Over the winter months I always have a good view of my garden. I like to perform a few perimeter checks on foot during the day, but for most of the time a quick glance out of the patio door suffices. In recent weeks however, I have found my view obscured by clothes. I have no idea why people insist on hanging their clothes up in the garden during the summer and can only assume they are displaying them for the neighbours. The neighbours may well appreciate it, but I do not. I have no interest at all in ladies unmentionables flapping about in my line of vision.
Think you’re waterproof? We’ll see.
Not only am I subjected to ladies unmentionables, I now also have to suffer the presence of a large plastic contraption in my garden. The Fairy seems very pleased with it, but I am outraged. When the wind blows, it makes noise. That’s right people – The Fairy has brought a noise-making item into my garden. She spent all yesterday messing about with pots and soil and the watering can. Chicken helped, and the pair of them had a fabulous time.
Who grows soil nowadays?
I remain suspicious, however. The Fairy says it is waterproof but that makes no sense at all. Why would she want something that prevents me watering the plants? Surely she must recognise this as a design fault. I intend to assess its waterproofing credentials later, as I would hate to have anything in my unit which does not comply with current Trading Standards regulations.
Tomatoes are my specialty.
It also concerned me that she hadn’t applied for planning permission from the Council. I’m in the process of locating the home phone number of Bob from the Council.
I know it’s Sunday, and a Bank Holiday weekend to boot, but I do believe he has a civic duty and will not mind at all if I ring him at dinner time with a legitimate enquiry.
I often feel that the word remarkable is overused. As a case in point, I would draw your attention to my previous statement when I referred to my recovery from a serious foot infection as remarkable. It turned out to be anything but. In fact, the recovery was noticeable by its absence. I remained on antibiotics for 21 days, until another infection (located in a rather delicate area of my anatomy which shall remain anonymous) kindly took up the gauntlet and ran with it, necessitating a different set of tablets. Woe is me. I do not like to complain as you know, but I have requested an official enquiry.
The Chicken And The Toad
Chicken has been extra kind to me during this time, and has greatly reduced the amount of noise she makes. She is still twittering on about her ghost cat and seems to be making new acquaintances on her evening walks. So far she has mentioned a German Shepherd puppy, an Akita puppy, a Pug, a Jack Russell and a toad. None of whom she likes.
Due to my confinement, I missed the opportunity to put myself forward for the Home Secretary vacancy which became available last week. I am always at home and I could very easily acquire a secretary, so feel I would have been the ideal candidate. Chicken said she would rather enjoy being my secretary, which would make her the Secretary’s secretary. We have put our plans on hold for the time being but remain hopeful, as it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the position become available again quite quickly. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about British politics, it’s that you cannot afford to blink.
Tomorrow I am overseeing some work in the garden which may involve the use of seeds. I am on standby to do any watering that may be required.
Fear not people. I have made a miraculous recovery. This is to be expected given my thoroughbred, Irish lineage. We are made of steel. The Fairy was particularly impressed with the way I ran through the house upon my return, straight out into the back garden to take care of business. I am not sure if she was impressed with the running, or with the fact that I didn’t do anything inappropriate on the living room floor.
Upon returning to my office, Chicken began a programme of nursing which I am sure was well intentioned. Be that as it may, I still had to ask for help after a couple of hours. There is only so much inane, incessant chatter that one dog can listen to without becoming desperate. Especially in a state of semi-consciousness. I have no idea why, but I had nightmares about horses playing violins made of sausages.
Due to my remarkable recovery, I am now in a position to deal with the most pressing issues facing my unit. These range from phantom cats and dangerous cats, to garden vandalism. I am planning on drawing up some action plans in the near future.
Feeling like my old self again.
I am beginning to think that I am living in a zoo. Enquiries so far have revealed the presence of mice, birds, hedgehogs, cats, ghost cats, foxes, frogs, polar bears and now horses. Not all of these animals have been given clearance so I am having to devote a lot of my time to paperwork at the moment. This suits me, as my foot is once again being somewhat troublesome.
Chicken has put in a request to be at the top of any tower of musicians, as she quite rightly points out that the one at the top is traditionally a rooster. A Chicken, she says, is close enough.
My letter from the House Of Commons turned out to be a communication from a government cat which lives in Downing Street. He has informed me that a suspicious cat had been loitering in his territory and upon being chased off, mentioned that he was heading to my unit.
A warning from Downing Street
Apparently, he mentioned me by name and the Downing Street cat felt it prudent to warn me as said cat was deemed to be dangerous as well as suspicious. The letter was originally sent a number of weeks ago and nothing has happened yet, so whilst I will take all necessary precautions, I am not too worried.
I am too busy supervising Chicken’s attempts at balancing on top of small things in preparation for her tower of screaming animals.
Give me strength.
I have told Chicken that she needs to relax a little. She is so springy that she is beginning to see things that are not there. I can perhaps accept that a scruffy cat has been seen, but she is now also insisting that she is being followed by horses. I co-ordinate the night time walks from my office so cannot verify these sightings, but I do not believe for one moment that she is being followed on a residential estate by large horses.
I have heard that yoga is good for relaxation so have recommended the practice to Chicken.
In the lead as usual.
I sincerely apologise for neglecting my communication duties. I do hope that everyone is well. The thing is, I have only just regained consciousness after forgetting to send Chicken a Valentine’s Day card. We have decided unanimously never to speak of it again.
I feel a quick update of events is in order. Firstly, I received a letter from The House Of Commons. I have returned it unopened as it was incorrectly addressed simply to Monty. If the government wants my advice about something they can use my official title of Monty The Great.
Secondly, Chicken is convinced that she is being stalked by a ghost cat. I rang PC Dave at the Station to ask if there had been any other reports of said ghost cat, to which he replied in the negative. He has promised to keep his eye out for anything suspicious.
Thirdly, we are still caught in the nightmare that is the diet.
Lastly, I have called a meeting to discuss the refurbishment of my garden. I have big plans for this year with regards vegetables. Work will begin as soon as this snow has cleared. Until then, Chicken and I will make the most of it.
Monty The Great
The best setting for my new electric bed is 3. This is the hottest setting. I have been conducting endurance tests on it, to ensure it complies with all Health and Safety regulations. It does. However, my lying on it for nine hours at a time and the fact that Chicken has abandoned the settee in favour of said electric bed, has drawn the attention of The Fairy.
Today she put her hand under my rib cage and realised how hot I was. According to her, my sleeping on it for nine hours is the same as being stewed in a slow cooker. I see no problem but The Fairy immediately turned it down to 1.
I tried to turn it back up again but could not do so with my paws. There is a design fault in the control pad. Fear not people – I have a plan. I will limp badly until she turns it back up.
1. The hedgehog’s visit has had an unexpected positive impact on the Rudolf apology situation. Chicken was very upset when the hedgehog left, so I used this to explain how upset all the children will be if Father Christmas can’t deliver their presents.
2. Although I may have rather pushed the boundaries of honesty, I also told her that the polar bear had apologised for looking at her in a mean way. It didn’t. It’s made of plastic.
Chicken has responded well and I’m pleased to report that this two pronged approach has secured from her a promise to apologise to Rudolf on Christmas Eve, just in time for Christmas to go ahead as usual.
No thanks necessary.
‘‘Tis the season etc. Usually at this time of year I am full of joy and goodwill to all. However, the word ‘all’ when used in this context does not mean everybody. As a general rule of thumb, it means everybody – except wildlife. Of any description.
Yesterday evening we had an unexpected visitor of whom I seriously disapproved. The Fairy seemed to be carrying out some kind of scientific experiment on it, involving weighing scales and MY FOOD! Chicken thought it was an early Christmas present and didn’t respond well to being told that it wasn’t hers. As I was within biting distance, my first thought was that eating it would be the quickest way to get rid of it. This didn’t go down well with Chicken or The Fairy.
Luckily, The Fairy threw it out again after declaring it to be fat, in good health and eating well. I thought that was the end of wildlife in my house but today a rather pompous looking owl turned up. The words gaudy, ostentatious and exhibitionist spring to mind. Apparently, it is staying with us for the whole of the Christmas period. I will not be engaging it in conversation.
Negotiations have recommenced with Chicken about the Rudolf apology. I am determined to reach an agreement by the deadline of Christmas Eve. Father Christmas is pushing for a deal as early as possible, but as I have said many times before: Good things come to those who wait.
Father Christmas doesn’t want to wait.
I’m still on it now.
There has been talk of arthritis in regards to my foot. During the recent cold weather I have been reduced to hopping. The usual remedy administered by The Fairy in the event of illness or injury is sausages and roast chicken. Unfortunately, this time it did not work. It helped a lot. But it did not work.
I am pleased to announce that I am now the proud owner of an electric bed, which is working. The Fairy has produced an electric blanket from somewhere and has built up a rather super bed for me, complete with Christmas blanket. This is the level of treatment that I deserve in my retirement.
The first round of talks about the Christmas cancelling situation have broken down. Chicken put forward a proposal which was totally unacceptable. The Fairy was inclined to consider it, but I put my non-arthritic foot down. I fully understand the importance of reaching a settlement, but my self respect is worth more than Christmas.
Where’s your Christmas spirit gone, Chicken?
This morning I received a communication from Father Christmas. He is not in a good mood. Apparently, Rudolf is refusing to fly unless Chicken apologises for last year. As you may recall, Chicken was rather rude to Rudolf and the poor thing was left out in the cold after being led to believe he was to be the guest of honour at a meal at our house. The invitation had to be rescinded at the last minute due to Chicken. I don’t mind telling you that I was rather embarrassed.
Naturally, and as usual, Chicken is refusing to apologise.
If I do not manage to illicit a heartfelt apology from her, Christmas will have to be cancelled. The first round of negotiations stalled at the first meeting held this morning.
Chicken is simply refusing to entertain the idea that she was in the wrong, so I will have to use my extensive diplomatic skills to find a solution. Failure is not an option. The Fairy has suggested that I provide some form of carrot to help Chicken make the right decision. In theory, a little bit of give and take on both sides should result in a satisfactory outcome.
Time is of the essence. I have told Chicken that she should go away and think about what she would need in order to be able to provide said apology. Hopefully she will come back with a proposal which will allow for a settlement to be drafted.