As I reclined on my chaise longue yestere’en, my Cheyenne rug tucked snuggly round my legs (probably my best feature, by the way) and a warming glass of Highland malt in my hand, I made the following cheerful remark.
“I love the way that street lights reflect off the snow, and make the townscape almost as bright as day!” I thought there might be a poem somewhere in this.
Consuela (my Tejana maid) paused in her dusting, drew in a breath, and replied thus:
“We’re in a teepee on top of the Sidlaws. We’re five miles from the nearest lit streets. We’re three miles walk from the nearest road, and the only reason we can get through to that is because I cleared a narrow path through the snow. Not with a proper snow-scoop either – you wouldn’t buy one the last time we were in B&Q, you said it was an extravagance and that we didn’t get deep enough snow in Scotland – but with your crumb-tray.”
She was referring to my antique silver crumb-tray (hallmarked Birmingham 1886), but still I felt her remark was a little tart and her general demeanour a trifle crabbit to boot. It put quite a damper on the rest of the evening, and in truth I got up today in a foul mood. It has lasted all day. Whilst waiting for my bus I was approached by a harmless little woman who asked me if the bus had been.
“I wouldn’t know,” I snapped. “I’m only standing here because I stopped to admire the view and now I’m frozen to the bloody bus stop.”
She shrank from me and walked off to thumb a ride.
I had already given Consuela a reciprocal mouthful by this time. She had risen sunnily, and had even been cheerful while spending forty-five minutes scouring the house for her Blackberry. When she eventually put her hand to it, she raised it triumphantly aloft.
“It’s always in the last place you look!” she cried.
“Of course it is, you numpty,” I said. “Why the hell would you look anywhere else once you had found it?”
To cap it all the news regarding our lurker is not looking good. His advocate has applied for a writ of Feasance Buccleuch to mature in a sennight. Our only hope is that the Isbister Fiscal can rule it over-wrought. Hmmm.
I promise to be more gruntled tomorrow.