Saturday, 31 March 2012

The pasty tax: what it might mean to us

Be careful with that pasty Mr Osborne - you don't know where it might have been...

We think the Chancellor of the Exchequer might be reading the blog. He's just announced a tax on warmed-up pasties, which has gone down in this country about as quietly as Monica Lewinsky did with Bill Clinton.

Mr Grigg is a tad worried. The award-winning blog post, Pasty tea and toast will you, was written nearly three years ago. So he's worried the Government might be after his arrears - a rather unsavoury venture if you ask me.

And with The Sun giving out free pasties in Parliament Square, we'd just like to point out the name's Grigg, not Greggs.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Normal service is now resumed

And so I'm back. From outer space. I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face...

You should have changed that stupid lock, you should have made me leave my key, if you'd known for just one second I'd be back to bother thee... 

It's been two weeks since I've blogged - two long weeks - and I've missed you, I really have. Whether you've even noticed I'd gone is another matter. I'm sorry about that Darzet version of I Will Survive, but I needed to make an entrance just to see if you were still awake.

I have been up to my neck in stupid essays for this stupid MA. The one in stupid classics and ancient stupid history I thought I'd do because I love Greek mythology and poncing around the stupid Ionian a couple of times a stupid year. Talk about jumping in without thinking. Stupid.

I'm a skimmer, a scratcher-of-the-surface so it's been a struggle, combing the day job and such intense study in such a short time. One of my lecturers - an arrogant, cold fish - makes me feel about six years old. And then there's another, who is so warm, enthusiastic and lovely I just want to hug her because she inspires me and makes me feel I can do it. You can guess which one I've got supervising my dissertation. Story of my life. Still, determination and blundering on are my middle names. Oh, and stupidity.

Anyway, since I've been gone, Tuppence's bin has turned up - whisked away by Pelly who thought it was Tuppence's neighbour's, who thought it was the builder's. Thank God for the blog is all I can say. That bin might still have been at the neighbour's back door if she hadn't read it here.

There has so been so much more going on - bet you can't contain your excitement, can you? I'll try to be a good girl from now on and not leave you with such big gaps for your imagination to run riot.

In the meantime, Mr Grigg has gone out in double denim to play skittles with the lads. I will leave you with this little number, sung by an old friend who we haven't seen for years. 

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

It's bin a long day

It's bin day in the Enchanted Village. I peer across at Mr and Mrs Champagne-Charlie's recycling box to see how many cases of gin they've got through this week.

What's this, an empty bottle of soy sauce and a rather fancy designer cider? Oops, it's our box. I'd forgotten Mr Grigg had put it outside the back door instead of the front.

At least we have a box. And a bin. Poor old Tuppence hasn't. Her bin has been nicked from the end of her lane.

That's well rubbish.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Enchanted Village Arms open for business

There is much frivolity in the village. Two weeks in and the Enchanted Village Arms is alive and kicking. It's like the pub had never closed.

Our new landlord and landlady have thrown themselves into community life with gusto. Things are looking good.

'You can call me Shrek,' he said, when I told him about the blog.

'I couldn't possibly do that,' I said.

'Why not? Everyone else does.'

But there's already someone in the village known as Shrek. So I'll just call him The Pub Landlord.
You get the picture.

So we have a bar full of people, eating, drinking and being merry. There's the dour Mr Putter talking about life after death, Mr Champagne-Charlie with ruffled feathers because the Tory Party keeps referring to him as Mr Asti-Spumante when they send him invitations to cheese and wine evenings. In the corner is a lesser-spotted, shorts-wearing Mr St John, who has been reunited with a long-lost love but tonight is sharing supper with MDF Man who is now sadly minus Posh Totty.

Mr Prayer gives us the latest lowdown on The Sixties Band (ages not decade), the group formed by our former shopkeeper and now featuring the powerful vocal chords of the diminutive Tuppence. I am booking them for a slot at our open air celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June. They'd better be good.

On the next table is the man who edited Hornblower and Black Beauty and across from him is Mrs Regal Bird. Bubbles is wittering about me giving her a tutorial on Facebook and Twitter for her B&B business, Mrs Bancroft has been and gone and there's Nobby Ecclestone Odd-Job coming up with ingenious ideas for designs for Mr Grigg's entry in the jubilee pram race which is being jointly organised by The Pub Landlord.

'We'll have to be careful when the prams come down the hill past your place,' the other organiser says to me.

'Why's that?' I say, picturing the start of Wacky Races with Mr Grigg and Champagne-Charlie as Dick Dastardly and Mutley, Nobby and Mr Putter as The Gruesome Twosome with Mr Loggins and Mr Sheepwash bringing up the rear in The Arkansas Chugabug.

'There's a bit in the village history book about a lady who was sweeping the front room and had the door open. A motorbike and sidecar came down the road, a bolt sheered off and the sidecar ended up hurtling through your hallway.'

I can picture it now. Me as Penelope Pitstop and Peter Perfect landing right there in my arms.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Friday, 2 March 2012

Sounds like a case for Little Bo Peep

The night was dark as Nobby-Odd Job made his way through the village hall car park. Luckily, he had his trusty torch with him. A retired policeman is Nobby, so always prepared.

There was some kind of cooking demonstration going on in the hall. The car park was full.

But as he walked down through the village green, he heard strange noises coming from a VW Golf parked near the basketball hoop. He was just about to go back to the old days of spoiling people's fun by shining his torch through a steamed-up window when something strange happened.


Closer inspection revealed a bale of hay in the boot and a large sheep standing up on the back seat, with two legs resting on the front passenger seat.

Nobby (now known as Little Boy Blue), beat on, hastily.

Shepherd's Spy anyone?

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Morning has broken

Once again, the early morning mist descends on The Enchanted Village. We are all wrapped up in a cellular blanket of fog, cocooned and safe from the outside world, but just a little bit damp.

Our only shop is still closed but there is something on our doorstep, next to the empty beer barrel that still hasn't been collected after the last Village Hall Arms before the pub's long-awaited re-opening.

It's a pint of milk brought to us by the silent milkman, who floats through the streets of The Enchanted Village like a ghost, with bottles that don't rattle.  He makes his way slowly down through the village, in a job he has done for years.

Then wailing and shrieking sounds, more like peacocks than children, strike up from the village school playground. Their song becomes louder, rising into a crescendo before a clanging bell calls them into class.

Daffodils, snowdrops and primroses are popping up, the catkins dance as the dogs dash by and a wood pigeon coo-coo-coos in a duet with a rather more tuneful blackbird. It's almost spring but not quite.

The bronze nymph statue that welcomes visitors to The Enchanted Village, to Lush Places, still has her winter coat on.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Batten down those hatches, it's recycling day

It's blowing a hooley out there.  The wind is lashing against the windows and the dogs are play fighting in front of the Aga before...