Sunday, 7 December 2008

Crashes and crap weather

The weather so far this month - we're just a week in - has been, to say the least, interesting. At the end of November, we had persistent rain and floods. Springer Spaniels are usually water dogs, but Molly, our four-year- old is much too highly bred for all of that. Her grandfather won reserve best in breed a couple of years ago and her grandmother was the all time breed champion. She's very beautiful but a bit disdainful.

She's also bright enough to know when the weather is affecting the farm track. She gave it a very careful examination, then looked at me as if to say; "Shouldn't you be doing something about this?" "Like what?" I thought; "Make it stop raining?"
Anyway, with the roads being rather treacherous, there have been a number of shunts and crashes in the area recently. As I was coming home late down the turnpike one evening, I was suddenly faced with a road full of flashing blue lights and had to detour round three villages to get home, and the road into the next village has thrown at least three cars into the hedgerow in recent weeks. This one, however, was apparently caused by someone driving into the vehicle while it was parked just down the village road and shunting it into another parked vehicle in front. I 'm glad no-one was hurt, but I hope they've got good insurance.

This morning, we're all frozen again.

Wonderful scenes across the fields, but I don't think I'll be taking the car out with its windscreen like this.

"Grunting and swearing, the (verucca) gnome clambered out of another drainpipe. jammed its hat firmly on its head, threw its sack on to a snowdrift and jumped down after it. ' 's a good one,' he said.'Ha, take 'im weeks to get rid of that one!'

He took a crumpled piece of paper out of a pocket and examined it closely. Then he looked at an elderley figure working away quietly at the next house.

It was standing by a window, drawing with great concentration on the glass.

The gnome wandered up, interested, and watched critically.

'Why just fern patterns?' he said, after a while. 'Prett, yeah, but you wouldn't catch me puttin' a penny in your hat for fern patterns.'

The figure turned, brush in hand.

'I happen to like fern patterns,' sid Jack Frost coldly.

'It's just that people expect, you know, sad big-eyed kids, kittens looking out of boots, little doggies, that sort of thing.'

'I do ferns.'

'Or big pots of sunflowers, happy seaside scenes...'

'And ferns.'

'I mean, s'posing some big high priest wanted you to paint the temple ceiling with gods 'n' angels and suchlike, what'd you do then?'

'He could have as many gods and angels as he like, provided they -'

'- looked like ferns?'

'I resent the implication that I am solely fern-fixated,' said Jack Frost. 'I can also do a very nice paisley pattern.'

'What's that look like, then?'

'Well, it does, admittedly, have a certain ferny quality to the uninitiated eye.' Frost leaned forward. Who're you?'

The gnome told him.

'Really?' said Jack Frost. 'I thought they just turned up.'

'Well, come to that, I thought frost on the windows just happened all by itself,' said the gnome. ' 'ere, you don't half look spiky. I bet you go through a lot of bedsheets.'

'I don't sleep,' said Frost icily, turning away. 'And, now, if you'll excuse me, I have a large number of windows to do. Ferns aren't easy. You need a steady hand.'

Terry Pratchett

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