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"A Scottish Wind in the Willows on high end skunk."

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"The characters are so involving and
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I quickly got into the story and loved every second of reading it...
total gem of a read by an author who deserves a lot more recognition."


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Sunday, 13 July 2008

Tuppy answers a question

Just this morning, as I was pushing my head through a gap in the fence to get at some tasty- looking leaves, my nephew Tuppence approached me and asked, "Uncle Tuppy, do you want to live till you're a hundred?"
I paused for a moment and withdrew my head from the hole in the fence while I pondered. As it happens, I did not need to ponder long before answering, as this is a question which has exercised me recently, what with me now being "of a certain age", and I am quite certain, or at least as certain as one can be in the matter of one's life and death, of my views in this regard.
"No, Tuppence, I really don't," I replied, settling myself upon my favourite rocky outcrop, crossing my legs and lighting a pipeful of Black Bogey. "And here's why."
I blew a long stream of smoke out towards the direction of the far horizon. The sea gleamed silver under the late afternoon sun. A herring gull - our friend, Geoffrey, as it happens - alighted on the next rock and sat with his head cocked in an attitude which indicated that he was giving me the benefit of his full attention.
"Tuppence - Geoffrey...you both know me well. You are familiar with my habits and my disposition. Not to mention my diet. If I wanted to live to a hundred, and unlikely though it seems it is possible for a sheep to do that by the way - I had a grand uncle from Harris who lived till a hundred and twenty - I would need to take lots of exercise and restrict my diet to grass and leaves only, with perhaps the odd turnip to leaven things on festive occasions. But grass and leaves are so tedious, and turnips are terribly hard on one's teeth, especially as one gets on in years, and I'm afraid I find they create horrendous wind. Sorry to lower the tone with such unsavouriness."
I paused, and looked sympathetically at Tuppence, who blushed furiously.
" And you know how fond I am of the odd tin of luncheon meat, and the occasional slice of cherry and sultana," I continued. "Not to mention the regular ingestion of fish finger sandwiches. Yes, I know only too well that they are your faves too, Geoffrey. By the way there's no need to pinch them off my plate. I'll gladly grill a couple for you as well. Somerfield's yellow pack are still great value, and you really can't tell that they are Alaskan Pollock."
Tuppence hugged his knees and smiled up at me with a fond expression. "And you'd never give up your Black Bogey, uncle!"
"No, I would not. I'd rather die tomorrow than give up that!" I gulped as I realised what I'd said. I definitely didn't want to die as soon as that.
"Couldn't you compromise, and eat unhealthily half of the time, and healthily the other half?" suggested Geoffrey.
"That would mean you'd die at fifty!" piped Tuppence, jumping to his feet and gambolling round the rocks.
I eyed him sourly. I'm fifty next year, I thought. And I haven't even eaten healthily a tenth of the time. Tins of luncheon meat began to dance before my eyes.
"Careful, Tuppence. You don't want to take a tumble off the cliffs," said Geoffrey evenly, patting me on the knee with his webbed foot and giving me a comforting wink. I was moved, and hastily brushed a tear from my eye.
"Uncle Tuppy! are you crying?" Tuppence's high pitched bleat grated on my ears.
"No, no, it's just the wind."
"Have you been eating turnips, then?"
Geoffrey rolled his eyes and flew up and westwards towards the sinking sun. "You've got your hands full there chum. Best of British. See you tomorrow."
"Fish fingers at one?"
His reply was caught on the rising breeze as he soared.