We are joining The Kitties Blue, from The Cat on My Head blog, for the weekly celebration of blogs and bloggers from across the world, and across the species.
To join in, get the Linky-Link code from their website, add it to your page, and enjoy the hop!
A link to Part 1 of the mini-story: Of Rice and Roses! can be found HERE
A link to Part 2 of the mini-story: ‘Jumbo Comes Up Trumps!’ can be found HERE
Chapter 5: Called to the Bar?
Hello, and welcome to the 12th selfie of the Year 2020.
Here at the palace, as part of my new distancing regime, I have been practising my martial arts moves. It is key for all felines to keep up to date on these things, and master new moves from a safe and friendly environ. Any duvet will do, but freshly laundered bedsheets provide more bounce – well that’s what the advert says and why Mrs H buys it.
Anyways, in this week’s selfie, I have opted to demonstrate the ‘lying puma hidden paw’ move. Key to this is distracting the assailant (or hand) with your own charming smile and enticing wavering front paw whilst concealing a hind paw which is poised for the attack.
Please do not send me any bills for medical attention needed in practising this move, as it is carried out entirely at your human’s own risk.
Now, on with the show!
Please do stay on after the selfie, and enjoy the. . . er . . . continuing conclusion of our current mini-story.
“A bit to the left – no right, my right Mrs H! OK maybe I meant left after all? Oh bother – as you were, and rest easy. I need to think about this if we’re to get it right going forwards. Come to think on it, going backwards and sideways too!”
Erin looked at the sextant in her paw then the star chart on the table beside her on the lawn. Having taken an absentminded slurp of her cocktail through its straw, and found the glass had long since emptied, she gazed over at Mrs H. “I don’t know how they expect a seafarer to use one of those things let alone a feline in need of a cocktail. It can’t be more than fifty per cent accurate; the stars are only out 50% of the day at best, and what if it’s raining or cloudy – or both, huh!”
“Well I do think they were more accurate than that, dear, otherwise we wouldn’t now know where the rest of the countries are?” Mrs H smiled her teacherly smile. Underneath, however, she feared she was about to enter one of Erin’s awkward conversations with more tangents than a classroom full of competitive mathematics teachers!
“But why didn’t they just use maps when the world was flat, and then globes when it was found to be round? I mean it is a miracle they could layout churchyards with any degree of order with this thing.”
“No, dear, I fear you misheard me. A ‘sexton’ is a person who looks after a churchyard, digs graves, rings the church bell, that sort of thing. That instrument in your paw is a ‘sextant’. Not the same thing at all. I doubt our sextons – Mr Ringworthy and Holswell – ever gets lost around the church.”
Erin considered that comment for a moment. “Ah-ha! So what do the sextons use to navigate by then; whatever it was it must work as everything is orderly in the yard and the bells always ring on time.
“Nothing I suspect, as he is on land and can use the church spire as a sightline. And I guess he uses a tape measure too. Anyway, are you sure this is the right spot? I could probably just use a tape—”
“Heck, I don’t want to use one of those things,” Erin interrupted. “Nasty rattling metal things. No, when it comes to measuring with accuracy, I read this was the may to do it. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day!”
“No, that is quite true. I believe archaeologists and historians say it developed over many decades, possibly centuries. Still, I am not quite sure the adage fits this situation.”
“Oh. Um, hows about ‘Why use a sledgehammer to crack a nut?’ Erin asked, hoping to not have got things mixed up again.
“Hmm. Nice try, dear, but that analogy doesn’t really cut it either. Why not—” Mrs H was about to suggest something better when Erin butted in.
“Allergy! I do hope you’re not coming down with one of those, Mrs H. The sniffles are bad enough, and sleeping with someone that sounds like a vulture with a sore throat has its limits you know— but an allergy as well! Or did you mean an OLOGY? A degree in anything these days is quite handy. Just so long as it’s not in Klingon, or cardashianing – untangling of cloth fibres, I believe that is.
“Absolutely neither of those. I have several degrees from Aston, Erin, and rest assure none are in hairdressing. Engineering – yes, television persons – no.”
“I never knew you were schooled by Aston Martin, Mrs H. Wow, did you get to do a test drive in the James Bond car?”
Mrs Hudson sighed. “Alas no. I attended Aston University for ladies, not the motor works. Though to be fair, I have driven an Aston. My biggest love, of course, was the Jaguar E–Type. You’d love that experience, I am sure. Wind in your hair and whiskers and tail flowing in the warm evening summer air. Very long bonnets on an E Type, long enough that you could eat supper on!”
Erin’s face brightened. “Mrs H, how long would you say the bonnet was on that car, the Jaguar?”
“About 6ft 6 inches, give or take. Why do you want to know?”
“Oh, nothing much. Just I think I may have solved our little problem.” With that, Erin headed over the gravel drive and into the hall and made a call.
The next day, the sun was shining again, and Erin sat in her lounger, reading the latest news on the world situation. “Stocks have rallied again I see, especially food and drinks delivery companies like Uber Eats.” Erin had predicted such a thing and after discussion with Mrs H, managed to franchise the idea to Mrs Singh, who ran the ‘Village Corner Shop’, which still wasn’t on the corner.
Mrs Singh had started an Indian takeaway shop next door to the corner shop and had named it ‘Much-Mousing Tandori Nights’. Unfortunately, some words had got changed in translation when the signage was ordered, and it ended up saying ‘Many Mice Tandori Delights’. And whilst Erin was saddened to discover that Tandori mice weren’t on the menu, the rest of the village was rather pleased. In fact, with the exception of the vicar and Mr Blasstet, they’d taken to the new delivery service rather well. ‘Jumbo Eats’, Erin had named it, and it did give a very definite AIR of Indian originality to the whole meal ordering service. As Jumbo was rather slow, Mrs Singh had installed a canopied kitchen-style howdah on his back and made the food to order at each customer’s gate. Of course for further afield homes, such as the Palace, Jumbo just didn’t have the speed, and that is where Erin’s brainwave idea came in.
The sound of Indian music wafted down the country lane like an icecream van from Dehli that has its musical jingle stuck on high speed. Erin sat up in surprise and looked around just in case there had been some sort very localised colonial uprising going on she’d not read about.
“Ye gads, that sounds worse than the vicar’s attempt to sing Olivia Newton John’s part from Grease at the karaoke evening!” Erin looked at the white line she’d painted on the grass in front of the lounger and smiled. If all went to plan, this should just solve her problem of—
The smell of burning rubber and the sound of gravel ricocheting off wheel arches and nearby statues drowned out any other thoughts Erin may have been hoping to have. Self-preservation took over, and she dived under the lounger. Just in time as it happened as a bright red car careered through the gates onto the drive and did a 180-degree turn in a shower of smoke gravel and dust.
When the dust settled, Erin looked out from under the lounger and grinned. There in front of her, sat perched in the driving seat of the red E-Type Jaguar was Mrs H. The edge of the cars huge bonnet was placed just over the white line.
Mrs H wiped away some of the dust from her goggles and unfurled the headscarf wrapped around her face and hair. Giving a polite cough to clear her throat, she said “Jumbo Eats proudly presents social distancing delivery in style at it’s best. I think you’ll find, Erin, that I am exactly 6ft from the white line, and therefore can safely deliver your food. Now if you want to assume your place near the bumper, I’ll slide this down the bonnet; be careful it is still hot though!” With that Mrs pulled a plastic carrier bag from the front seat and placed it on the bonnet and gave a shove and watched it glide smoothly into Erin’s paws at the other end.
“Now that is how I like my meals, Mrs H. Hot curry on hot wheels!” said Erin, dipping her paw into the bag and pulling out a hot nip and chicken bhaji which she had to drop back into the bag. “Any chance you can deliver my breakfast, lunch and afternoon teas in that thing?”
“Whilst an interesting idea, I think that I would have to put my foot down. Just think of the marks on the floors and carpets! Best not. That aside, sadly the car goes back tomorrow once we’ve done the promotional photoshoot for the takeaway.” She paused and got a glimmer of mischief in her eyes that Erin rarely saw. “Still, if you fancy a ride before it does, then I think I am up for a little reliving of my youth.” Mrs H winked at Erin and tilted her head towards the empty passenger seat. “What say we take this baby for a spin, Jumbo Eats style?”
Erin didn’t have to be asked twice, and seconds later – duly seat-belted up – the two zoomed off into the distance, hair and scarf flying in the jetstream and singing QUEEN anthems. All over Upper Much-Mousing, that night became known as the ‘Night of the red hot curry’ and is to this day celebrated by a race from Mrs Singhs Mall (still not on a corner) to the Palace courtyard. The winner is the one who can get two open portions of vindaloo and two, one-pint glasses of lemonade and a selection of dips – all intact – to Erin’s front lawn the quickest and NOT cross the line!
PS. Mrs H and I want to ask everyone to be safe out there, and keep your distance — especially if you see a red E-Type Jag headed your way with Bohemian Rhapsody playing full blast! 😃
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