year-old left in the house on her own last week while her mum went on holiday to Tenerife has had a tattoo done on her backside. The person who told me that said 'bum' but we don't use that word in my house (nor do we use the words 'toilet' or 'lounge').

Mamma Mia's husband has a horse bite on his neck. I asked Mamma Mia how she’s so sure it’s a horse. She told me: ‘Happened at Littlehampton and I know there ain’t no woman at Littlehampton so t’ad to be horse.’

I delivered most of the by-hand Christmas cards today and party invites. A white deer jumped out of the forest and ran past me as a woodpecker tap-tap-tapped in the leafless wood.

An amateur astronomer has just told me a comet called Holmes, bigger than the moon, can be seen in the sky directly overhead at around 9pm. I haven’t seen it yet but will report back as soon as I do.

That's about it
Maddie x

A horror film for Halloween

On Halloween, I head out under the cover of darkness, a tub of sweets by the front door for young trick or treaters on the prowl with their ...