'Par...pa...paaaaaaaaaa,' it continues in rising crescendo or some might say 'a bloody racket.'
'What ARE you doing?' shouts Primrose at Daisy, who is the cause of this unholy hoo-ha first thing this Sunday morning.
'I am playing my trumpet!' shouts back Daisy. And this, dear reader, is no mean feat for a hen, for it is well known that combinations involving beaks and brass instrument mouthpieces are tricky things.
'Why?' shouts Primrose.
'Well,' says Daisy, resting the trumpet end on her hip. 'I am marking the end of an era.'
'And what era would that be?' says Primrose. 'Unless you count the era which is an anagram of 'ear' of which both of mine are suffering through your unnecessarily loud trumpet playing.'
'The end of Much Malarkey Manor,' said Daisy.
There is a moment of silence as Primrose takes in what Daisy has said, and also removes a piece of nutty muesli from her back teeth.
'The what???' says she. 'For one moment I thought you said 'the end?'
'I did,' says Daisy. 'Well, maybe 'the end' is being slightly dramatic. More like 'closing until further notice.'
'But why?' says Primrose. 'Is everyone all right? Phoebe...?'
'Still sleeping, eating and maintaining the shape of a cat who's swallowed a basketball,' says Daisy.
'Still suave, sophisticated, talking in voce falsetto and the best natured cat ever to live on planet Earth,' says Daisy.
'And Flora Bijou Mybug?' says Primrose.
'Continues apace with being a right royal kitten pain in the backside with a stupidly bouffant tail,' says Daisy.
'Well,' says Primrose,'we two are okay, too, so it can't be us. What about them up at the Manor? Him and her indoors?'
'It's Andy's birthday today,' says Daisy. 'He is happy because he has a new computer to play with which I understand is the ultimate accessory of joy and wonderment for a man in his early forties. And he is also being taken out for a posh lunch, too. He is okay.'
'What about her, then?' says Primrose. 'She can be a bit peculiar sometimes.'
Daisy sighs. 'I know. I blame her eggs running out.'
'We could lend her some,' says Primrose.
'We could,' says Daisy. 'But I am not sure it would help. She has decided a Much Malarkey Manor renovation is long overdue. She has got the builders coming in.'
'That'll cause a lot of dust and disruption,' says Primrose, who remembers only too well the chaos caused when the oubliette and grotto were constructed back in the Great Winds of '87.
'Quite,' says Daisy.
'What's she having done?' says Primrose.
'Oh, this and that,' says Daisy. 'This and that. The point is that the Much Malarkey Manor as we know it is closing down. And this is the Last Post.'
'Hence the trumpet?' says Primrose.
'Indeed,' says Daisy.
Another silence descends.
'But we can't have that,' says Primrose, if only to stop Daisy restarting her trumpet playing. 'We have to keep Much Malarkey Manor going some how.'
'I've tried to persuade her,' says Daisy. 'I even made her an Eton Mess on toast with butter and marmalade but it made no difference. She is all written out, she says. And some other drivel about fizzle and pens and inspiration which I didn't understand at all, but then I was ear deep in meringue at the time.'
'Then WE must take over the blog!' says Primrose. 'We must pick up the baton of the pen and regale the guests with our many tales of...of...'
'Feathers?' suggests Daisy.
'Yes!' shouts Primrose. 'No! Yes! Oh, you know what I mean. We can do it! We can be amusing and entertaining.'
'How are you with a keyboard?' says Daisy. 'Only my typing is about 6 words per hour. It could be a slow process...'
'No matter!' cried Primrose, who is already half way back to the pod to dig out her 'My Little Printer Printing Press' which she is sure is in the cellar somewhere behind the barrel of cherry brandy.
Daisy lays her trumpet carefully on a passing pigeon, which makes it swear a bit because pigeons are like that. She coughs.
'Well,' she says, addressing an MMM guest (namely Olly, who will know why) who is sitting beneath the apple tree knitting a pair of socks. 'It seems that Much Malarkey Manor is being taken under the capable wings of me and Primrose...'
'No-one said anything about being capable!' shouts Primrose who, it appears, has remarkable hearing.
'Well that takes the pressure off!' says Daisy. 'See you all tomorrow!'