Sunday, January 25, 2015

Heading South (Part 2 of 3)

Right then, where were we?  Honestly, my memory has been shocking since I passed away.  Ah, got it!  Last week I left my male staff and his friend Andy sleeping in a cold, damp bus shelter in the miserable town of Irun in northern Spain.  You may remember that is was late July 1978 and they were hitchhiking to Gibraltar in order to make a living as buskers despite the fact that between them they had even less musical talent than Milli Vanilli.

A damp, misty dawn saw Andy and my male staff sit up on the bus shelter benches and stretch their cramped limbs.  Then, hefting their backpacks and guitar cases they headed through the grim outskirts of Irun towards the emerald green foothills of the Pyrenees, their thumbs stuck out hopefully every time a vehicle passed by and this time they even managed to work out which side of the road to walk on.  It seems that the Spanish are just as silly as the French in that they too drive on the right.  There wasn't a great deal of traffic, but what there was ignored them totally.  Onwards and upwards they trudged until they'd left the straggling remnants of the town behind and found themselves amid a pleasant landscape of bulging, green hills, small farms, forests and streams.  Slowly the sun burned though the mist and the lads' clothes, still wet from the day before began to steam.  The sun was trying hard to dry their clothes but it just made them sweat and so the nett result was still wet, chaffing clothing.  As they climbed higher into the hills there was less shade as the forests thinned out and the cars that had been passing at the rate of about one every ten minutes dwindled to one every half an hour and still no one stopped to give them a lift.

By lunchtime they were hot, thirsty and becoming a little short with each other.  They purchased a bottle of water each from a village shop and marched on. They were still in the mountains and still walking when the sun starting to slip behind the smooth, round hills to the west so they decided to camp in a field by a stream, hidden from the road by a copse.  They'd walked all day without scoring a single lift even for one kilometre, not even a hundred metres.  Things did not look promising for the rest of the journey.  They still had the entire length of Spain to travel and so far they had not seen the inside of a single car. Laying side by side in their cheap nylon sleeping bags in the dark inside their tent they discussed the situation and decided to try to hitch a lift back to Irun in the morning and catch a train to Algeciras - a port town all the way down south and across the bay from Gibraltar.

That night my male staff heard something snuffling outside of the tent and when he woke and crawled out from under the canvas into a a chilly, dewy dawn he put his hand in a pool of cold vomit probably deposited there by a fox or a dog or whatever it was that had been snuffling around the tent.  The poor creature must have caught a whiff of the boys shoes.  My male staff's cursing woke Andy who's first vision of the day was my male staff's underwear clad butt blocking the opening of the tent.  It was not a good start.  Andy groaned and tried to go back to sleep, but as the sun rose it became too hot under the canvas so he too crawled out and put his hand in the pool of vomit. Swearing imaginatively he wiped his hand on the wet grass and looked around for my male staff.  He was kneeling by the stream with one hand in the water. "What are you doing? Tickling up a trout for breakfast?" Asked Andy.
 "No, I'm washing dog puke off my hand.  Be careful when you get out of the tent."
 "Thanks for the warning. I'll be sure to bear it in mind."  Andy joined my male staff at the stream and washed the remains of the vomit from his hand.
 "So, what now?" Said my male staff. "Back to Irun, or keep going?'
 "Back to Irun." Andy said emphatically.  These bastards are never going to give us a lift and at this rate it's going to take us a month to get even as far as Burgos and by then we'll have run out of money.  Let's do what we agreed and head back to Irun and get the train."  My male staff agreed, so they packed up their tent, still sopping wet from the dew and headed back to the road that led down through the mountains to Irun.

Yep.  You got it right first time.  Nobody picked them up, nobody even looked remotely like picking them up and so they marched all the way back the way they'd come only the day before to Irun.  It was about four in the afternoon when the arrived at the railway station, utterly exhausted, shoulders aching from their backpacks.  Oh what it is too be young and stupid.  Yes I was young once, but I certainly don't recall ever being quite that stupid, but then like I said, my memory has been shocking since I passed away.  So, having made inquiries in their rudimentary Spanish at the ticket desk they found that they had just missed an express train by ten minutes.  If only that blasted fox or dog or whatever hadn't puked outside their tent they wouldn't have put their hands in it and wouldn't have spent fifteen vital minutes washing their hands in the stream and therefore would by now have been relaxing on a nice comfy air-conditioned express train, each with an ice cold bottle of beer at their lips.

"There is another train." They were told.  "It departs for Madrid at midnight. You can catch another train to Algeciras from there."  Andy and my male staff looked at each other and sighed. What choice did they have?  They bought two one way tickets to Algeciras and found a vacant bench on the platform to wait out the eight hours until the train was due.  My male staff said he'd take a bit of a walk to find something to eat and drink.  An hour later he returned with a large chunk of cheese a baguette the size of a baseball bat and a bottle of red wine that had cost him the equivalent of thirty pence.  Later when they tried it, passing the bottle to each other (having shoved the cork into the bottle with a pen because they didn't have a corkscrew.) they discovered why it was only thirty pence, and even at that they thought it was way over priced. Nevertheless it didn't stop them drinking the vile stuff.  They ate half the bread and cheese and decided to keep the rest for the train journey.

The "midnight train" finally arrived just before one 'o' clock.  Evidently it had originated from somewhere in France and was already packed.  There was not a single seat left on the entire train, which they discovered by walking from one end it to the other, biffing people with their backpacks and guitar cases as they squeezed by.  Eventually they found a vacant spot on the floor of one of the carriages next to a particularly busy and odious toilet.  Still, beggars can't be choosers as they say and they were just grateful to be able to shrug off their loads and sit down.

The two of them spent the journey inhabiting that strange semi-conscious state so common in long haul air travelers.  Neither slept, yet nor were they fully awake.  It was as though they'd been sedated by the train's rocking movement and the buzz of their fellow passengers conversations.  Their backsides were numb from the hard floor and they'd finished their bread and cheese during the night and were starting to feel hunger pangs again.  A golden dawn greeted them as they pulled into the station at Madrid.  Already the sky was a deep cloudless blue and the air was crisp and free of the humidity of Irun.  The first task was to find something to eat and they soon found a cafe within the railway station.  They ordered "cafe con leche" and a whitebait roll.  The young chap behind the counter made the roll freshly for Andy, wrapped it in greaseproof paper and handed it to him and then started on my male staff's.  In the process of cutting the bread roll the fellow managed to slice his hand open.  The wound dripped bright red blood onto the bread roll.  Hissing several Spanish obscenities he reached for a handful of serviettes to staunch the flow.  Undeterred he then returned to the blood soaked roll, filled it with whitebait, wrapped it in greaseproof paper and handed it to my male staff who was too shocked to complain.  In any case his Spanish wasn't up to complaining.  Instead my male staff unwrapped the roll, ripped off the bloodied bit and ate the rest.  Very nice it was too apparently.

Their train to Algeciras was scheduled to depart at six 'o' clock that evening, so Andy and my male staff had about ten hours to kill.  Should they find a locker in which to leave their stuff and do some sightseeing or should they find a quiet corner of the railway station and get some sleep?  Fatigue conquered curiosity and the pair slept for most of the day on the cool tiles of the station, their heads resting on their sleeping bags.  Ar five thirty they decided they'd better go and find their departure platform.  The train was already there and a hand written notice on a blackboard listed the stations it was scheduled to stop at.  It was a long list, about twenty stations in all, most of which neither Andy or my male staff had heard of.  Only Toledo and Cordoba stood out as names they were familiar with.  It looked like it was going to be a long trip with lots of stopping and starting.

The sun was sinking as the train rumbled through Madrid's southern suburbs and out into the dry rocky countryside.  Silhouetted against the blazing sunset stood the impressive one hundred and fifty metre tall cross of El Escorial - The Valley of the Fallen - a memorial to the victims of both sides of the Spanish Civil War.  A memorial to both sides it may well be, but it still attracts it's share of controversy as it is also the final resting place of General Franco, a particularly nasty bit of work and one of Adolf Hitler's buddies.  Although Franco died a month before my male staff and his family first arrived in Gibraltar at the end of 1975 his policies would still make life difficult for Andy and my male staff on this trip.

The Valley of the Fallen

Beyond The Valley of the Fallen darkness fell and the boys could only see little clusters of lights through the windows, interspersed with larger settlements like Toledo of Toledo steel fame.  The train was not air-conditioned and it soon grew stuffy in the carriage.  Andy opened a window and immediately a delicious waft of herb, pine and eucalyptus scented air cleared the fug.  At each dark and deserted station the only sound was the hum of cicadas.  Nobody seemed to leave or board the train at any of these night time halts.

Dawn found the train shuffling slowly through stupendous mountain scenery around the little town of Ronda about seventy five kilometres north of Algerciras. At this time of year the mountains were great snowless sandstone bluffs towering above idyllic green valleys with occasional stone dwellings where horses grazed in the cool shade of the scented pines.  Andy and my male staff thought they must have died in the night and woken up in heaven.  Even here the train driver found a reason to stop, often in the middle of nowhere with no station to be seen.  Someone would jump down from the train clutching a battered suitcase and start walking to goodness knows where.

Finally the train looped around to the west towards the Atlantic before doubling back to the east and rattling down a shallow incline towards Algeciras, and there across the bay stood the Rock of Gibraltar - the northern Pillar of Hercules - in its unmistakable crouching lion pose, the little town clustered around its base, cowering under the forbidding limestone slopes that made up the Rock's western aspect.  These days my male staff often wonders what Algeciras is like now.  Back then it was a scruffy looking port with littered back streets and ragged children offering to sell hashish to anyone who was interested and many, like Andy and my male staff who weren't.  Nowadays it's probably a beautifully clean, palm lined place full of trendy restaurants and bars, has anyone been  there lately.  He'd love to know.

The Rock of Gibraltar from near Algeciras

I mentioned earlier that General Franco was still making life difficult for my staff after his death.  This is because in 1969 the General ordered the land border between Gibraltar and Spain at the town of La Linea be closed. Spain had claimed, and still does claim Gibraltar as its own but it remains a British outpost to this day.  One would think it fair enough for Spain to claim the Rock given it's location but the Spanish are not doing themselves any favours at all by clinging onto to their own "Gibraltar" on the Moroccan mainland.  Ceuta to the east of the Moroccan port of Tanger has been in Spanish hands since 1668 when it was gifted to them by Portugal.  Anyway when the British refused to give Franco back his Rock he threw his toys out of his pram, went off in a huff and closed the border suddenly, splitting families of Gibraltarians and Andalusians who had been inter-marrying for centuries.  It was still possible to travel from Spain to Gibraltar, but to do so one had to catch the ferry from Algecirus to Tanger in Morocco - about thirty miles and then catch another ferry from Tanger to Gibraltar - another thirty miles.  Hence it now took all day to make a journey that used to be one step across a land border.  Every single day back then people on either side of the border would stand at the fence and yell greetings and news across the fifty or so metres of no mans land.  It was tragic.

 An aerial view of Gibraltar taken from above the Spanish town of La Linea. In the distance are the Rif mountains of Morocco and the southern Pillar of Hercules. To the right of the photo is the Bay of Algeciras.  The land border is just this side of the airport terminal building - the long white roof at the foot of the photo.  The border is now open but now and again the Spanish government throws a hissy fit and closes it temporarily or tells their immigration officers to work as slowly as possible to make life difficult.  Seriously, they need to grow up.

It was a glorious day, the Bay of Algeciras sparkled and as the sun rose to its zenith the pale limestone at the summit of the Rock, just three miles away dazzled the eyes.  Andy and my staff were so close to their goal.  Just three miles!  It felt like they could almost hop from one cargo ship or tanker to the other to reach it and yet it was still hours away and thanks to Senor Franco, via another country, another continent - Morocco, Africa.

Next week Andy and my male staff eat rather a lot of figs.


Like lissun doods and doodesses, Sunday afternoon was like just so wikid. It was like this very speshul wunce a yeer day wen Uncal Billy's male staff kleens the underside of the deck roof.  It gets pritty durty over the yeer wot with mould and dust and spydas' webs and stuff.  He has to weight until it's like a reely hot day to do it cos he has to stand unda the roof with a long brush and a nose pipe wot skwirts water so he gets very, very wet.

Ennyway Sunday afternoon was like reely hot so he takes off all his clothes except his red Batman and Robin underpants, grabs the brush and a nose pipe and goes out and starts skwirting the roof with one hand and brushing with the other.  Uncal Billy's female staff, me, Alfie, Toby, Tom and Paolo the budgie all have our noses pressed against the windo.  Well strickly speeking Paolo hazunt got a nose, but his beek is pressed against the windo and we're all like giggling cos Uncal Billy's male staff looks so funny with no clothes on.

So he's skwirting and brushing and is abowt harfway throo the job wen he nocks down this hooge spyda's web and with it comes this hooge spyda and lands on Uncal Billy's male staff's chest.  Later Uncal Billy's male staff said it was as big as Uncal Billy and just as harie but he was eggsaj  exajarr
eggsaggerat  telling fibs.  Ennyway this spyda like panicks cos he can't fite his way throo all the chest hare and he's getting like soked from all the water.  So the spyda kind of lets gravity take over and he starts scrambling down throo all the hare towards Uncal Billy's male staff's red Batman and Robin undies.  Then Uncal Billy's male staff like sees the spyda or feels him tickling his tummy and he like skweels like a girl and starts doing this dance wot looks like wun of those German dances wot they do in those percuelear leather shorts of theirs.  He's slapping at bits of his body and his feet are like flying in all direkshuns as he skids about on the wet deck.  Then he like falls over and lands with a thump wot must have registered at about seven on the Richter scale.  The sad thing is wen he gets up he finds he's like skwished the spyda so then he's all sad cos he hates hurting things.  Then he looks up at the windo and sees us all larfing at him and he like forgets all abowt the poor spyda and sticks wun finger up at us - the middle one.  I suppose that ment that it was the furst time he'd fallen over this yeer.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Heading South. (Part 1 of 3)

This week Piggy Paradise has been blissfully quiet and uneventful.  We have yet to experience the horrors of the extreme Islamist loony butchers who are currently wreaking their cowardly brand of barbarism across the World.  The poor fools think that if they "martyr " themselves for their cause they will go to Paradise.  Boy have I got news for them. Mohammed pops in now and again to visit his favourite camels, and let me tell you, he's livid at what these crackpots are doing in his name and that of Allah.  Let's just say that any member of ISIL, Al-Qaeda Jemaah Islamiyah, or Boko Haram who rings the bell at the gates of Paradise will receive quite a hot reception.  So anyway in light of this quiet week I will tell you a tale of my male staff's youth.

It's 1978, my male staff is twenty years old and has yet to inflict himself on my female staff.  He still has his line green suit, his improbably tall cream and brown platform shoes, his newspaper print shirt and tie and his Hand of Fatima pendent that was about the size and weight of an aircraft carrier's anchor.  Just twelve months before he'd returned to England having spent two years in Gibraltar with his parents who had been posted there with the Royal Air Force.  He's spent that year working in Staines as a crash test dummy for a skateboard manufacturer.  Well, that wasn't his official title but it probably should have been since he spent most of his working days not manufacturing the stupid things but rather zooming around the factory on them, often making heavy contact with fork lift trucks and other large and dangerous machinery.  Having wrecked several skateboards and fork lift trucks he was finally called to the manager's office and told "I'm sorry, but we are going to have to let you go."  The manager made it sound more like he was going to drop him from the roof rather than give him the sack.

So with this setback to his career as a dummy he decided to embark on a new career as an adventurer and conned his friend Andy into joining him.  Andy thought he looked like John Lennon. and indeed he had the same round wire framed glasses.  He could even put on a passable scouse accent when he'd had enough to drink, but in reality the similarities ended there.  Between them they scraped together the princely sum of two hundred pounds and decided that they would hitch hike to Gibraltar and make a living busking.  There were two main problems with this plan. Firstly my male staff couldn't play an instrument to save his life. (Andy could play Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" riff on his ancient, battered guitar, but little else.) Secondly both had singing voices that had been outlawed under the Geneva Convention.  My male staff purchased a battered old guitar for five pounds and about three weeks later he could also play the "Smoke on the Water" riff and nothing else.

On a warm late July morning our two heroes caught a train from London's Victoria Station to Newhaven in order to catch the ferry across the English Channel to Dieppe in France. Both had a guitar case and an enormous backpack which made them look like strange beetles shuffling along the platform towards their train.  The plan was to start hitchhiking once they reached Dieppe, however, arriving there as they did at three in the morning they found that there wasn't an awful lot of traffic going in their direction, or in any direction for that matter.  They sat on the kerb by a road near the ferry terminal under one of those ghastly yellow streetlights for two hours as the damp sea air closed in around them and not a single car went by.  Actually this may have been just as well because they had forgotten that they should have been waiting on the other side of the road because the French are foolish enough to drive on the right.  Had they been offered a lift where they were waiting they might have found themselves in Amsterdam or somewhere, and with the delights on offer there for twenty year old males they probably would never have made it to Gibraltar.

By the time the first pallid light of dawn began to spread from the east a fine drizzle had begun to fall. Andy and my male staff looked at each other and simultaneously said. "Sod this! Let's get the train to Spain."  And so they did.  They trudged miserably, with drops of rain hanging from the ends of their noses to the railway station and bought tickets to Paris St Lazare.  Even this was an adventure because the dude at the ticket counter either could not or did not want to speak English and combined, Andy and my male staff's French amounted to oui, non, bonjour, bon appetit, Pernod. and merde; none of which were terribly helpful under the circumstances.  Nevertheless they obtained a ticket and a few hours later they had negotiated the Paris Metro system as far as Austerlitz station where they bought a ticket on a train to Hendaye - the most south westerly town in France, just on the northern side of the Pyrenees.  For a glorious moment the lads thought they would have the compartment all to themselves, but just seconds before the train pulled out they found their personal space invaded by an enormous Portuguese family consisting of six children of varying ages, their parents, what seemed to be three aunts and both sets of grandparents.  This crowd squeezed Andy and my male staff into a corner having shoved an epic quantity of luggage onto the rack on top of the lad's guitar cases.  The pair winced every time a large, heavy suitcase was hefted up and dropped as roughly as possible onto the instruments that they hoped would provide them with a livelihood once they arrived at their destination.

The kids were fat and obnoxious.  They grazed constantly on potato chips and chocolate and slurped noisily on brightly coloured sugary drinks, pausing only to scream at the top of their voices, throw food at each other and belch explosively to the great amusements of the adults in the family.  My male staff has since enjoyed breakfast with the orang utans at Singapore zoo and he says the experience was quite similar.  Fortunately it was an express train and approximately seven hours later the train vomited Andy, my male staff and the Portuguese family onto the platform at Hendaye.  Naturally it was raining.  It rains a lot in that part of the world at the best of times.  I could have told Andy and my male staff that if they'd consulted me at the time, but unfortunately for them my spirit was inhabiting the physical body of a very handsome guinea pig called Alphonse and was being cared for by a nice little girl in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The chance of getting any sleep while sharing the compartment with the Portuguese family was zero, or worse than zero if that were possible so they were utterly exhausted as they walked through the rain to the border post which they cleared without a problem and found themselves in Irun, the first town in sunny Spain.  The rain grew heavier, the evening was drawing in and there was nowhere to camp.  The town looked miserably poor and dirty. The people eyed Andy and my male staff suspiciously as they trudged on.  Grotty tenement blocks hung with limp, wet washing closed in around them and cars hissed by on the potholed roads, driving close enough to splash the travelers with cold oily water at every opportunity.  Darkness was falling as fast as the rain when they finally came across a dry place to spend the night - a bus shelter covered in graffiti in the southern outskirts of the town.  They struggled out of their backpacks and settled in for the night, laying head to toe along the wooden bench.  Why was everyone so unfriendly and suspicious they mused as they unsuccessfully tried to drop off to sleep.  Once again, if they had bothered to come to Sante Fe and ask me I could have told them.  Irun had been at the forefront of a long, bloody and ongoing terror campaign perpetrated by the Basque Separatist group ETA.  Shootings were pretty much a daily event and bombings were happening weekly.  It was not a happy place.

To be continued....................Next week Andy and my male staff finally arrive in Gibraltar.


Oh no! Not a cereal. I hate cereals. In facked I'd like to be a cereal killer, that's how mutch I hate cereals.  They're like so frustrayting. Yoo just get like all involved and hinterested and then yoo find owt that yoo haf to weight till necks wheek to find owt wot happened.

Sum of yoo have kindly eckspressed consern that my pitcha this wheek shows me with a sirrinj in my mowf.  I'm fine now but I had like this yeest infeckshun and Uncal Billy's staff gave me this medisin called Nilstat and it tasted reel good. It wuz like cherry flayvered so I sucked owt every last drop of the medisin and then I refyoosed to let go of the sirrinj.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


My staff are about to put my female staff's Mum's house on the market.  Anybody out there want to by a four bedroom, three bathroom double garage house in the beautiful little town of Cooroy in Queensland, Australia?  Walking distance to the town centre, sports ground, pub and my staff's favourite Thai restaurant. It even has a roof, some windows and a few doors, not to mention a large Eastern grey kangaroo who visits now and again to leave muddy footprints on the concrete path.

The real estate agent suggested that my staff have a chat with what she called a "stylist" with a view to displaying the house to the best possible effect.  A "stylist" turns out to be what my male staff calls an inferior designer.  My staff arranged to meet one of these strange beings at the house last Thursday and she turned up right on time in a very large, very new four wheel drive thing.  The driver's door swung open and what appeared to be a fourteen year old child clambered out and with great difficulty abseiled down to the ground, a feat made all the more treacherous by the ridiculous six inch platform shoes she was wearing.  Apart from the silly shoes she was stylishly dressed in smart black slacks and a white blouse.  Her blond hair was cut in a short bob.  As she tottered towards them my staff could see she was more like twenty five than fourteen.  She smiled and thrust out a soft, pale hand for my staff to shake.   "Dominique Clutterd-Hoams, Wink." She said.  My male staff did as he was told and winked.  Over long years of bitter experience he's learned that doing what one is told is the safest thing when ordered to do something by a human female, so you can imagine his confusion when Ms Clutterd-Hoams looked horrified and my female staff glared at him angrily.
 "Wink Interior Designs." She continued, and handed my male staff a business card, her smile slowly and with great reluctance returning to her face.
 "Oh." Said my male staff.
 "Let's go in then and we'll show you around the house." Suggested my female staff still glaring at my male staff.  The first room was the lounge.  My staff had furnished it tastefully with a spare cane lounge suite and coffee table, a large pot, a TV stand and a large flat screen TV.  On the walls they had hung some rather nice limited edition Charles Billich prints.

Ms Clutterd-Hoams took one look.  "Oh Puh-lease!" She exclaimed. "This is like so 2014."
 "That was only last week......." My male staff started to say, but was silenced by another glare from my female staff and a pitying look from Ms Clutterd-Hoams.  Clearly it was not his place to make a contribution. The stylist continued.  "This looks as though it has been furnished with left over furniture from someone else's house.  No no no no no. This will all have to go.  We'll bring our own furniture and artwork for each room you want us to work with."  My staff wanted her opinion on the lounge, the kitchen/dining room and the master bedroom and all met with either a stunned, horrified silence or the "Oh Puh-lease!" reaction.  None of my staff's excess furniture was to stay.  In fact if Ms Clutterd-Hoams had her way she would have built a bonfire with it there and then in the garden and had my staff arrested by the style police.

In the end my staff agreed to pay her a large sum of money to furnish the three rooms in question with Wink Interior Designs' furniture for six weeks and Ms Clutterd-Hoams would decorate all three bathrooms with nice soap, big, soft, fluffy towels and fresh flowers for nothing out of the goodness of her heart.  This, she said would ensure that the place looked up to date and would stand out from the crowd in the online adverts.  She also added that there was a lot they could do to improve the look of the garden and the outside of the house.  For example for just a few extra thousand dollars she could create a beautiful water feature in the back garden that would look "simply stunning".  There would be a fish pond with some huge coy carp at an extra nine hundred dollars per fish, a big, splashing waterfall and some lush tropical vegetation.  She could also arrange for some real flamingos to live in the garden for a few hundred dollars, though my staff would have to feed them themselves.
 "Greater or lesser?" Asked my male staff.
 "Sorry?" Said Ms Clutterd-Hoams, her face a picture of non-comprehension.
 "Greater or lesser?" Repeated my male staff.  "The flamingos. Will they be the greater or the lesser variety?" The stylist's expression was still blank.  "You do know that there are two sorts of flamingos don't you?  Only we couldn't possibly make such an important decision without knowing which sort of flamingo you would be providing us with."
The stylist looked flustered and rifled through her paperwork.  "Errrrrm, sorry no I don't know. I'll errrr have to get back to you with that." She stammered.
 "Good, see that you do." Said my male staff and stalked off to find the four guinea pigs that they had brought with them to run about in the house for a little exercise and a change of scenery.
 "I'll email my quote to you this afternoon." Said the stylist to my female staff.
 "Okay, that would be great." She replied.  "By the way, don't bother with the water feature."
 "Very well." Said the stylist.  "As long as you're sure."
 "We're sure."
 "Okay then, I'll be off.  Oh, may I use your toilet before I go?"
 "Of course.  You know where it is."

Ms Clutterd-Hoams tottered off on her silly shoes and my female staff went to help my male staff round up Alfie, Baci, Tom and Toby who had sensibly kept a low profile while the stylist was wandering around.  Those great clodhoppers of hers could do a cavy a lot of damage.
There came a blood curdling scream which sounded as though some poor woman was being torn limb from limb by a grizzly bear.  My staff forgot about catching the guinea pigs and raced to see what had happened.  Cries for help interspersed with hysterical sobs were coming from the toilet.

 "You'd better see what's wrong." Said my female staff.
 "Bugger off." Said my male staff. "I'm not going in there.  I've already winked at her once.  If I burst in there now she'll really lose it."
 "Sounds like she's already lost it."  The sobbing continued.
Bravely my female staff tried the door handle.  It wasn't locked.  Slowly she opened the door.  Ms Clutterd-Homes was standing with difficulty on the toilet seat, one huge platform shoe on either side of the hole.  Her smart slacks and knickers were around her ankles and she was wiping her nose with her blouse.  It was an impressive site.  Below her on the floor a small brown rodent was looking curiously up at her.
 "Baci!" Said my male staff.  That's where you are.  I was starting to worry about you.  He eased past my female staff standing in the doorway and scooped Baci up in two hands.  "It's okay, he doesn't bite." My male staff assured Ms Clutterd-Hoams as she hurriedly tried to pull her blouse down to cover her girly bits.  "My wife will see you out.  Don't forget to let me know about the flamingos will you."


Funny woman that Ms Clutterd-Hoams.  I'm like mooching around in the toylit looking for sum toylit paypa to like rip up and then the door opens and in she comes with those hooge shoos and I'm like Whoa! I says to myself, Baci, I says, betta get owt the way pretty smartish or yule get skwished. So I runs behind the toylit pedestool thingy and weight for a bit. Then I heer this tinkling sound and I thinks Whoa! If I stay heer I'm like gonna get wet, so I hop owt from behind the pedestool thingy into this thing wot looks like a hammock between the laidies feet.  I wuz just like dozing off when there's this orfull screeming sound and I get tossed owt of the hammock onto the flaw as the stoopid woman leeps up onto the toylit.  Onustly, I reely don't see how I can be blaymed for enny of this.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Year Of The Dentist

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to 2015.  Let's start the New Year with the traditional Scottish guinea pig New Year anthem.  Everyone all join hands or paws or whatever.  Altogether now..........

Should old cucumbers be forgot
And left inside the fridge
You'll find them once again my friends
Beyond the Rainbow Bridge.

Beyond the Rainbow Bridge, my dear
Beyond the Rainbow Bridge,
You'll find the cucumber my dear
Beyond the Rainbow Bridge. 
Okay that's enough of that now. Scotland is a dangerous place to be a guinea pig. It's far too easy to be mistaken for a haggis and have a ceremonial sword stuck up one's bottom passage by some hairy  bloke in a skirt.
A haggis

Depending on who you ask or which website you consult 2015 is the year of either the Sheep, the Ram or the Goat.  Who cares anyway, for my male staff it will be the Year of the Dentist.
He hasn't been to one for a while so he thinks it might be time to bite the bullet - so to speak.  Dentists have never been a favourite of his, or of anyone else I guess, but his last experience a couple of years ago put him right off.  His usual dentist wasn't available, she was off sick, or found out that my male staff was on her appointment list that day, lumbering my male staff with her replacement - an Irish lady who was built like George Foreman except George was better looking, he would have made a better dentist too.  By the time she'd finished with him his mouth felt like it had been pulled in four different directions by a team of carthorses, and that was just a check up.

I think his aversion to dentists began when he was eight years old - not long after King Henry V came to the English throne.  The family were living in Chippenham in England at the time and during school holidays he and his mother used to go for walks in John Coles Park where my male staff would do things that eight year olds like to do - feed the ducks, play on the swings, sell crack to the local schoolgirls - that kind of thing.  Anyway on this particular occasion my male staff's Mum suggested they go for a walk and (naive fool that he is) he accepted.  After the ducks had been fed up to the eyeballs my male staff's Mum said "Well, since we're here we might as well just pop around the corner and see if the dentist can give you a check up."  Yeah right! As if you can just drop into a dentist any old time without an appointment.  Still, at eight you don't really know that do you and despite my male staff's ardent protestations he was dragged to the dentist for the appointment his Mum had made days before without his knowledge.  Mothers can be so devious.

Two hours later he woke up in the dentist's chair minus two teeth which were handed back to him to leave under his pillow for the tooth fairy who left him a bright, shiny shilling.  Naturally he spent that shilling on sticky toffees so that the tooth fairy would soon have more work to do.

Then about ten years ago he had to have a couple of fillings and as you would know, most humans hate the dreaded drill with it's high pitched screech and the stench of burning enamel, not to mention the so called pain killing injection administered via a needle the size of a baseball bat.  Not many people know this, but the syringe is actually empty. The agony of the huge needle being roughly shoved into your gums is so intense that you barely feel the drill when it starts grinding into your nerves.  Dentists save a fortune in this manner.  It's how they can afford to become members of exclusive golf clubs.  Anyway, present at this particular appointment was a very attractive dental nurse, so to distract himself from the pain he knew he was going to have to endure he imagined himself as James Bond and the dentist as his hardened torturer, trying to extract state secrets while the nurse was a double agent whom Bond was trying to impress and maybe with any luck once the torturer had finished with him he and she would end up at some casino somewhere and then who knows what the night would bring. (Actually it would probably bring castration if my female staff knew what he was thinking.)

Bond lay back nonchalantly in the chair and gritted his teeth, determined not to spill any of his secrets.  M would be proud of him.  The masked torturer approached brandishing a vicious looking needle, his eyes were as cold and hard as his diamond tipped drill.  Bond glanced towards the torturer's beautiful blond assistant, her full breasts heaving under her blouse, she smiled and Bond smiled back.  "Do you expect me to talk?" He said.
 "No Mr Bond," replied the torturer with an air of finality.  "I expect you to pay my exorbitant fee when I've finished."
The blond grimaced as the masked assassin lowered the needle towards Bond's face.  Bond's nerve failed him then, his terror, a knotted ball in his stomach got the better of him despite his best efforts to control it.
 Thrurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp! Bond released a terrific explosion of bottom wind.  The masked assassin took a sharp backward step.  Bond looked to the woman who's face was a picture of disgust and loathing. 
 "Ooooops!" Said Bond, blushing hotly.  "Sorry about that, I'm a little nervous.'
The torturer backed away and opened a window.  His assistant had recovered her composure.
 "Don't worry about it." She smiled sweetly.  "It happens a lot with our older patients."

Don't get me wrong, my male staff still tries to look after his teeth the best he can.  At least twice a day he sticks this strange, buzzing, vibrating thing in his mouth and swishes is around for a couple of minutes until a sort of bluey-white foam appears around his lips.  Then he sticks these tiny little brushes between the gaps in his teeth and wiggles them about.  I'm sure it would be far simpler and cheaper for him to eat a mouthful of hay like us guinea pigs, but you know what humans are like, you can't tell them anything,


Wye duz Uncal Billy always compair me with sumthing I'm not?  A kuppel of wheeks ago he sed I looked like a nippo and now this wheek I parrently look like a naggis.  Shorely I can't look like a nippo and a naggis at the same time. Eyetha I look like a nippo or I look like a naggis, I can't look like both cuz a nippo duzzent look enything like a naggis.

Woteva. Wat I reely want to say today is like Happy Noo Yeer to all my frens and Tom and Alfie and Toby and even Uncal Billy and his staff.  My noo yeer rezolooshun is not to get bitta and twisted wen Uncal Billy is like rood abowt me, and I'm like gunna sujest to Uncal Billy that for his noo yeers rezolooshun he stops compairing me to things wot I'm not.