Bert and I were at loggerheads yesterday because I suggested it would be a good day to spray some of the nettles in the orchard. I hadn't mentioned this to him for ages yet he went off on one. Apparently, I should open my eyes for he’d already done it. I was raging at him. The usual passive-aggressive non-communication. He is pass-agg, I’m just agg. Called him a dick and gave off an unfriendly air.
After a few hours in gardening mode, I dressed properly and went to town where I bought cleaning stuff, including an ostrich feather duster. There was still time left before collecting the schoolies which I spent in charity shops. In Habitat for Humanity, I found two small Goebel vases, featuring Rosina Wachtmeister cats. They had a wintry theme but who cares, cat ornaments are for life, not just for Christmas. One of them had a note stuck to the bottom which read,
Bought on holiday Austria Zell am See, 17-24/6/06.
See! June! That person knew that Goebel cats by Rosina Wachtmeister aren’t just for Christmas.
At the Harryville shop, I bought two gardening books, 50 pence each and a box of magnetic scrabble tiles for sticking on the fridge. I thought that Martha and Evie might have fun with them. One pound.
I was still too early for the pickup so read my Hilary Mantel but it was so deliciously warm in the van I almost slept. Pretty much the first thing the girls said to me on arrival was, Can we get ice cream? I was happy to agree, I wanted some too, so off to Costcutters.
The girls did enjoy playing with the magnetic scrabble tiles and decided to put their names on the fridge door. Evie suggested that Martha put ‘Arthur’ as this is what her cousin James calls her. Martha protested and I don’t know for sure what she said to Evie but she received a kick for it and was most upset. Somehow it all blew over and they thought it would be funny to put different names so rather than Martha and Evie we had ‘Arthur’ and ‘Steve’ and Bert got ‘Fart’.
Meanwhile Ziggy had decided that the feather duster was his mortal enemy. I waggled it at him and he lunged and plucked one of its feathers and took his prize upstairs to worry. It was found under my bed in a very sorry state.
I told Evie that buying cleaning equipment makes me feel virtuous as if I’ve already cleaned the house. Then it occurred to me that because most of the stuff I bought comes with a recommendation from Mrs Hinch, the cashier must have thought I was a dick. Even though, for all she knew, I might have been buying it for someone else who actually was a dick.
Later on, we had a call from Clint. Apparently, there were a lot of hens wandering the road in front of the primary school. Anything to do with us? I checked and all my hens were home. Except for Helen. I spent an hour looking for her but no joy. And to think that only a few hours earlier Evie and I had been in the run hand-feeding her RJ Kerr soda bread.
Perhaps she'd turn up in the morning. Perhaps she choked on the soda and died. Perhaps Foxy…?
But she did not turn up in the morning.