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Posted Sat Sep 1st, 2007 7:02pm Post subject: APPARITIONS, ARRIVALS AND AVOCADOS
As the wind moans and the mists roll in, a dog can be heard baying in the distance ... the moon and clouds cast strange and eerie shadows and the tension is palpable ... the shifting light gives the impression of strange creatures being afoot ... footsteps and a dragging sound can be heard ... a screech owl takes flight and the unseen hound throws back his head and howls again ... a lone figure comes into view and in wet, sepulchral tones announces .......

!!!!!!! I'M BACK !!!!!!!

OK, enough with the dramatics, just figured it'd make a change from the usual pompom and cartwheel routine ... somebody turn on the lights please, cut the wind machine and for heaven's sake please give that dog a cuddle and a biscuit!!!

Indeed yours truly has returned from the darkest recesses of the country ... no thanks to the directions given by the lady whose cottage we stayed in ... to say she was 'avin a larf' would be the understatement of the year!?!?!?! What should have been an hour and a half's journey became double that ... we were at the mercy of signposts that just gave you a vague idea of the direction they were pointing in ... unnamed roads and non-existent T-junctions depicted on the beautifully laid out but totally pointless leaflet that had been sent to us ... that and when you asked for directions you were treated to a beaming face and the local accent as they happily pointed this way and that, and would then wander off leaving you feeling that somehow, someway you should have understood every word of it and that you'd be most ungrateful if you didn't just get back in your car and follow their route to the letter. Subtitles would have been most helpful!!!

Having finally found our way to Sleepy Hollow Cottages they did indeed prove to be quaint and picturesque (pronounced 'picture skew' if you're anything like me!?!) The thickness of the gravel drive was indubitably impressive ... I mean, as we all know I'm not exactly the next Rudolf Nureyev and its not like I exactly make my way everywhere with a hop, skip and a jump, but that gravel was sooooooo deep that it would have made anyone feel disabled ... if there was a term for it, it was truly the 'shag pile and mother' of all gravels!!!

Still, having thwarted the pebble-some peril we made it to the front door of the cottage and entered. It was at this point that we were introduced to the spiral staircase ... lovely looking thing made of wrought iron and wood ... at least, it looked lovely until you actually made its acquaintance and attempted to ascend it in order to reach the bedroom and bathroom that was situated above. At least the creaking and groaning sounds that it made with every step meant that for once I couldn't hear my own joints performing their own little orchestral manoeuvres ... all kudos to it, it even succeeded in drowning out my usual verbal accompaniments of "oof" "urgh" and "ooch" that tend to be a sort of 'vocal chaperone' to pretty much any exertions on my part.

Aah, how I wish you could all have been present on our first night as we attempted to cook. Even allowing for minimal marble mobility I am usually more than able to throw a little something together without too much in the way of angst and accidents, however, being presented with an old fashioned style of electric cooker instead of my trusty gas I'm afraid that the culinary attempts were a little less than 'Delia'. There was nothing complicated about the meal, just the usual veg being tossed around a pan amidst suitable seasoning, herbs and a hefty flourish of olive oil. I think my main mistake was assuming that having turned the rings up to full that when I then required and needed to be able to turn the heat down that I would be able to do so ... SILLY ME!!! The rings on this particular cooker were akin to those on an AGA and boy oh boy, once those things have gotten heated up, then there ain't no way EVER that they're going to relinquish that heat!?!?!?! Nevertheless, I did at least manage to get broccoli, butter beans, leek and touch of garlic in before the cremation process started and I had to give up on any further attempts to introduce other veg to the medley. I'm still not certain of what name to give that particular concoction ... other than 'Végétales à l'incinérer'!!!

Still, all in all we had a good time, enjoyed the wildlife ... especially at night when it had all decided to join me in the bedroom (I hasten to add that I'm not referring to hubby when I say wildlife)!?!?!?! Never before has an attempt at sleep been so fraught with insect visitation!?! Spiders ... moths ... butterflies ... you name it, it was in there with me, spread across the ceiling just waiting to throw itself in my general direction ... I've seen zoos with less wildlife than was in that bedroom!?!?!?! I've seen the films, I know what happens, I'd either have been bitten and turned into summat narsty, or woken up inside a cocoon and turned into summat narsty ... or ... or ... or ... well, lets just say I KNOW I would have ended up turning into summat narsty cos that's what happens ... films wouldn't lie, would they!?!

Anyhoo, before I jaunt off in the direction of the kitchen you may just be wondering about the Avocado bit ... could there be something sinister about this pitted but innocent looking vegetable??? ... did something untoward happen which involved an avocado??? ... is an avocado invasion likely??? is an avocado really a vegetable or a fruit??? ... are they really best eaten when scooped out, mashed to within an inch of their lives and then mixed with mayo and prawns??? .......

I'll leave you with that suitably awesome cliffhanger ... *Binooby wiggles eyebrows, looks mysterious and flourishes cape as once again the mist descends, the wind howls and the dog continues having its belly scratched*

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