The title, of course, is a literary allusion that references Shakespeare's Macbeth, when the night of King Duncan's murder is discussed as being a night of unnatural occurrences. Unnatural for horses to eat each other = unnatural for someone to murder God's representative on earth a.k.a King Duncan.
And it has been an odd couple of days here at Much Malarkey Manor. Oh yes it has!
Firstly, the weather. The home town has hit the headlines both on the BEEB and in the national newspapers because a goodly part of it disappeared under water when the Medway filled up and had nowhere else to go but up the High Street to Argos and across the one-way system to the Crown Courts. We had to take a detour around the lake in the park on our Christmas Day de-bloat walk because our usual path was under water, the tops of the benches just about showing, and the goose, moorhen, duck and swan populations looking very pleased with the instant extension to their accommodation.
Secondly, there I was in the kitchen managing the military operation, code named 'Cooking Christmas Dinner' when I happened to glance out the window and there, on the patio, was a peregrine falcon!! Well, I did check to make sure it wasn't either Primrose or Daisy in a novelty onesie, but it was definitely a falcon. It soon became very clear it was sitting on a poor little garden bird (species unidentified but decidedly panicky looking). It sat there looking at us looking at it for well over a minute. Heather took a photo, which was marginally obscured by the mistiness of the window because of the steam coming off the steamer that was steaming the Christmas pudding, but the photo was good enough that we could identify the bird as a peregrine falcon and NOT a kestrel as I first squealed - 'Ooooooh look! A kestrel in the garden!!' The falcon took off, and its little prey escaped in the opposite direction, so whilst I was marginally sorry for the falcon that it had lost its lunch, I was far happier that the little bird got away to live another day. I have seen many birds in our back garden, but never a peregrine falcon. It was very exciting!
Thirdly, I stupidly picked up a very stupidly hot serving plate and stupidly inflicted burns upon my stupid right hand. I am ashamed to say my initial response was to swear in front of my granddaughter, but it was a mild swear word and she has heard worse but not from me, I hasten to add. Plan Immediate Damage Limitation swung into action. Ice cold water, paracetamol and liberal application of tea-tree oil ointment means that today I have the vestige of two small and painless blisters, but did spend Christmas Lunch eating left handed with a fork whilst the right hand sat in a bag of ice cubes on my festive napkin. Honestly, I do think I am starting to go senile.
Fourthly, last night I had a dream during which I opened a cupboard to get a glass because I wanted a drink of water, and the cupboard door slipped from my hand and made a clatter and woke me up. Well, it must have been a loud dream because it woke Andy, too.
'Did you hear that?' I said.
'Yes,' said Andy.
And I thought, isn't it odd how external noises can become part the dream you are having before you wake up in reaction to the external noise? And then I thought, I had better get up and check for burglars, because I cannot bear to have unidentified noises in the house in the wee small hours.
So I did my 'Defence Against Burglar' routine which is basically get out of bed and move around very noisily, banging on as many lights as I can, mostly to give warning to the burglar that I have heard them and they have approximately 45 seconds to vacate the premises before I start throwing random objects at their head and screaming a lot.
As it turned out, the loud noise was a large picture in my arty-crafty writing room falling off the wall and landing behind the radiator. I was very relieved at the lack of burglar, but I still find it fascinating that real life noises can make sense in a dream. It is not the first time this has happened. I must have senses like sharpened steel for the connections in my sleeping/ waking brain to work so quickly. Except the sense that tells me to grab burning hot serving plates with my bare hands, of course. That sense is clearly malfunctioning on a major level.
Fifthly, we had hail stones on Christmas Day. I have an irrational hatred of hail stones. It is like 'rain' and 'snow' are having an argument about who is on weather duty, and they need to jolly well sort themselves out and decide, rather than flinging down projectiles of ice that jolly well sting. And whilst Primrose and Daisy enjoyed darting around their run pecking at miniature ice cubes, I found it all rather unnecessary and was glad it didn't last long.
Sixthly, we have a new toaster. Andy's sister sent us vouchers for Christmas, and as our current toaster is well over ten years old, much used and given to making strange incendiary-sounding humming noises of late, we decided the time was right to upgrade our toast making facilities. So a week before Christmas we sent off for a new 4 slot all-singing, all-dancing toaster from the Morphy Richards 'Heritage' range, and delivery was attempted whilst we were at the panto on Tuesday morning. So we didn't get the new toaster until today. And in the interim time, the old toaster has been flinging the toast from its slots with great gusto as if to say, 'Look! I'm not past it just yet! Still life in the old toaster. Look how far I can throw your toast!!' It's been like it knew it was about to be usurped. P'raps we'll keep it as an emergency toaster.
Finally, here is Flora Bijou Mybug - in the zone...