Sunday, 8 February 2009

Things that go bump in the night

Our usual Sunday lie-in has been rudely interrupted. Something was going on downstairs. I thought it might have been Mr Loggins. We have seen a lot of him this weekend. Maybe he couldn't sleep. I looked out from the window but there was no-one at the door. There was just this tap-tap-tapping and Mr Grigg suddenly leapt out of bed like Sher Khan the Tiger with a flaming branch attached to his tail. Naked, he tiptoed down the stairs and thrust open the door to the front room. Two beady eyes gazed at him. Mr Grigg glared back. It was a crow sitting on the radiator. They squared up to each other as if in a staring contest. It was a bit like Sumo TV. They did a little dance around the room, not taking their eyes off each other. Mr Grigg went for the window, undid the latch and threw it open. The crow looked one way and then the other. Should it fly out the window, risking the wrath of Grigg or back up the chimney? It didn't take long. It made a break for the window, looked over its shoulder as it shot past Mr Grigg and, I think, muttered 'Nevermore' under its breath.

It reminded me of the Edgar Allan Poe poem, The Raven:

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`
Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.

Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'


The excitement was too much. Mr Grigg swiftly ate his porridge, showered and then joined seven other men to help Packman lift a load of beams salvaged from a factory. As I walked the dogs, I could hear Russell's crow across the valley cockadoodle dooing, Packman bellowing instructions, Mr Loggins trying to lead a communal 'Yo-heave-ho' and Mr Grigg's crow-like cackle crackling around the field.

I am now just about to get the local Sunday paper to do a spot of Where's Wallying, our usual Sunday morning pastime. Every week during the football season the front page picture is of spectators at a local football match. We have great fun trying to find Mr F-Word, who lives at The Other End of the Village. Everyone else, including Mr F-Word's daughter, is dressed in the team colours and shouting excitedly, hands waving wildly in the air. Mr F-Word is easy to spot. He's the one in a Barbour jacket and flat cap. He is usually looking the other way from everyone else and has a very blank expression on his face.

Picture by Mrs Darling Loggins.

The snow is still on the ground and in places turning to ice. It has already led to the cancellation of the quiz on Friday night so who knows what this week will bring? The Sheepwash family, like a gaggle of Von Trapps, have been up on the hillside snowboarding. Pelly and Mr Sheepwash were spotted zooming down the slopes - they call it 'greys on trays'.

Our dinner party went well last night, we are all still speaking to each other. Mrs Loggins is the only woman I know who actually likes being called 'darling' by her husband so that's become her new name from now on. Randy has acquired the surname Munchkin, thanks to Mrs Bobby Packman who has also revealed her friend likes to pole dance in the front room on Tuesday mornings. Mr Grigg, apparently, says he will probably work from home this Tuesday. Nevermore!

That's about it
Love Maddie x

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