Jen and I are looking after Stense's dog, Millie, for a couple of months. She's been with us for a week so far, and I've been sending Stense daily photos of her pooch to reassure her that I haven't been doing anything characteristically irresponsible, such as feeding Millie the rest of Daisy-May.
Anyway, yesterday I decided to send Stense a video update, to show her how Millie's getting on. And as a new video constitutes new content, I thought maybe I should post it here too:
Just about the only benefit (other than the highly dubious one of ‘getting some exercise’) of spending hundreds of hours chasing your farmer friend's cattle across field and moor is that, every once in a while, you get to eat your arch-nemesis:
Two sirloin steaks formerly known as ‘Daisy-May’ yesterday.
Daisy-May had it coming, believe me.
Best steaks we ever ate. (And I'm not just saying that.)
Apologies for the dearth of updates recently, but I have been spending what seems like the last 14 years redecorating our guest bedroom.
I'll spare you the details, but one of the (many, many) reasons this job has taken so long is that we rather stupidly chose to paint the walls a totally different colour from the ceiling, skirting-boards, window-frame, and doors. Which means there have been an awful lot of straight lines that needed painting by hand, for which I have had to resort to a minuscule ½-inch, flat-ended Rowney art-brush:
Yesterday, I was perched on top of a ladder, painstakingly edging the window-frame when the doorbell rang. It was Derek the plumber, who had come to re-plumb our downstairs loo.
“Doing a spot of painting, Richard?”
“I'm re-decorating the guest room. It's taken bloody months.”
“I'm not bloody surprised, with that brush!”
When you've lived in Hebden Bridge for as long as I have, you become accustomed to seeing peculiar things. But, on occasion, you can still be taken by surprise.
I was taking the high, narrow back-road from Halifax on Friday morning, and pulled over to let a car coming the other way pass by. As the car approached, I was somewhat astonished to see it was being driven by a clown. I'm not talking metaphorically. I don't mean the other driver was acting like a clown; I mean the other driver actually was a clown: white face-paint, red nose, sad mouth, unlikely dress-sense, the whole Grimaldi. I think she might have been a clown-woman, but I'm not entirely sure: sexing clowns is notoriously problematical.
This unlikely brief encounter has preyed on my mind ever since. What on earth would a clown be doing taking the high-road to Halifax early on a Friday morning? I have thought about it long and hard—far longer and harder than I should, in fact—and have come to the conclusion that she—if, indeed, she was a she—must have had an urgent consignment of buckets of water to deliver.
I'm not entirely convinced she was a genuine clown, however, as her car remained resolutely in one piece as it squeezed past and headed off towards Midgley.