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

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"A fun and spooky read..."

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Saturday, 27 December 2014

It's All Over.....thank goodness.....

Well, that's it over for another year.  The feasting, the merry-making, the false jollity, the hangovers, the upset stomachs, the heartburn, the angst, the self-hatred, the guilt, the disappointment, the loneliness, the boredom,  the ennui, the bad memories,  the regret, the overspending, the falling-comatose-on-the-sofa-at-all-hours-for-no-reason-that-you-can-think-of and so forth.
Not to mention the chucking-people-off-cliffs custom, which as any reader of Sea Penguins Parts One to Five will know, happens with stomach-churning regularity Hereabouts, and most especially at Yule, when the person voted Most Unpopular in the annual Yuletide poll, gets chucked 'over-the-top'.  But more of that later.
Or perhaps not.
Geoffrey and I are well-past-it, of course, in terms of forced jollity merry-making;  plus, we are sufficently self-aware to know that we're known locally as miserable and stingey 'old-git-style-personages', who dislike 'company', so we kept a fairly low profile.  Not entirely, therefore, but largely, through choice.  Tuppence usually turns up for Yuletide luncheon (extra-large sausages, marinated for three days in the cellar in our own absinthe-and-sage micksture, twenty-five apiece, all neatly threaded and roasted on a spit with M &S fish-fingers and windfall russet apples in between, just for the aesthetic appeal - we don't actually eat 'froot' Hereabouts, as regular readers will know).  But he's getting older now, and this year he decided not to join us. Instead, he borrowed my waterproof trousers, my tinderbox, a jar of beef paste, four loaves of bread, three tins of spaghetti hoops and the Tupfinder General's old army tent, and went off to have an adventure Out in the Wilds with some of his so-called friends - more of that later, if he returns.
Geoffrey has been feeling especially paranoid this year due to the current bizarre fetish for 'multiple bird roasts'.  And well he might.  The Narks have jumped on the bandwagon.  Back in November they turned one of their yurts into a 'farm shop' and started taking orders for an organic version, using 'locally-sourced, free-range meat', and stuffed with seaweed and hunza apricots.  They even put a blackboard outside, with prices. Fifty quid a pop,  apparently.  Yet they won't specify which 'locally-sourced' birds are involved.
'As long as it's not me I don't care Tuppy,' he sobbed. 'I don't want to end up in the middle of a Russian doll-style fowl-fest, rolled and frozen in a box with several of my friends. It doesn't bear thinking about.'
'So much for their so-called vegan lifestyle with their herbal tisanes and their aduki bean rissoles.  They've gone for the meat dollar Geoffrey - and that tells you all you need to know.  I'll never sample one of Val's goji berry and raw oat flapjacks again, not even if she gets down on her bended knees and begs.  So help me I won't.'
'I doubt if she'll have the brass neck to make flapjacks now Tuppy.  Not after soiling her hands with multiple bird roasts.'
'I wouldn't be too sure Geoffrey.  It's follow the money with those two.  You'd think butter wouldn't melt what with their Peruvian hats and their rustic hand-knits, but really they've no scruples.  For now the flapjack market has bottomed out, but who knows - in the Spring it could rise again and she'll be flogging them as fast as she can bake 'em. She'd probably start a flapjack sweat-shop if she could.'
'Brace yourself.  I've heard rumours that she plans to sell....I'm awfully sorry to have to say it, but... Spring the Spring, her farm shop...there will be a big special promotion on at Easter,  apparently.'  Geoffrey pressed his hankie to his mouth and cried a little.
'Well don't fret Geoffrey, because that won't affect me.  I'm well-past the lamb stage,'  I replied briskly, pulling the tartan knee rug tighter over my arthritic...knees. 'But we should plan ahead and warn Tuppence as soon as he returns.  He's an adolescent now but in her warped eyes he might just qualify as a lamb.  Luckily, he's very resourceful, and handy with his pistols ( see previous e-books for details , so he should be able to protect himself, if need be.'
'But that's the point Tuppy.  Why should he have to protect himself?  Why should he have to live in fear?  It's not right.'
'Of course it's not right Geoffrey.  Many things in life are not right.  But what can we do?'
'We must think of something Tuppy.  We can't just give in.'
'We'll never give in Geoffrey. But for now let's fortify ourselves with a snack and a nap, and perhaps a mug of that nice French brandy you got me for Yule.  We can think about life's trickier side after.'

More Later....

Meanwhile, please help yourself to Sea Penguins One and Two for free today and tomorrow (27th and 28th) via this link to my Amazon page.


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