Monday, 23 February 2009

Divine retribution

My but the powers-that-be-from-above are on my case this morning. In my previous post of a couple of hours ago I happened to mention the 'r' word (no, not 'rabbit'; 'revenge'.) I happened to mention how the behaviour of our neighbours at the allotment leave me spiritually challenged with their thoughtless string/ compost bin/trees combo tactics and that my next weapons of choice are likely to be hops, Jerusalem artichokes and a gi-normous sod off polytunnel.

So I complete my blog and think, 'I'll pop out to see the hens. Take 'em some cabbage and some sunflower seeds, see what's down and happenin' in chicken world today.' In order to do this I have to negotiate the pussy-willow tree which I have relocated to the doorway between the kitchen and our so-called 'conservatory'. (Those who have seen our 'conservatory' will understand the lavish use of 'inverted commas'!)

I like having a tree in the kitchen; so do Phoebe and Tybalt. In fact, I've noticed a couple of the longest and most dangliest branches appear to have what look remarkably like cat nibble teeth marks in them. (Tybalt sits staring into space and whistles tunelessly in a 'nothing-to-do-with-me' kind of way.) So I sidle pass the tree with arms of chopped up cabbage and my pot of sunflower seeds and somehow, I manage to snag myself on the tree. In attempting to keep the tree upright and my socks clean, I sidestep the cat's litter tray, stumble against my wellies and fall heavily against the back door, cracking my head on the glass.

Blimey but it makes a racket! 'Ouch!' I say, or words to that effect. I can feel the bump emerging immediately but I cling onto the cabbage and sunflowers seeds and manage to fling them out the door to the hens who have gathered together, fascinated at the spectacle evolving before them. It's like dinner with a floor show thrown in. I cling onto the door jamb feeling dizzy and nauseous.

'What's that on her forehead?' asks Mrs Poo, through a beakful of cabbage. Mrs Miggins lifts her head from pecking at the sunflower seeds just long enough to assess my injury.
'Looks like an egg,' she says, and yes, from my angle, it certainly feels like an egg. Freshly laid. Smooth, solid and hot.
'Blimey, fancy walking around with an egg on your forehead,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'If I had an egg on my forehead, I wouldn't be able to see where I was going.'

She has a point. I'm having trouble focusing. I've yet to attempt the upright position. I stand still and wait for the ground to stop moving. The chickens finish their cabbage and seeds.
'Apple for pudding?' asks Miggins, hopefully. I open my mouth to tell them they might have to forego their apple today but close it immediately when I realise I'm in danger of throwing up.
I get myself back into the kitchen, giving my wellies a kick on the way past. I cling onto the worktop.
'Should I call Andy to come and tend me?' I wonder. 'In case I faint or something.' But I don't want to panic him so I sit at the kitchen table and eat a banana for energy (don't ask me to explain that one - it seemed a reasonable thing to do at the time.) And I say to the-powers-that-be-from-above, 'That was a bit harsh, wasn't it? Making me whack my head just because I happened to have a minor whingy moment about the lottie.'

The-powers-that-be-from-above immediately deny it was anything to do with them. But I know them. I've spent years living with their funny little ways. I can still remember my first experience (I was seven years old and it involved a tube of Smarties belonging to my sister and sharp smack around the back of the leg.) At least it's over though, that bit of karmic retribution. Apart from the swelling. I'm going to have a bit of a lie down in a dark room now. And maybe write a best-selling novel. Or knit tank tops for the tiny pandas that are dancing a can-can on top of the hippo I can see in my living room...

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