Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Monday Night's All Right For Fighting and Standing on a Tree Stump in the Dark

With the nights drawing outwards, les poulets du maison are staying up later and it was nearly six o'clock before I got around to putting them to bed yesterday.

As usual I could see Mrs Pumphrey (being enormous and white) in the gloom of the pod, and as usual I couldn't see Mrs Slocombe (being smaller and black). And I remembered that the last time I couldn't see Mrs Slocombe I went all laissez-faire and shut the pod regardless because I assumed she was 'in there somewhere' and she ended up spending all night al fresco under the top bar hive.

Not wanting a repeat of the poultry faux pas I went back inside to retrieve the torch, and I wafted it about a bit and it was a good job I checked because Mrs S was, indeed, AWOL.

'What does that mean?' says Mrs Slocombe to Mrs Pumphrey. They are in the living room settling down for a video-fest of 'The Vicar of Dibley'. Normally, they would use their own telly/ DVD combo, but it has been borrowed by Tango Pete who has taken it to his local pub, 'The Ballcock and Plunger' because the pub's TV has broken down and there is some HIGHLY IMPORTANT sporting event occurring that needs to be watched in wide-screen, hi-def, audio-surround-sound 60 inch glory and Les Madames TV fits the bill just so.

'It means,' I say, 'Absent Without Leave.'
'Oh,' says Mrs S.
'What did you think it meant?' I say, because I'm always up for a laugh.
'Always Watching Over Lettuces,' says Mrs Slocombe.
'Is that the best you can do?' says Mrs Pumphrey.
'Yes,' say Mrs S and I in unison, 'we've had a long day.'

Anyway, on the evening in question I was forced to go a-wandering the grounds of Much Malarkey Manor in order to locate Mrs Slocombe. This irked me enormously, because I'd already had my fair share of aggravation that day in the form of 5 teenage boys who thought it would be a good idea to invade my classroom whilst I was busy minding my own business aka teaching, and pick a fight with one my students therein.

I had flung myself betwixt and between them, thinking 'They won't fight with a Granny in glasses in their midst, surely?' and I was right but there was a fair bit of effing and blinding and pushing and threatening (and that was just me...ahahahahahahahahaaaaa!!), before the fight was averted and I regained my composure by drinking a mug of black tea bolstered with copious sugar in lieu of milk because the PE department had used it all on their cereal AGAIN. (There is a notice on the staffroom fridge warning that milk is NOT to be used for cereal, but the notice is assuming that the PE department can actually read, and thereby lies its downfall, proven by the continual lack of milk and dried cereal attached to the door handle.)

I eventually found Mrs Slocombe. She was standing on the remains of the old eucalyptus tree stump.
'What are you doing up there?' I said.
'Pilates,' said Mrs Slocombe, and to prove her point she said, 'AARRRRRRRR!!'
'Isn't that pirates?' I said.
'I am wearing an eye -patch,' she admits. 'And I did have a carrot but I think it's flown away.'
'Parrot,' I said.
'Whatever,' said Mrs S. 'But I doubt they make as nice soup.'
'What is she doing??' shouted Mrs Pumphrey from the pod. 'Does she want cocoa or Horlicks?'
'I think she wants something a little stronger than that,' I said. 'Like Valium. You do know the difference between pilates and pirates, don't you, Mrs Slocombe,' I said, turning back to face her, because I don't know about you, dear reader, but I am well confused.

'I do,' said Mrs Slocombe, 'and the truth is there is no difference 'cept for the 'ARRRRRR' which I mentioned earlier.'

Well, I glad my hens are so hot on their literacy, I think. Better than my sixth form who think that Neopolitan ice-cream gets its name from Napolean Boneparte. That was a bit of a worry, I can tell you, especially as their exam is less than three months away and they shouldn't even be thinking about ice-cream.

Anyway, I thought, 'Enough of this malarkey,' and I rugby-tackled Mrs S, eye-patch, carrot and all, and shovelled her into the pod, safe and sound for the night. I think in doing so I may have startled Mrs Pumphrey because she produced her first egg of spring today. I was surprised - didn't think we'd be seeing any more eggs as they are both over four years old now, but good for her is she still feels able to pop 'em out.

My blog today was going to be about some data analysis I was forced to do after school, but in the two hours since I've been home, it has been consigned to the darkest recess of my mind like something nasty in the woodshed, as Aunt Ada Doom would say.

And as my colleague said as we made our way to our respective cars - 'Data analysis? Who gives a sh...'


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