Tuesday 26 February 2008

Bottoms up

Olivia came out with a good line whilst we were wandering around B & Q the other week, looking for a replacement door handle for the sitting room door. When I explained to her that I needed to look for a replacement she said: “I wonder if they have any dinosaur door handles?” to which I replied along the lines of: “Quite possibly, dear, but we are looking for a replacement for the sitting room, not a child’s room”. Her response was somewhat amusing: “Er, yes mum, but are you SURE you are not looking for a child’s room?” From out of the mouths of babes.

We have had three visits to Tropiquaria in the last three weeks – once with Olivia, once with Shosh and Gav, and once on the way back last Saturday from the South West Bugfest, with some giant millipedes whichhad been kindly donated to the zoo by Steve Paine from Tarantula Barn. This was held in Yeovil, and, although the first of its kind to be held there, it brought in over 900 people on the door! I think you could call it a success then!

Anyway, a visit to the zoo is always nice. It is lovely to see Chris and Jane and to wander around talking to the various animals. There is something very satisfying about sitting outside on a wooden bench just before dusk, as the birds call out their evening chorus. Intermingled with the usual squawks and whistles there is the occasional wolf-whistle from one of the loutish African Greys, accompanied by the odd ‘hello’ from one of the other parrots, in a tone reminiscent of Sybil Fawlty doing her ‘oo I know’. Of course, we mustn’t forget the macaw that insists on calling out ‘goodbye’ as you arrive and – yes, you have guessed it – ‘hello’ as you are leaving. Not sure how he got into the habit of that one!

During Saturday’s visit, I espied a joey poking its head out of it's mother’s pouch, which was cute to say the least, and Odo, the gibbon - as usual - decided that it would be an excellent idea to show us his bottom. He is very proud of that part of his anatomy, is our Odo.

It is intimated at the top of this blog page, that I have a unique insight into the folk who spend their lives on the track of unknown animals. I sure do! And it ain’t (to use Jon’s favourite expression) always a bed of roses I can tell you - there are plenty of thorns to make your day a prickly one. So I thought, for a change, I would be more forthcoming about some of them, instead of hiding behind the ‘oh I better not let on about that’.

For example, today, folks, I had a rant! Oh yes, not very common my rants, but today I let rip. I was putting away the groceries that the jolly, congenial man from Tesco had delivered, when - upon opening the freezer door to put away the various frozen goods - I was accosted by a wayward pack of frozen peas. The fact that it jumped out at me for no good reason I could accept, but the fact that somebody had opened the packet and had not made good its security afterwards - thereby ensuring that no spillage would occur from the carefully cut packet top - was just too much to bear. Out it came, upside down, firing little frozen pellets of peadom all over the place. Apart from the waste of half of one of the, much publicised, five-a-day portions, the mere fact that whoever had done it had not thought ahead (and we are not talking about 5-year-olds here) was the straw that broke the unfortunate camel’s back so to speak. So I yelled, swore badly, and loudly voiced the opinion that it was like living with a load of gibbons. (Hmm, yes gibbons again – Odo and his bottom have obviously had a profound effect on my psyche).

Now this, accompanied with the fact that I had just spent half-an-hour or so cleaning down the top of my cooker to rid it of the fat spats (together with those little globules that clung to the wall behind it) found me well on the rocky road in the hunt for blood. I have now written a comprehensive list of items of crockery that are ‘missing’ from the kitchen – a list which includes several bowls, plates, a measuring jug (? who on earth would want that I have no idea - and what for, remains to be seen), at least seven mugs plus several items of cutlery. To my mind, if the blokes here want to act like 5-year-olds (or gibbons) then they shall be treated as such. If these things are not returned, washed up and put away by close of day tomorrow, then I may have to resort to banning food from being eaten anywhere other than in the kitchen or dining room.

I have thrown down the gauntlet, and considering that I have a broadsword, axe, sword, dagger and longbow (and very sharp arrows) in my possession, it will be a very brave (or foolish) man - or gibbon - indeed, that will dare challenge me.

‘er upstairs has spoken.