It is strimming season and with it comes the inevitable expletives from the Grigg garage. On lawns and in workshops all over the village, the strimmers suddenly take on lives of their own, like the broomsticks in Harry Potter. They even have names. Mr Sheepwash has three adjectives for his and one noun - bastard - as the starting-up the strimmer process turns into a little dance. The smell of petrol and the sound of swear words fill the air, the engine floods and Pelly Sheepwash sagely shakes her head.
'They don't like stale petrol,' she whispers to me, adding that she told Mr Sheepwash this last summer. This has since been confirmed by the local agricultural engineer who says he is beseiged by bastard strimmers in the spring when the men of the house reach the end of their tethers and can deal with the frustration no more.
'Well, my car starts when I leave it for a few days,' Mr Sheepwash says. Rather snappily for one so usually laid back.
'Yes,' says Pelly, patiently. 'But you don't leave it in a shed all through the winter and just expect it get going as soon as you put your key in the ignition, do you?'
As Mr Sheepwash finally gets his strimmer going, Mr Grigg throws his (also called Bastard) down in disgust and then straps it to his bike for the ride home. This seemed like a good idea at the time but once he has started, he cannot stop and has to ride into the hedge to brake.
At that point, a John Wayne-style hiccup is heard from up the road. It is Hawkeye, who has been in the pub all afternoon and is at last winding his way home, his grey trackie trow-wow bottoms making him look like more like Colonel Hathi marching through the jungle rather than Rooster Cogburn minus the horse.
'Sorry Maddie, I can't speak proper, I got hiccups.'
It's a strange old place.
That's about it
Love Maddie x
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