Tales from Kent…

You find me today, my dearest and most esteemed reader, reclining on the sofa, cradling a custard cream in my manicured paw and sipping a medicinal sherry. It is from this state of recumbent comfort that I report to you the latest goings on at Spindle Towers. The loons sat me down over our morning coffee and broke the news to me that they were escaping for a weekend away at a family celebration. I immediately began making copious notes about what to take with me. 

When we travel, I normally do so in the unofficial capacity of hand maiden to Hector. Duties tend to include beard nurturing, pocket watch winding and monocle polishing. The Tiny Terror doesn’t really need much looking after, preferring to roam through life like a confused, feral hobbit.

Hector leaned over and peered at the list with his gimlet eyed stare and began to shuffle uncomfortably on his chair. I was initially somewhat alarmed as to the cause of this postural posterial dance, fearing the worst, but I soon found out that this was in fact the ‘shuffle of guilt’. 

This is when I was presented with the news that I was not going to be travelling to the darkest depths of Kent with them. I was to bravely keep watch over Spindle Towers, and to help me fulfil this onerous task was my pal, the raggle taggle little scamp Barney, and his human retinue. I must say that I did experience a feeling of upset at this exclusion, more so at the unspoken lack of trust as I was also banned from having Nelson over for another card night. The last time we did this was meant to be the last. As ever, I blame Nelson for the fracas involving the Queen of Hearts, Sister Josephine and the upending of the standard lamp. Thankfully the mystical crab survived such folly!

The weekend drew near and was then upon us. The pair sallied forth to the spiffy land of Kentshire. It was something of a gathering of clans and promised much excitement. I felt a modicum of sadness that I would miss an opportunity to catch up with grandad Tom, my good pal and fellow crossword wrangler.

I am able to recount a thankfully shortened version of the weekend for you. They arrived in good time and settled themselves in a lovely pub garden. Several members of the Tiny Terrors’ family had already begun the festivities with joyful abandonment. 

Such frivolities continued throughout the afternoon and then the first of the exciting gatherings began. The host and hostess, her Aunt and Uncle, possess a beautifully idyllic home and the weather was kind. Once primed with a glass of something fizzy, they tottered off to mingle with the great and good of Kent and beyond. Accounts of the evening became a little garbled here, but in my defence, I sometimes don’t listen to her properly when she starts gesticulating wildly. 

She spent the evening in a state of entrancement with a very interesting man called Patrick, and all in all, the Irish contingency proved to be both excellent and very amusing company. The members of the Northern and Scottish contingents similarly meandered about and indulged in carefree chat and story swopping.

The only moment of potential peril was when grandad Tom struggled with a recalcitrant small potato. Unbidden, it shot off his plate and landed in the lap of the Tiny Terror. The potato was enrobed with a cardigan of mayonnaise. Apparently a rolling stone gathers no moss, well I can inform you, dear reader, that a rolling potato does actually gather not only momentum, but in this case also salmon. It bounced once onto the ground, this time gathering a coat of grass and landed firmly in a fold of her skirt. Oh what larks! It was a terribly good shot.

The following day dawned and a grand luncheon was attended by friends and family. The loons were sat on the naughty table in the corner with cousin Helen keeping a watchful eye. The lunch and celebrations really were a triumph. Helen has an infamously infectious laugh and the Tiny Terror and her recollected some of their childhood exploits (which apparently included suitcase tobogganing amongst other things, please note, during this they were actually INSIDE the suitcase)

She is also known for an outstanding sense of humour and mischief. On meeting her partner, they were delighted to discover she was similarly blessed with a propensity for mirth and possessed a joyful twinkle in her eye. Conversations included the correct pronunciation of the word Tortoise/Tor-Toise/Tortus. This caused unexpected hilarity and one lovely moppet became quite insensible with laughter by the end. This very same moppet also displayed an unrivalled addiction to cheese that had not been witnessed before in the Northern or indeed Southern Hemisphere. Here, they were introduced to the notion of getting “The cheese sweats” as a result of eating too much cheese. The weekend was by all accounts quite wonderful. Many new friends were made and I suppose it reminds us how important it is to keep in touch with more distant family. Not easy in the world in which we live, but a joy when it happens.

My own weekend was quiet, pleasant and mostly uneventful. Naturally we rebelled against orders and Nelson came round. We all played blackjack and helped to recycle a nice bottle of Malbac we found. We then spent a rowdy evening singing sea shanties, accompanied by Jen on the ukulele and Andrew on the squeeze box. I had to remove the triangle from Nelson as he became unpredictable with the striker stick. To finish off the evening we sang a rousing rendition of my favourite tune, Delaney’s Donkey for good measure. 

The loons returned back to Spindle Towers, full of stories and grinning like the chumps they are. I am however slightly aggrieved that I missed out of meeting some new friends, so they have promised me that we are going to have a road trip in Mavis to visit them. Hurrah!

The Tiny Terror has returned into my loving paws. See her billowing cheeks *sniggers

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