Sunday, 16 December 2012

Advent Day 16

'I haven't got time to open the Advent Box today,' I say, as I dash by Daisy, armed with a duster, mop, bucket, vacuum cleaner, and various other cleaning and tidying accoutrements. (Me, not Daisy. It is a well known fact that hens NEVER do housework.)
'Why?' says Daisy.
'House viewing...eleven thirty,' I say.
'Oh,' says Daisy. 'Actually, I don't think you'd like what's in the Advent Box today anyway.'
'What is it?' I say.
'Dried meal worms,' says Daisy. 'Primrose was certain you'd love them, as a nutritious, high protein snack. I said I thought you wouldn't on account of your being a librarian.'
'Vegetarian,' I say.
'What's the difference?' says Daisy.
I pause and think about this for a moment. 'Not a lot really,' I say. 'Possibly a knitted cardigan?'
'Can I have them then?' says Daisy.
'Be my guest,' I say, and off I go into a cleaning frenzy in preparation for the 11.30 house viewing, whilst trying to forget that the last two so-called 'viewings' didn't show up. And that it is actually nearly two whole months since we last had potential buyers across the threshold, and then we never got any feedback from the estate agents who are expecting us to pay nearly four and a half thousand pounds for their 'services' when they eventually secure us a sale.

So, as I scrub the hall floor and the kitchen floor and clean the upstairs bathroom and try and hide oddments of Christmas decorations still waiting to be put up, I think, well, this viewing will show up, won't it? Can't go wrong three times in a row, surely?

It did. They didn't. At twelve thirty, an hour after the appointed time, it became clear we had been stood up again. I wanted to phone the estate agent and leave an hysterical message on their answer phone off words mosty beginning with 'f'. Andy, because he is wise and has infinitely more patience than I, persuaded me otherwise (for the sake of my blood pressure and bringing on a premature stroke) and instead we walked into town, because it was a lovely sunny day, and we had lunch in a cafe and watched people Christmas shopping with only a slight feeling of smugness because we had done ours ages ago.

'They're quite light and crunchy, these meal worms,' says Daisy, who has been sitting on the back door step enjoying the sunshine. 'Like prawn crackers. Only worm-shaped.'
'Good,' I say. 'They smell disgusting.'
'They would,' says Daisy. 'They're dead. So, how come garden worms are all fat and squishy, and these are light and crunchy?'
'They've been desiccated,' I say.
'Meaning?' says Daisy.
'Meaning they've had all their life juices sucked out of them,' I say. 'Which is pretty much what I want to do to our estate agent right now.'

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