Thursday, 11 December 2008

Hen Party

'Twas the morning after the night before and all through the pen, not a creature was stirring, not even a hen....

Did you see how I did that? A clever pastiche of an old poem in order to link today's witterings with the looming festive season...okay, so the scanning is a bit dubious but it rhymes. What more do you want? Anyway, the reason the hens aren't stirring so briskly this morning is that yesterday was Mrs Miggins first birthday. I don't know how old this makes her in human years, you'll have to ask Andy. He's the vet and has the correct mathematical formula for working out these things. Mind you, by the way she was behaving, my own guess would be at least 18 and nearer to 21 or possible 30.

I drove the stretch limo which was why there was no blog yesterday. The party was an all day affair and believe me, I was in no fit state to write anything after we got home at 1.30 a.m. And I'll bet you anything that all the eggs laid today will taste of Bacardi Breezer. Mrs Miggins wanted to go to London to see the Christmas lights and do some shopping in big department stores just so she could ride the lifts and hear Mrs Slocombe say 'First floor for lingerie, welly boots and jelly moulds. Going up,' as Mrs Slocombe had promised to do for a birthday treat. Mrs Pumphrey suggested we went early and took in the National Portrait Gallery. Apparently there are pictures of some of her relatives in the Turner Collection. And Mrs Poo was keen to go to the Imperial War Museum. Mrs Miggins said there was no way she was going to spend part of her birthday in a place that smelled of mouldy potato sacks looking at rows of German helmets so I suggested I drop Mrs Poo off at the war museum so she could have a look around and buy some additions to her 'famous Communists' postcard collection whilst I took the others to Covent Garden so they could have a look around the market. Mrs Pumphrey was very excited 'Can we go to the National Theatre Museum?' she wanted to know. Sorry, I said, but they moved it to the Victoria and Albert Museum last summer but I could take them there instead if they liked. There was a vote which resulted in Mrs Pumphrey sulking for at least half an hour until Mrs Slocombe plied her with half a bottle of Baileys.

We set off early to avoid traffic, stopping at Clackett services for breakfast at which point I realised I'd missed the right junction so we ended up going nearly all the way around the M25 to get into London via Kew. Minor embarrassment when Mrs Poo asked the girl at the breakfast counter if the eggs were free-range. Unfortunately, the girl laughed which was completely the wrong thing to do. Mrs Poo jumped onto the counter and laid a very free range egg in the baked beans. We were seen off the premises rather quickly.

As we were passing Kew we went in. The hens were thrilled to find some grass and proceeded to dig up as much as they could in as short a time as possible. Once again, we were seen off the premises...

Lunch was at the Ivy. We got a table by all wearing dark glasses and mention Simon Cowell's name very loudly. Unfortunately, half way through pudding, Simon Cowell actually arrived. 'I don't know these people,' he barked. 'Especially him,' he said, pointing at Tango Pete who was with us for the day. And once again, we were seen off the premises. At this point I was beginning to think that Londoners have no sense of humour whatsoever.

Tango Pete was seething at Simon Cowell's denial of their friendship. 'I taught him everything he knows about showbiz,' said Tango Pete. 'Him and Lionel Blair.'

We did a round of the museums and art galleries. In the Tate Modern, Mrs Slocombe kicked over an art installation by Damien Hirst constructed of old milk bottles and liquorice allsorts. 'How was I to know it wasn't stuck together properly?' said Mrs Slocombe as we were being seen off the premises. 'And what was it meant to be anyway?' I shrugged but I understood the urge Mrs Slocombe had felt. I'd had a similar experience in the Tate Modern in Liverpool about 6 years ago. Andy had to do some severe restraining of my behaviour that day, I can tell you.

Christmas lights in Oxford Street, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square was followed stage show - Spamalot - where Mrs Poo objected loudly to the protrayal of the Knights who say 'Ni' but luckily her protests were drowned out by audience laughter so we managed to stay for the whole show this time without being escorted from the premises. Then it was clubbing at Annabelle's (we were kicked out of Stringfellows for laughing at some sad old geezer's disco pants) and then home, stopping off for battered sausage and chips. 'Should you be eating pork?' I ask as the girls tuck into their bangers. 'It isn't real pork,' scoffs Miggins. 'It's pork substitute.' 'Which is?' I ask. 'Sawdust,' they chorus. Given that they all eat newspaper with no ill effect, I felt reassured.

'Twas after the party and all in the garden, the chickens were burping, not even a pardon...'

Okay, I'll give up now....

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