Friday, 3 December 2010

The Things I Do

So the camels for the chickens' Nativity have arrived and are taking up a not inconsiderable space on the front drive. Also, being a desert animal, they are not liking the snow.

'Ere,' they said last night, when I went to wrap them up in blankets for the night. 'Wot is this stuff, innit?'
'It's snow,' I said. 'And can I just say that if you have any issues regarding the accommodation, you should speak with the hens. They are currently ensconsed in the greenhouse, and are entirely responsible for your being here. Especially the ginger one.'

And I stomped back indoors. Indoors contained more problems of a Nativity nature. Mrs Pumphrey has commandeered my sewing machine in order to make costumes for the Angel Gabriel and her attendant cherubs.
'Wasn't the Angel Gabriel a chap angel?' I said.
'Normally, yes,' said Mrs Pumphrey. Actually she said, 'Mmmppfhh, mppphhh, esssss,' but she had a beakful of pins. 'But I am playing the Angel Gabriel and I am a girl and I intend to look as glamorous and girly as possible.'
'Hence the yards of cream silk and pink sequins,' I said.
'Indeed,' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'And I want bridesmaids, I mean, attendant cherubs.'

I can't help but think Mrs P hasn't quite got over the engagement of Prince William.

And then there is the ox in the conservatory. And the lambs. Well, not lambs, because it's completely the wrong time of year for lambs, but Mrs Slocombe assures me that if you shear a fully grown sheep before the performance and squint a bit from the back of the audience they look like lambs. The oxen has taken a fancy to Andy's man chair by the radiator. Andy is not pleased.
'There's an ox in my man chair,' he said when he got home from work the other day.
'It arrived today,' I said. 'It's appearing in the hens' Nativity.'
'Can't it stay outside with the camels?' said Andy.
'Apparently not,' I said. 'Something to do with Equity rules.'
'Well, at least make him get out of my man chair,' said Andy.
I look at Andy like he's mad.
'You move him,' I said. 'I've been arguing with camels all day. There's no way I'm picking a fight with an ox.'

The sheep arrived the next day. I don't mind sheep. I find sheep rather endearing. Except when they decide to alphabetise the contents of my kitchen cupboards. I arrived home from a snowy walk to find my organised cupboard space totally awry because the sheep decided that everything beginning with 's' should be stored in the same space.
'But I don't want all the saucepans and spoons in the same space,' I said.

'What did she say?' said the chief sheep.
'I have no idea,' said the second in command.
'I think she said she is pleased we've sorted out her cupboards for her,' said a third.
'Good,' said chief sheep.

I went to the greenhouse.
'Mrs Miggins,' I said, as crossly as I could given I am very fond of her. 'Is any more livestock likely to arrive at the Manor only I'm running out of space and Andy is a bit narked that there is an ox in his man chair.'
Mrs Miggins consulted a list that was hanging from the greenhouses ventilation handle.
'A donkey,' she said. 'And three armadilloes.'
'Armadilloes?' I said. 'There were armadilloes at the Nativity?'
'Don't be ridiculous,' said Mrs Miggins, 'it's just the Donkey won't perform without them.'
'Of course not,' I said. 'Silly me.'

And so I wait with nervous anticipation for the arrival of the Donkey and its performance support armadilloes. I bet you do, too.

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