I said do you speak a my language?
What's going on? First, our old next door neighbours bugger off, then our other neighbour, wise old Alf, announces he will be following shortly. Across the Square, the publicans Larry and Mimi hand in their notice and then our shopkeepers reveal they, too, are planning to shut the till drawer permanently just as soon as they get a buyer.
Is it something I said?
I am beginning to think it's me. For the past few days, I have been re-reading Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone for my Open University children's literature course. And in the same way that when you read health information on the internet you are convinced you are seriously ill, I have suddenly developed the ability to understand a kind of Parseltongue, the language of snakes and other magical creatures.
For example, the other day, when I was having licentious thoughts about Mr Grigg when he was spending a night away (because absence makes the heart grow fonder), a huddle of teenage schoolgirls walked by singing '...Nothing you can compare to your neighbourhood whore...' and then giggled off stage left.
Then, on Friday, I was recovering from two injections inflicted on me by an over-enthusiastic dentist. It was on the NHS so I won't complain. Anyway, I agreed to go for a walk with Pelly Sheepwash on the understanding that I wouldn't talk. You try saying 'specific' and 'balsam' when your top lip and tongue feel like they have been lashed by 50,000 stinging nettles. Pelly kindly resisted the temptation to call me 'Duck Face' and I began to overcome my self-pity. And then several children on their way to the football ground walked by. A particularly annoying boy, who looks like an angel but has a mouth like an ash tray, looked at me, grinned and said: 'Sshh, are you sheerious?' I hadn't even opened my mouth.
So when we walked through the yard of the farmer on the hill who is occasionally visited by aliens, I felt for sure he would speak my language. You know, along the lines of the farmer from Hot Fuzz who, translated by a rustic police officer, turns out to have an arsenal in his outbuildings.
I grinned, not realising I looked like John Mills in his Oscar-winning role in Ryan's Daughter crossed with Orville and said: 'Schtill warmisch for thisch time of year, ishtn't it?'
He looked at me as if I were the village idiot.
He turned to Pelly and said, in the perfect accent of an English gentleman: 'Nice weather for ducks, isn't it?'
That's about it
Love Maddie x