Tuesday, 5 January 2010
The cousins arrived. The two boys who had acted as ushers at our Channel Island wedding had morphed into men. Mechanics with aspirations to be gamekeepers. Their wives and four and a quarter offspring set about the site. Their efforts revealed quarry tiles, dry stone walls, extensive views from old sash windows of Monarch painted meadows.
I appointed myself head of catering and faced the Rangemaster. Both ovens, the grill and hobs were finally cleaned to an acceptable level. I whispered into the phone, so as husband didn't hear that I was considering spending yet more money, to a lovely man called Roger. He promised to show me the inside of his van where he kept acid baths to dip offending oven bits while he set about the body to 'bring it back to showroom standards.' That's what I call foreplay. Sadly I couldn't afford Roger or his services.
As I was preparing the latest batch of foodstuffs for the troops the cousins appeared. The previous night I'd heard a lot of noise from the attic and wondered if husband and gamekeepers might investigate. They grinned at me and suggested I might follow them to the attic to submit their findings. 'It's not a dead body is it?' I asked lightheartedly. Their exchanged looks lead me to believe that it must be worse than a dead body. 'I know what it is, it's mice isn't it?' Once again the looks. 'Not mice,' they said. 'Oh, I know, it's bats!' The eldest spoke to my bottom as I climbed the metal ladder to meet husband in the darkness. 'No, but it rhymes with bats.'