Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Back with a Tall Tale

Hello! Sorry about going AWOL, been feeling a little grotty lately, although much better now (waits for the collective sigh of relief…) and hopefully back to regale you with tales of daring deeds on the run up to Christmas. Oh the tales I can tell! Shall we take a moment to ponder The Tale of the Marvellous Map Reader? Ah, I know, what about The Tale of the Phantom Bus? Hmm, not to your liking? You are a tricksy customer but come closer, I have a story that will please you… *blows dust of tale book*... it is called When The Ladybirds Come Home

Once upon a time there was a wannabe author freezing in her garret spare bedroom, feverishly typing a novel of the darkest comedy (and sadly making herself chuckle every so often, as she is that sort of person). A mirror hangs to the right of her, and she catches herself in the act of winding yet another scarf around her neck. For a moment she wonders who let the bag lady in, before she realises that the poor unfortunate is herself. “Enough of this!” she cries, casting off scarves, woolly hat and gloves aplenty, “it is time for the BIG heater!”

The BIG heater lives in the main room. It is the source of all joy and wonder to the freezing author, as although she knows it gobbles money, it also produces goodly amounts of heat. The BIG heater is only turned on in dire emergency (which currently happens everyday around 3pm) and HAS to be turned off in about 20 minutes max as otherwise the freezing author and her partner J will be very poor very quickly. However today the author clicks it on and basks for a while in the main room before her phone rings and it is good friend R, calling for a chat. The result of the chat is that 20 minutes later the author is once again ensconced in her small garret spare bedroom… and the BIG heater has been forgotten.

Oh dear, this is bad. Still, the author is blissfully unaware of the heat piling on in the main room, as she has shut her garret door. An hour goes past, and she starts to feel a bit warm, but all that happens is that she takes off her second jumper and gets down to work again. More time passes and she is now down to a t-shirt and jeans. “Funny, must be rather mild today,” she tells her printer (sadly she does talk to odd things like that) before a look of horror crosses her face. The BIG heater!

She dashes in the main room and turns it off, but it is too late. The entire flat is a sauna. And even worse, J is due home any minute and the author will be discovered basking like a lizard. Never has the author moved so fast in her life, not even when she won the 100m sprint in the 3rd year of junior school. She runs around flinging open all the windows she can see in the hope that some of the heat will disperse to breathable levels, and it is then she notices the smaller window above the dining table, the one that is never usually opened. “Must open more windows!” she cries, and clambers on the table, undoes the catch, pushes it wide…

…and a nest of hibernating ladybirds fall down onto the dining table. The author shrieks to high heaven as ladybirds scatter all over the place, and then the timer on the cooker goes for dinner.

**interlude for brief panic**

J comes home at around 15 minutes later, but by then things are under control. The ladybirds nest window is shut, giving those that escaped the Day The Window Opened some much needed rest. Dinner is served ladybird free, and luckily J doesn’t notice the strangeness of open windows as the author has the ultimate distraction up her sleeve, which isn't usually where she hides the remote control but today exceptions can be made.

“Oh look, Top Gear!” she says. Works every time.


2 comments:

musicobsessive said...

Hahaha...Oh dear, that did make me laugh. Good to have you back - I was beginning to wonder.
Isn't it strange how only adults feel the cold? In the big freeze of '62/'63 (referred to earlier) I lived in a house devoid of central heating and only a coal fire in the sitting room and a coke boiler in the kitchen, yet never felt cold and could never understand why my mother went ballistic every time I left a door open...

Jayne Ferst said...

Sorry I didn't reply to your comment earlier! Someone actually said to me what will I do when the ladybirds wake up, and I laughed nervously, before really thinking about it. I mean, they won't all suddenly yawn and fly into the living room will they?!