Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com rockpool in the kitchen: 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

Huff puff - or don't blow the (chicken) house down

More puffs; not for Granny this time. First try the wonderful Blaugustine unique and extraordinary God Interviews. Go here.

You'll also see a new widget on her sidebar - oh what lovely technical words Granny knows these days. If you don't want to go in search of Adam yourself, you could always try Caroline Smailes' In Search of Adam - the book - when it turns up in your local Waterstones.

Already lurking there will be Lucy Diamond's Any Way You Want Me. You could look up that too. Or try Lucy's website


Back to the island. Where the wind blows wildly, where Mr Handsome from Blackburn has at last got over his grump that Chelsea beat Blackburn in the FA Cup semi-final - it lasted over a week, a long time even for him - and where the little goat gambols. Beloved tethers its mother outside each morning and Rachel Vinegar is allowed to run free. She jumps and skitters and runs and jumps again. Sad to think that in a few months time she'll have to be shut up, like her elders. Just like kids of the human kind, locked into schools before they know it, and given the impression - some of them - that they aren't any good at anything. Granny believes it's called education. Disabuse her if you will. (And that's nothing compared to the subsequent locking up into what her old dad called sweetly 'daily breading.' Oh dear; oh dear.) It's daily milking in the case of goats. Oh dear again. The more so given that Rachel Vinegar has most likely inherited her mother's very small teats: Beloved will have difficulty milking her too. 'They used to use the women for milking goats like that. They've got smaller hands,' he says looking at Granny. She won't repeat her response. So it goes. SO IT GOES - to quote the late, wonderful, much lamented Kurt Vonnegut. Not only that, it went.

The game bantam, Amina, still sits on her eggs - getting on five weeks now, chicks there can't be. Such attention to duty is touching. Were the eggs too many? Did they get cold? Were they not fertilised? Who knows. What a good, sad mother. Granny thinks she should be released. Beloved says she will release herself in her own good time. Meantime one of her daughters, one of the very chicks Granny and her Beloved saw emerge from her last lot of eggs, her own, is broody, so is now sitting herself, on three hens' eggs this time. Three weeks will prove the case. Or not as it may be. Two of her sisters have been given to Juan , their neighbour, the red-faced man who turns up on his doorstep every morning, eleven a.m latest, knocking back a glass of the disgusting wine he makes himself; hence the red face probably; and the surprisingly red belly he reveals when the sun comes out and he opens up his shirt. What with that, his black hair, his moustache, he reminds Granny of a seedy character from a Central European drama set among soldiers. Wozzeck perhaps.

Juan is somewhat bemused by British neighbours who don't sit around the pool (what pool?) but grow goats chickens and vegetables just like real locals. Shame Beloved's lack of Spanish doesn't enable conversation. Mr Handsome makes up for it. 'Vale,' he says in his Blackburn accent, 'vale.' 'Vale' says Juan, and retreats, back to his wine probably. And to his white Tenerife bantams, of which he is immensely proud. He is not surrendering any of them. But with luck he will pass a crossbreed or two Granny's way, once his cockerel gets to work on Amina's babies.

Oh and the prickly pears are producing their flowers, meaning in due course their fruit. Shame they don't taste of anything. And that if you try to harvest them they so fill your fingers with prickles, it's better not to trying at all. They even defeated that sterling cook, Jane Grigson. A woman of much sterner stuff than Granny.

Here's Beloved's garden for you, maize coming up nicely; with a corner of the chicken house made out of what must be the only English garden shed on the island, bought from an expat acquaintance who brought it over for his use and then decided he didn't want it.

And here are some prickly pears. Fine, waxy flowers, almost indecent. As for the new leaves...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Blatant puff

Granny's in the Guardian's Book Blog!! You can visit the post here..... Yet another piece about her - and in a way you, friends. She loves you all, but she is not apologising.. never. Tomorrow she will be back here with more news from her rural outpost, complete with thrilling anecdotes about...GOATS! (Possibly.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Death and Coincidence

This is not a Lanzarote/Grannyp third person piece; this is Penelope writing as Penelope. She cannot do it in any other way. You'll understand why not.


Sixteen years ago my twin sister lay dying in a hospital in Oxford. She had terminal breast cancer, and a month or so before had been given three or four months to live. But her cancer was in a hurry. When I went down to Oxfordshire to tend her one day in early April I found her sitting with her head in her hands. A migraine, we agreed hopefully. But it was not a migraine. Thirty six hours later she was back in hospital; the headache was caused by a tumour; the cancer had spread to her brain.

In theory my sister had been booked into the hospice. But given the speed of her decline and the fact that she knew many of the staff on the radio/chemotherapy ward where she'd been sent, it was decided to let her stay there; that she was dying and soon was in no doubt. For me it meant a week of traipsing up and down the M40 from Hammersmith in glorious spring weather, lambs jumping up in the fields alongside it, roadworks jumping up on it (meaning unlooked for trips round that not particularly desirable place High Wycombe when driving back late at night.) Life stopped otherwise. It had to.

Unusually there was another dying woman on the ward. She was put next to my twin, a mere curtain between them, sometimes not even that. My family tends to the tribal; sundry and various might be another way of putting it. Sundry and various duly traipsed in and out. The other dying woman's family, on the other hand, consisted mainly of two young women, one of them very pregnant, and both with long curly hair. They too came in and out, sat with their mother as often as I sat with my sister, that is for much of the time. We looked at each other and smiled now and then, but otherwise exchanged not a word.

Those who have been with someone dying will know this: that it is a terrible, at times wondrous experience; that it feels like connection to some essential, some primal force, one always there, but mostly unfelt, unacknowledged. Life outside it, by comparison, looks more like being plugged into something as trivial as a Gameboy; it is as remote, as cut off from you as you are cut off from it. The two young women and I, all connected to that force, sharing it, you could almost say, did not need to speak to know everything about each other. Even as we knew nothing about each other. We speculated about them for sure. They speculated about us - so they might well have done as various as our family was and is. On both sides we knew nothing and yet everything.

Things took their course. My sister fell into a coma. All day I sat by her side, time slowed to the rate of her painfully slow breath; waiting for each breath; expecting any one to be the last. But on it went, breath after breath after breath. Her children came. Mine came. My then husband cancelled all his clinics and came. My sister's two closest friends came. Now and then we went and sat outside in the sun and consoled each other, all feeling as close as a family can ever feel; another - but more benign - effect of death. Eventually, after twenty four hours of coma, at quarter to nine on a Thursday night, a week after she'd arrived in hospital, my sister breathed for one last time; then, with her daughter holding one hand and I the other, both of us telling her we loved her, her breath ceased.

I did not see the two young women again. They arrived that night to see their mother. I heard them behind me, as I stood at a window in the corridor looking out at the night. I saw their reflections in the window but I did not turn round, I could not bear to. 'I'll see them in the morning,' I thought. 'I'll speak to them then.'

But when I came back as I had to, to deal with the essential business connected to death, around reverently cheerful officials, they were not there; they did not come. And by the time I went back to the hospital ten days or so later to thank the wonderful nurses, both beds were empty. Helena, I was told - that was the other dying woman's name - had died on Saturday, two days after my sister. That was that I thought. I would never see the young women again, those two with whom we had shared everything, in one sense, throughout that painful week. I was sorry about it, but not surprised. It's just the way things are.

Six weeks or so passed. Six terrible weeks. My sister had remarried two years or so before her death. That her new husband was literally a maniac - made partly so by her death, but not entirely - became apparent straight afterwards. The story of why and how is not one I propose to tell, ever, enough to say that it traumatised all of us, but especially her children: that every one of life's little or not so little ironies looked at this point black.

I lived then in a house next to Ravenscourt Park Station, overlooking the park. One morning I was walking down the street parallel to it, when I saw a young woman coming towards me, a young woman with hair cropped close to her head. She looked familiar yet unfamiliar at the same time. The nearer she got, the more familiar she seemed. We walked right up to each other and as we did she spoke. 'Aren't you Judith's sister?' she asked. And then I recognised her too; the younger of the two women whom I'd known so intimately over that week; who'd known us so intimately. She had cut her hair off, that was the only difference. 'Yes,' I said. And we stood in the middle of the pavement hugging each other, crying - I'm almost crying now, again, writing this. Anyone else coming down the street had to step into the road to pass us. I don't know how long we stood there. For a long time I think.

We have been friends - the nearest thing to family that isn't- ever since. All due to that gift -to that miracle of coincidence. For it was amazing coincidence. The mother, Helena, came from Guildford. She was only in hospital in Oxford because the older sister, the then pregnant one - by now she had given birth to a little girl - lived there. Her mother having had diabolical treatment from the Guildford hospital (think 'neurotic woman' - think no more) this sister insisted on sending her to her own doctor; who got her an appointment at the Churchill Hospital where my sister too was being treated. That was the first thing. The second was that three months before her death, before she knew she was ill, grown tired of Guildford, she had bought a charming little three story late eighteenth century house in the otherwise quite industrial street down which I had been walking. Lucy my friend was doing it up with her then boyfriend: they were now almost ready to move in.

Lucy and her boyfriend got married. When my marriage broke up they bought my house and I - a midnight inspiration - bought theirs. As soon as the move was confirmed, she became pregnant with her first child, my godchild, the very same one I took down to the sea last week and into the yellow submarine that plunged us to the depths to look at fish. For it was this family that has just left after an ecstatic if exhausting seven days, the first few shared with my son and his two. My son knows the island well. Lucy, her husband, my goddaughter now aged ten, her younger sister aged six, were exploring it for the first time.

The family still live in my old house. Though much has had to be changed to make it family friendly, there are still traces of the garden I made over the eighteen months of my sister's illness; therapy of a sort. The fig tree I planted survived a move from one side of the garden to the other and is now bearing figs. Two weeping silver pears carry on weeping. A green bay tree flourishes as ever. The Clematis Armandii flowers on the back wall of the house every spring. The house too has changed a lot, but is still recognisably itself. As for Lucy's mother's house which I bought and lived in happily for a while, I sold it to my best, my oldest friend when I came out here; she has now just sold it to her daughter. It remains a family affair.

Grief happens - and never goes away entirely; why should it go? But miracles happen too. Like this one, like primroses sprung up in a graveyard. Precious.

Monday, April 23, 2007

not the main story; yet

Sorry sorry sorry, everyone. An exhausted Granny has had to write another piece for somewhere else today. If it gets accepted she'll point you to it. Tomorrow she will write her blogging story. PROMISE.

Today the house feels empty empty empty; she feels EXHAUSTED - has just put on yet another machineful of washing. Weather is horrible - summer island - chilly wind, grey skies, shrouded landscape; it was, mostly, kinder to the visitor; the final lot had never been here before and were as Beloved Son predicted 'blown away.' Though they wouldn't have been if all had been as now. And there Granny was, looking forward to retiring to her hammock. At last. Instead of sitting huddled up in her shawl in her office.

'Why haven't you got your heating on then?' enquires Mr Handsome from Blackburn, putting his head round the door. Granny mutters something about global warming. 'That's all a lot of nonsense,' he retorts. Granny gets pious (never mind: she means it.) 'Don't you worry about what will happen to your grandchildren?'she asks, sternly. 'I care about what's happening today. I don't care about what's coming tomorrow. I'm not turning off any of my heaters. It's nonsense that stuff, like I said.'

This did not cheer Granny up. She fears that such views are all too typical and that they make things the more hopeless. Neither downloading this relevant piece from today's Guardian let alone adding this one and handing both to Mr Handsome look likely to get her anywhere. She'll have to put Beloved on to it. Mr H listens to him.

Friday, April 20, 2007

In tooth and claw...

Nature has been showing its nature lately round these parts. Not its creative nature alas, apart from a goodly supply of eggs from hens and bantams both. It looks like the hens' eggs on which the senior bantam is sitting are NOT GOING TO HATCH. To the great disappointment of all visiting children - and of Granny and Beloved too, it must be said.

Otherwise it's all red claws and teeth. Small- mother - goat has been terrorising large goat so thoroughly, they've had to be separated. Four of the young bantams - now all shown to be hens and all laying eggs - bullied the fifth until she has had to be put to live alone in the new run under the wall of the back patio garden. A rather charming little fish with a long nose - possibly an infant swordfish -caught by beloved ten-year-old goddaughter in the local rock pools and proudly borne back to the kitchen version was first set on by one of the resident fish - a goby - and having been rescued from him/her was then engulfed by an anenome and stung to death. A dead sparrow found outside the chicken run was the victim most likely of Feline Lorengar who has cottoned on to the sparrows' liking for chicken food - almost as great or even greater than the chickens' - and the fact that this traps them in the chicken run and turns them into sitting - Granny was about to say ducks; you'll know what she means. The very same day, a dead gecko was found outside the front door, this corpse the victim, undoubtedly, of Tiresome Terrier - on whom Granny has VIEWS. (For one, she quite definitely prefers geckos.)

As for the humans. Well it could be worse. But two pairs of young sisters - one Granny's granddaughters, the other Beloved Goddaughter and sister - are, like small girls in general, not always quite as fast friends as they should be, and Granny and the parent - of the first - and parents - of the second - have had to play peacemaker from time to time. The adults have been more restrained. Though Granny was once heard lambasting Beloved, who'd inquired once too often why she was sitting on the computer reading her friends' blogs, when dinner was in the offing. The dinner as she'd told him was ALL UNDER CONTROL. It did indeed turn up on time and in order. 'Multi-tasking' she told Beloved, not very sweetly. And very loudly.

But - there's the rub; it was the two legs of the lamb that had sat dead on the sofa in her office a few weeks back, before being butchered and consigned to the freezer. 'Dear little lambie', as a long-dead and wonderfully crazy American cousin of Granny's would carol as she consigned her own roast to the oven. This particular dear little lambie was, of course, slaughtered on Granny's own say so, a fact she cannot quite gainsay, even if she was nice enough to its dead self, rubbing it all over with a sweet and sweetening mixture of honey, rosemary and garlic, then roasting it very slowly, thoughtfully even, for nearly four hours.

It was as everyone said DELICIOUS. Despite nature; or, you could say, because of it. The teeth in this case belonging one and all to homo - and homa - sapiens.

Granny's next post, by the way, when everyone has departed, will tell the rather wonderful, very sad, but very sweet story of how she and Beloved Goddaughter's mother met. The mother in question, has given her permission. An extraordinary story, it is quite time it was told.

Friday, April 13, 2007


Every time Granny goes down on her land these days, the two big goats and one little bleat at her. That's because they know you now and see you as one of their herd, explains Beloved.

What a very romantic fellow he is. His Beloved is no Red Red Rose, let alone a Summer's Day - admittedly that would be pushing it: she is - wait for it - a NANNY GOAT.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

THE - OR ONE - END: or Telling all

It's up here. You may notice that in bringing the book to an end, Granny has peered out from underneath her alias; she thought perhaps it was about time. Her real name may mean nothing to most - though it might mean more if you throw in 'Charlotte Sometimes' and top it up with 'The Cure' - but that's as it should be. For those who do know - well maybe she'll write more sometime about being the real her, or maybe she won't. She's quite bored with who she really is - aren't most people, by her age at least? Which doesn't mean she's bored with being alive as her - that's something quite different. Just bored with discussing it. So there you go. Into the woods one day; out of them the next. A perfect thing to do, perhaps, in a place where there are no woods, though the Demon Botanist from Granny's last post is having a go at resuscitating one from long ago up where he lives. That's why he's called the Demon Botanist. You'd do much better by Googling FOGG - his inspiration - than Googling Granny. Honest.

Beloved son and kids arrive today. Another - unrelated but close -family on Sunday. Granny is going to be busy. Off to the new market in the main town now. Toodle pip.

Monday, April 09, 2007

loving lizards

Lizards don't usually hang around here; one human footfall, they're off. But this time in a garden to the north, developed by the Demon Botanist, they seemed not the least worried; two of them, in mid path, one a beefy fellow, much bigger than the other; but both possessed of the blue pulsating panels along their sides which turn up in the breeding season. Big lizard on top of small one. No need to guess what they were up to. Afterwards they lay still, tails coiled round each other. Very loving, thought Granny; 'post coital bliss,' she suggested - the lizard equivalent of the celebratory cigarette. Beloved did not go for this flight of fancy. 'The male making sure his sperm gets in there,' he said - more or less - ' so that no other male gets his in the way'. (The same might be said of the human version of the event, Granny thinks. But does not say. Even Beloved might prefer the less scientific explanation while sweeter moments last.) Someone went off to fetch a camera. But by that time the male was off, heavy footed, almost hauling himself along, no sign of the usual flickering briskness. 'Sated,' suggested Granny. Never mind. It was all very beautiful and rare too - at least seeing such a thing is rare. It didn't need explanations whether scientific or poetic - it didn't need photos come to that. It was just THERE.

Up in this northern town they plant palms trees following a birth; two for a boy, and one for a girl... Oh dear. A piece of information from the Demon Botanist reinforces the point; that the first gay marriages in Spain were celebrated on this island where there was for many years a significant inbalance of the sexes, owing to female infanticide; (most likely not practised to save the cost of the palm tree.) Taking a partner of the same gender was therefore the only recourse for many men and accepted if not openly acknowledged.

Doubt if this nugget of island life will appear in any tourist brochure. Or have any impact on lizard copulation, come to that.


Demon Botanist unaware probably of just how exposed their land is sent Granny and Beloved home with a great box full of plant cuttings, most of them indigenous, to plant in their garden. What with Beloved's bad back, and Granny's tendency to neck problems and frozen shoulders, neither are much up for digging, especially in solid soil like this. The task has been passed on to Mr Handsome. He is not pleased. Why can't he plant them he complains, when told who they've come from. Beloved is teaching today, so Granny gets the brunt of this. 'I'll water them once they're in,' she promises. Mr Handsome doesn't actually say 'big deal,' out loud but his face does. The only plants he's into are the ones people or animals can eat. Re-greening the island is not on his agenda.


Thursday, April 05, 2007


Granny has her -leftish - political opinions: but she hasn't publicly acted on them much, apart from the odd demo and apart from a depressing year or so on the G.M.C of her local Labour party in a then Tory borough (subsequently captured locally and nationally by the (then) Liberals who noticed the importance, locally, of what the Labour party Trotskyite faithful called, dismissively, 'dustbin politics:' more fool them.) So what was she doing on a very sunny Tuesday lunchtime sitting in a large cinema being addressed by local and less local party candidates in the upcoming provincial elections; culminating in a speech by no less than Sr Rajoy, the head of the party in question, Partido Popular; the Spanish equivalent of the Tory party?

She rather wondered herself; surrounded by well-upholstered, well-coiffed, well-made up matrons - no less than two in the next row, one fat, one thin, resplendent in leopard skin prints - and all of them waving little plastic flags emblazoned 'PP' as the politicians processed in to the sounds of music, shaking hands with everyone in sight - (one politician even shook Granny's hand; she's not quite sure who it was). Some waved little Spanish flags as well to make the point that this is a national party as opposed to one of the local nationalist parties rife throughout the Canaries. Rajoy, like Franco before him is big on maintaining the unity of Spain. His rival the socialist prime minister, Zapatero, has granted much greater autonomy to Catalonia, and is thought too lenient with ETA and the Basques. The Canarian Nationalist are beginning to think it is THEIR TURN. This is why poor Rajoy is traipsing round all the islands and in danger of losing his voice, judging by what was left of it. 'Presidente, presidente,' a group of excited men behind Granny were yelling. They showed no signs of losing theirs.

Well, she learned some things, despite the inadequacy of her Spanish. One is that Spanish politicians unlike English ones, DO NOT MAKE JOKES. (Just as well for her; jokes are the hardest thing to understand in other people's languages.) The other is that they do make promises - in this case just like English politicians - and what's more repeat them several times over. The PP candidate for the main town promised more police, jobs, medical services, roads etc. The candidate for the island council promised ditto for the whole island; neither were natural speakers and both had strongish island accents. The head of the Canarian section for the PP, its candidate for Canarian president, promised improvements for all the Canaries under the PP, at the same time brandishing his genuinely Canarian credentials, as ex Mayor of the main town on his own island, etc etc. (This was a dig at the Socialist candidate for president, a Canarian solely occupied up till recently in national politics, and not regarded by Canarians as 'one of us'.) Rajoy himself banged on as above about his party being the right party for all locally as well as nationally and in Europe, less inclined to improvisation on the one hand, factionalism on the other. He failed, of course, to mention the fact which must have been on some minds that in one municipio on the bigger island every single member of his party has been banged-up for corruption, money-laundering etc; even members of national parties being just as factional, improvisatory, just as corrupt on the ground. This is another reason, probably, why Rajoy is losing his voice in the Canaries, trying to repair that particular bit of damage.

As for being part of Europe? That fact was apparent in one respect, especially. Behind the speakers, on the platform, were lined up a motley collection, all of them PP candidates in the local elections. They included an African - an ex-refuge most likely - and one obvious(female) Brit. (Mr Jonah who had persuaded Granny to attend this gathering, has also been instrumental in getting ex-pats involved with the PP, which considers them, probably rightly, a likely constituency; he has even been trying to persuade her to stand. I mean. I mean. Ha ha ha.) But all of them were sitting on chairs provided by another very recent arrival on this island: namely IKEA.

Granny knows those folding wooden chairs. They are dirt cheap for one thing. She equipped her little London flat with them for just that reason. They are also, unless provided with a cushion, exceedingly uncomfortable; unlike the leather cinema seats on which Granny and the rest of those in the crammed cinema below were seated. The speeches went on for one hour and a half. Talk about suffering for your convictions; and ending up with a slatted bum.

Granny thinks she's done politics for some time to come. No flag waving for her.

That was Tuesday; Wednesday she and her Beloved took off; the kind of thing you'd think retired people like them would have lots of time for; but then they don't reckon on one of the retirees being a Beloved (what about milking my goats? Etc.) They took boats to a small virtually uninhabited island and walked all round it, on the most perfect of perfect, cloudless, cerulean/aquamarine sea days. A lot more fun.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Post Haste

Up here! Off for the day. Back soon..xxx

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Getting the hump: updated

Beloved has gone right over the top this time. Granny is besides herself.

She had noticed over the far side of the land another structure going up. She has been too busy with guests etc, with planning the next chapter of her book etc, to take that much notice. And it's been so windy lately she hasn't had much inclination to walk over and take a closer look. When she questioned Beloved he just muttered about another feed store. Of course the maize is growing now and Mr Handsome has been going back and forth with great loads of hay. It seemed reasonable that there had to be somewhere else to put it all. She was just a bit puzzled that the building was so large; and so very tall.

On Friday Mr Handsome from Blackburn came in and said "I've finished it. It's ready.' He obviously thought he was talking to Beloved, but Beloved had gone out a moment or two earlier, so all he got was Granny. 'Finished what?' she asked. Mr Handsome looked taken aback. 'Um ah. The foodstore,' he said. 'I hope you're going to stain it,' Granny said. 'All that yellow wood. It's an eyesore at the moment.' 'It'll get stained alright,' Mr Handsome replied. 'The sooner the better then,' said Granny.

That was Friday. On Saturday she was surprised to see Mr Handsome appear again; he doesn't usually come to work on Saturdays. 'Oh there are just some jobs we need to finish before next week,' said Beloved when Granny asked him. In retrospect he was looking shifty - as he might well have done, he OUGHT to have done. But again she didn't have to time to reflect on it; Saturday is her day for going north, to the organic market, she was late already, so off she went. Though she did think while she drove that this huge foodstore, so-called, was a very odd business and she would question Beloved more closely when she got back home.

As usual she arrived back with her car full of produce. Though Mr Handsome's van stood in the drive, Beloved's truck was not to be seen. She assumed they must have gone out somewhere to buy materials. She humped the shopping in and dumped it on the table. Only then then did she look out of the window, across the land and see that the truck wasn't absent after all; it was parked on the far side next to the hideous new 'food-store'. And that Beloved and Mr Handsome were there too, one on either side of a large something, not far off the colour of the new building, pushing and pulling at it. An alive large something; an animal large something. A donkey? Much too big for a donkey....'A camel,' she shrieked.

Wind or no wind, she was out there immediately. The camel still had not been coaxed into the putative food-store; Beloved and Mr Handsome were still pushing and pulling. Beautiful Wimp was barking and barking from his kennel, Tiresome Terrier, yelping furiously, was taking little nips at the camel's enormous feet and taking no notice whatever of Beloved yelling at her. From the shed next door all three goats were bleating; Damien-Daphne, the cockerel was crowing lustily somewhere out of sight. As Granny approached, the camel had had enough. It raised its head and kicked, hard; Tiresome Terrier went flying; not that Granny minded much about that, given her views on the Tiresome Terrier. But she did mind about the camel.

'What the hell are you up to?' She yelled. (Actually she was ruder than that - much ruder - but she won't sully your eyes with what she actually did say.)

Beloved, still holding onto the camel turned round and said, with the small but guilty smirk he acquires on such occasions. 'What about the maize? You know we've got to grind it. You said there was no way you'd do it, even if I got you a millstone.'

Granny glared at him. 'Why should I want a millstone?' she asked. 'I've got one millstone already.'

'What am I supposed to do then? Camels are what they used to use here, for threshing and grinding. So I bought a camel.'

Mr Handsome was grinning and grinning away behind him; trying at the same time to keep a safe distance from the camel's feet. Tiresome Terrier's wounded yelps were dying away. The camel looking down its nose, the way camels do, sneering especially - she felt - at the furious Granny, proceeded to urinate, copiously.

'By the way,' added Beloved, dodging the stream. 'You always like our animals to have names. I thought you'd be pleased that this one comes with a name, already. It's called Abdul.'


Possibly, just possibly, the date heading on this post might have alerted you...

Even her much loved Beloved wouldn't dare go this far.....but Granny had fun imagining how he might have done. She will now get ready to DUCK in case of any missiles hurled - virtually - by maddened blogger readers...

April 2nd has arrived, luckily. From now it will be, as far as she or anyone is able, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Cheers, possums.


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