Wednesday, 28 July 2010

A Wilderness Walked

Bumpkin here popped into Manchester at the weekend. It’s something I never do, and it wasn’t long before my bucolic senses were swamped by the urban swell. I drifted from street to street, intentionally lost, gazing up at towering edifices floating through the clouds. I imagined swapping the rural romanticism of dodgy drains and mite-infested hens for a trendy eyrie of glass and polished steel. How exciting to replace the prowling foxes and screeching owls with marauding humans whooping and shrieking through the night: one wilderness in exchange for another. But then I found myself an unwitting element in an altercation between stoned teenagers. It exposed me for what I was: a gullible tourist blundering around in an alien environment.

I retreated home to the owls and foxes. The savagery here is familiar: it feels safer. It will be some time, I think, before I feel another urge to go on safari.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Free - to any sort of a home

1 large, overweight male cat, white with tabby patches.

Likes: Eating, and sleeping (note: will only sleep inside owner’s bed)

Special skills: 1. Releasing live mice under the bed in the middle of the night. 2. Waking everyone thumping around trying to catch said mouse. 3. Smothering bed in cat-paw prints and nose-ticklingly fine white hair.

Other skills: Releasing flying birds indoors.

Apparent ambition: 1. To kill owner by tripping her on the stairs.
2. To eat own weight in cat food every day.

Free: doesn’t have to be a good home, any will do..

Monday, 5 July 2010

A Man! A Man!

There’s this bit in the film ‘Roger Rabbit’ when Bob Hoskins is assailed by an ugly, lust-crazed cartoon woman. She chases him, screeching ‘a man, a man’, until he escapes her advances by tricking her into running into a wall. Yes, I have watched it recently. The small boys think it is funny in the way children laugh at things their parents find amusing, until they hit say, twelve, whereupon they develop more educated, refined tastes, and find things their parents laugh at lamentably sad. Or was that just me?

Anyway, the mad cartoon woman; that was me this morning, marauding around the supermarket with a gorgeous man in my sights. You see, I always play what I like to call ‘The Tesco Game’ to relieve the tedium of shopping. It’s quite simple; imagine the doors are locked and you have to choose a partner from everyone shut in the store. Livens up most shopping trips. And this morning I would have chosen the tall, lean, artfully dishevelled man whom I unintentionally, (honest) trailed around the shop.

Of course, in another world, I would have caught his eye, (I did try, but I’ve always been rubbish at that kind of thing) made some fabulously witty remark, and given him my telephone number. Back here in real life, I probably resembled our cartoon friend, hence he and I didn’t exchange even a glance. But it’s not often a trip to the supermarket brightens a Monday morning, so for that, at least, I must smile.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Twilight Saga - back garden version

No glamorous, starry-eyed lovers here, just a galaxy of bloodsucking monsters which creep from their hiding places as daylight fades. They are just little dots, until you look closer and realised each one is moving, swarming, drawn by the scent of warm blood. In the morning, they are turned from grey to magenta, glutted with the night’s feast. They live in the henhouse, and torment my girls every night.

They creep onto my skin when I go to collect the eggs. I shudder, and squash each one that fancies my blood with a revolted thumb. I douse them with insecticide, but it does nothing. There are still millions waiting for nightfall, waiting for their time.

The hens have their revenge. They sift through the henhouse, gobbling up beak-fuls of these red mites. But given the creatures must taste of their blood, I’m not sure what this says about chickens.
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