The Robbing Butcher Surprises Mr. Mhor

Today, the Mustress sent Mr. Mhor to the Robbing Butcher’s shop with a list of essential items for the fridge at Mhor Cottage. Obviously, our supplies of meat and dairy products for breakfast have to be maintained. The Mustress is nothing if not methodical.

The list included circular square sausage, Stornoway black pudding, yet more fruit pudding for Mr. Mhor, and eighteen eggs (from the Even Newer New Hens).

Mr. Mhor set off, noticing as he ambled along the village street that there were a large number of holiday-makers in the place, many of them carrying quantities of alcoholic beverages. Doubtless Mr. Mhor looked wistfully at these people, despite knowing perfectly well that there were several cans of lager in the section of the store cupboard designated by the Mustress for the safe-keeping of alcohol at Mhor Cottage. If Mr. Mhor had considered the matter in any depth he would also have recalled that there were a few bottles of gin and sherry jostling for position next to the beer.

Mr. Mhor entered the Robbing Butcher’s shop and was disappointed to note that there was an obvious dearth of eggs on the shelves. He obtained the circular square sausage, Stornoway black pudding, fruit pudding and two steaks (which were not for breakfast, but which the Mustress required for dinner that evening) and, after paying, made to exit the shop.

“No eggs?” queried the Robbing Butcher.

“You haven’t got any” pointed out Mr. Mhor.

“Yes, I have – plenty of them – those damn tourists keep buying them, faster than the Even Newer New Hens can lay them – so I put some aside, for my best customers.”

Mr. Mhor preened. The infamous Robbing Butcher had just referred to him as a “best customer.” Gratefully, he took possession of eighteen eggs.

Mr. Mhor returned to Mhor Cottage, with the eggs and a ludicrously proud smile on his face.

Mr. Mhor Delivers A Surprise

Many people who read the adventures of the Mustress have wondered if the Robbing Butcher ever does anything useful or positive. The Mustress has received many emails on the subject, and this attests to the level of interest which the Robbing Butcher instills in the reading public in general.

A few correspondents also seem to doubt that the Mustress herself ever does anything useful or positive. The mystery surrounding the installation of the New Hens demonstrates unequivocally that the Mustress definitely undertakes worthwhile activities. She may not have discovered exactly what the Robbing Butcher has been up to lately with regard to the New Hens, but her intentions were sincere.

And Mr. Mhor? When he is not drinking beer, constructing garden furniture or pretending to do the hoovering, what exactly does Mr. Mhor do with his time?

On Friday it was raining so the Mustress decided to send Mr. Mhor to the village to obtain some necessary items (bread, milk, gin and three bottles of tonic – oh and a lemon)

When Mr. Mhor returned to Mhor Cottage he looked smug. The Mustress was suspicious and asked him why he was looking so pleased with himself.

Reader – he had entered the Robbing Butcher’s shop (finding it was, uncharacteristically, open) and demanded the longest circular square sausage that the Robbing Butcher had in stock. Flustered, the Robbing Butcher produced a very long sausage and immediately sold it to Mr. Mhor.

It was so long that the Mustress had to reorganise the entire freezer to accommodate it.

However, and despite the fact that she was delighted to get the sausage, the Mustress was suspicious of the Robbing Butcher’s motives. She annotated her notebook accordingly and made a decisive plan.

But that investigation will have to wait until it stops raining here in Argyll.

The Mustress Launches An Investigation

There seems to be some confusion about the New Hens at the moment. The Robbing Butcher is, as ever, keeping his cards close to his chest, but the village in general is puzzled.

Yesterday, the Robbing Butcher announced that he had obtained some more New Hens. Well, that’s a good thing, surely – after all, the New Hens do lay the largest, most delicious eggs.

But there was consternation about the fate of the previous New Hens. Had the Robbing Butcher sold them as fake turkeys at Christmas time? Or, indeed, made them into chicken pies? The Robbing Butcher does sport a sign on his wall which says “Unaccompanied Children Will Be Made Into Pies”, so it is entirely possible that the New Hens have suffered the same fate, and are now the Late New Hens.

The Mustress decided to investigate. Donning a disguise, she crept into the back yard of the Robbing Butcher’s shop, armed with an up-to-date phone (for evidential purposes) and approached the New Hens, trying to discover if they were NEW New Hens, or just the OLD New Hens.

Eventually, since hens do tend to resemble one another, the Mustress had to abandon her investigations, and returned to Mhor Cottage, where Mr. Mhor was again pretending to do the hoovering (one day I shall catch him asleep at his post).

“Did you get any photos?” asked Mr. Mhor, wiping imaginary sweat from his brow, and trying to hide his beer cans.

“I did”, I said, “but all hens look alike, so I cannot tell if there has been any skullduggery.”

Mr. Mhor made a conciliatory cup of tea for his beleagured wife, put the hoover away, opened another can of beer and said, “Do you think it’s too cold to sit on the love seat at the moment?”

As there was no reasonable answer to this question, the Mustress snorted and composed another thread for the village Facebook page, of which more later.

Eventually, dear readers, the Mustress will get to the bottom of all this. Never fear.

The Robbing Butcher Fails To Deliver

Just after Christmas, The Mustress Mhor asked the Robbing Butcher when he intended to open after the New Year festivities were over. Readers must bear in mind that we are in Scotland, where Hogmanay is celebrated with gusto for many days (and months, in some cases).

The Robbing Butcher gave a hollow laugh, stared at The Mustress, then retreated into the back of his shop, no doubt to exhort the New Hens to even better production rates. More of that later.

It was left to the Robbing Butcher’s grandson to appease The Mustress. He claimed that the shop would be open “at some point” in the future, and declined to be further drawn on the matter.

Dissatisfied, The Mustress exited the shop, and returned to Mhor Cottage, where Mr. Mhor was pretending to do the hoovering.

The next day, the Robbing Butcher was assailed on the village Facebook page, by people who wanted to know his intentions with regard to post-Hogmanay opening hours.

It goes without saying that the Robbing Butcher refused to commit himself. However, he did (eventually) say that the shop would be open “a day or two” after Hogmanay.

The Mustress sallied forth to the shop on January 5th, therefore, imagining that even the Robbing Butcher would have recovered from his New Year Hangover by then. Surprisingly, he was open – although the Robbing Butcher himself was “not currently available”, as his grandson delicately put it.

Annoyed, The Mustress requested that an entire circular square sausage (fourteen inches, to be exact) should be reserved for her in two days time. Accordingly, on Thursday 8th January, the Mustress visited the shop yet again, to collect her fourteen inch sausage.

Reader – it was not there. The Robbing Butcher had not made one. He had made rectangular square sausage in vast quantities, though.

You would think it would be easy to make a long, uncut circular square sausage, wouldn’t you, if you had mixed up the ingredients to make the rectangular version? After all – the ingredients are exactly the same (and many people may wonder, with some justification, why some people prefer circular square sausage, when it tastes the same as its rectangular partner-in-crime).

But I will have an answer. This behaviour will not be tolerated. The Robbing Butcher absolutely must supply his customers with whatever they request (in the butchery line, of course – nobody would expect to find fishing tackle in a butcher’s shop – except………well, that is also another story).

Mr. Mhor Forgets The Potatoes

Yes – shocking news here from Mhor Cottage. Mr. Mhor today served a superlative breakfast, but he neglected to fry the left-over potatoes from last night’s dinner, and add them to the plate.

There very potatoes had been placed (by The Mustress) on top of the circular square sausage supplies in the fridge. The Mustress did this so that Mr. Mhor could not fail to see them.

The Mustress Mhor is inordinately fond of fried potatoes – just to be clear.

So…………..Mr. Mhor did, in fact, see the potatoes. He did, in fact, cook the potatoes. He did, in fact, place them in the microwave “for safe keeping” (as he himself claimed, at the usual post-breakfast inquest) and he did, in fact, forget that they were there, and consequently, the potatoes did not form part of the breakfast served at Mhor Cottage this morning.

The Mustress discovered them, sitting sadly in the microwave, when she visited the kitchen in order to put a load of washing on. And no, The Mustress does not do the laundry in the microwave (well – not often).

Breakfast scored 11/10. Just think, Mr. Mhor. If you’d served the potatoes, you might have scored 12/10.

Presumably you’ll reflect on that when The Mustress “forgets” to put your dinner on a plate this evening. Remember – all actions have consequences, and none of the consequences in Mhor Cottage are the desirable kind.

For once, the Robbing Butcher cannot be blamed for anything in this scenario.

The Mustress Gets Some Good News

Comrades, today Mumsnet allowed the Mustress to return to their hallowed website.

It was a time for great celebration. The two-week ban was lifted (without prejudice, I hope.)

Not that the Mustress’s crimes had been terribly reprehensible. Oh, no. There was just a minor disagreement/spat between the Mustress and MNHQ.

Possibly some opprobrious remarks were made.


It was a very good day in other ways, too. Mr. Mhor served a double-yolker for the Mustress’s breakfast and the local shop sent a daffodil (for reasons unknown) but it made the love seat look more attractive.

Oh, and on the subject of the love seat, readers may remember that when Mr. Mhor constructed it, he put one of the bars on the wrong way round. The Mustress had imagined that this would be rectified immediately, as soon as she pointed it out and raised a complaint.

Not so.

Mr. Mhor has failed to deconstruct the love seat and put the bar on the right way round. In fact, he spent several hours in the garden today, sitting on the love seat, doing nothing and drinking beer.

I think he may have misplaced the list of chores with which he had been furnished. That is the only explanation. The Mustress was very busy herself, trying to work out if it was going to be worth fifty quid a year to subscribe to Mumsnet’s new Premium Service.

On the one hand there didn’t seem to be any benefit.

On the other – well, maybe if they are being paid, they will be less likely to ban posters for specious reasons. Who knows? A knotty problem.

Oh well. At least today’s egg was worthy of comment.

The love seat can (and will) be tackled tomorrow.

Desperation Abounds in Mhor Cottage

Mhor Cottage

Things are coming to a pretty pass when there is only one slice of haggis in the fridge.

There is no Stornoway black pudding and only four eggs (from the new hens). As for circular square sausage, you would think it did not exist.

Sadly (for Mr. Mhor) there is also no fruit pudding, although there is a reasonable quantity of bacon.

What has caused this sorry state of affairs? The Robbing Butcher, of course. As ever, he has created misery in the village, and he continues to be very reticent about his opening hours. You would think that he would want to be open, so that he could sell his goods and make a profit.

The Mhors have taken drastic action, however. Only today, we made top-secret plans to obtain our breakfast items from a different Robbing Butcher (N.B. Are there any non- Robbing Butchers? Is there a Society for Robbing Butchers?)

Of course, we are prohibited from driving anywhere unnecessarily at the moment but we are entitled to go out to get food. And since we live rurally……

Oh well. The game was not worth the candle. Mr. Mhor and the Mustress had a row in the car, and did not leave the village.

Back to the drawing-board. Possibly we will make a further attempt to visit a different Robbing Butcher in a few days’ time.

In the meantime, in order to pacify the Mustress, Mr. Mhor has agreed that she is entitled to all the eggs and circular square sausage.

Quite right.

The Mustress Becomes Really Suspicious

Bewildered does not begin to cover it. Shocked is nearer.

The Robbing Butcher has only sent me a “FRIEND” request on Facebook.

Why would be do this? Has he got wind of this website, this blog? Does he think I will share my profits when a publisher notices this blog and decides that it is worthy of publication?

I put nothing past the RB. Nothing.

I have today been trying to order some flowers online. So far, I have been offered allegedly “free” delivery slots (which cost at least £1.99) and “discounted” bouquets, whose cost is astronomical.

Has the Robbing Butcher managed to control my internet usage now?

Am I just being paranoid? These are worrying times. But a “FRIEND” request – really?

You can all tell that I am prepared to lay all crimes at the Robbing Butcher’s door, even if (realistically) he can have nothing to do with these things.

Shall I accept his request? They say that you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer.


A Giraffe Eats Mr. Mhor’s Lunch

Many, many years ago, Mr. Mhor was a small boy.

His class at school were taken to the Opening Day of the Blair Drummond Safari Park.

All was going well, until the teachers got Class X (yes, I know – that needs a post to itself) to sit under a tree.

The animals – deer, goats, giraffes etc, were (apparently) permitted to wander at will. Class X had already admired the gorillas on their secluded island.

Mr. Mhor took out his sandwich (cheese, if that is relevant) and took his first bite. Foolishly, he waved it above his head (no, I do not know why, either) and a giraffe seized his chance, and took it.

Seconds later the giraffe swallowed it whole. Mr. Mhor claims that the giraffe did not even bother to chew the sandwich, which showed that it had no table manners.

Knowing Mr. Mhor as I do, this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

The rest of Class X removed themselves and their sandwiches immediately from the danger zone. They also laughed heartily.

Mr. Mhor was provided with a second sandwich, so all was well.

I cannot help wondering what would happen if I bought some circular square sausage from the Robbing Butcher, which was subsequently eaten by a giraffe (anything is possible nowadays) if the Robbing Butcher would supply replacement circular square sausage.

Since the RB has no reputation for altruism, it seems unlikely.

Mumsnet Fails To Decide

Well, I have wondered for long enough. What is the correct term for circular square sausage? How could The Mustress find out?

Ha! As ever, the answer was close at hand. I finally had a lightbulb moment earlier today.


Yes – this was definitely the only thing to do. All the Scottish members of MN would be able to advise The Mustress.

Huh. After a hundred and three posts, I am disappointed to report that I am none the wiser. Nobody seems to know. There was a good deal of poor SpAG (one cannot start threads on MN without encountering this) and a small proportion of posters considered that The Mustress was a time-waster (now this may be true) but nobody knew what the correct term for circular square sausage was.

And please – do not email me and tell me what you, personally, call it. There is a limit to the quantity of messages which are syntactically incorrect for anyone to endure, and I reached my own limit several hours ago.

In my experience, Mumsnet has strong opinions about absolutely everything, especially if you start a thread in AIBU (Am I Being Unreasonable), which can be a terrifying minefield for the unwary. However, I thought I would get a definitive answer, but I was wrong. Nobody knew.

I blame the Robbing Butcher. He should not have branched out into circular square sausage.

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