The Mustress decided to post on the village Facebook page, encouraging people to obey the government’s instructions with regard to social distancing.
I pointed out that visiting family on Mother’s Day was very foolish, amongst other things.
So far, forty three people have “liked” the Mustress’s post.
But one man was not impressed. He posted “NO – JUST FUCK OFF.” Hmmm. The Mustress had never heard of this charmer, so clicked on his own FB page to find out a bit about him. What I was about to discover surprised and amused me in equal measure.
He turned out to be none other than the Robbing Butcher, in all his glory.
Unbelievable. Or maybe inevitable. His response was deleted by the moderators of the village FB page and the RB tried to wriggle out of his rudeness, by claiming that he had not posted any opprobrious remarks to the Mustress.
But it was he – no question.
The Mhors will continue to purchase his circular square sausage as it is delicious.
But this was shocking behaviour from the RB – I am sure readers of this blog will agree.
Let me start by saying that this is an unusual state of affairs. Generally, Mr. Mhor produces very good breakfasts indeed.
But yesterday something went very wrong. The Robbing Butcher (despite signage to the contrary) was closed. Horrified, the Mustress had to obtain supplies from the Co – Op instead.
No Stornoway black pudding. No eggs from the new hens (see blogs passim) and no very expensive (but delicious) bacon.
It was the eggs which got me. Despite the RB boasting about the eggs from the new hens, and the Mustress being dismissive of their quality, it has been obvious from the get-go that the eggs from the new hens are MUCH better than common or garden eggs from the Co – Op or even the previous eggs sold by the RB.
And the Stornoway black pudding – oh – it is SO good. Just incomparable.
The haggis. Again – superb.
OH!! THE CIRCULAR SQUARE SAUSAGE – what can the Mustress say? The Mustress would gladly live forever more on the Robbing Butcher’s circular square sausage and eggs from the new hens. No arguments.
The fridge and store cupboards at Mhor Cottage were blatantly depleted. Mr. Mhor did not warn the Mustress, but just got on with cooking breakfast, as he always does.
The Mustress was not impressed when it reached the table. Co – Op bacon, black pudding, square sausage, haggis and eggs.
Not only that – the eggs were not dippy. That was what broke the Mustress.
Dippy eggs are essential. Mr. Mhor knows this (as a long thread on Mumsnet will attest) yet he still served hard fried eggs.
Could this be grounds for divorce? I would gladly cite the Robbing Butcher as co-respondent.
Knowing the RB he would bar me from the shop, to get his own back.
The Mustress and Mr. Mhor had occasion to wait in the car park of a neighbouring village the other day.
This was necessary to obtain a grocery delivery.
Usually we take along a crossword puzzle book to while away the hours while we wait for the Tesco van to appear. We cannot get a home delivery as nobody delivers to such a remote spot as Mhor Cottage.
Not even the Robbing Butcher does home delivery.
The Mustress decided that in order to circumvent this problem, all she had to do was create an address in the next village, then intercept the delivery van. This has worked well for nearly two years. Tesco’s are quite used to it. The Mustress decided that it would be easiest if the address created was, in fact, the car park. Obviously they must know (hopefully) that we do not live in the car park.
Sitting waiting for the van to come. The Mustress had forgotten to bring the crossword book along, so a slight marital disagreement ensued.
Cue the midday bus.
– Why is he waiting so long?
– Surely all the passengers have got out? All three of them?
– The driver can’t be waiting for a booked passenger to appear? Oh. He’s going now.
– But why did he wait so long in the first place? Oh look. That van has parked where the bus was.
– He can’t park in a bus stop, can he? Will the delivery person be much longer? I wish you hadn’t forgotten the puzzle book.
– Look at that! That car isn’t allowed to park there! It isn’t a designated space, is it?
– Mustress, who appointed you the Car Park Police?
– I never said I was the Car Park Police, did I? Goodness. Now the bus in the other direction is waiting on the other side of the road.
– You’re such a busybody. Who cares where people park? It’s not like there are no spaces, anyway. We’re the only people parked here.
and so on and so on and so on forever.
Or until the Tesco van came, anyway.
MEMO TO SELF Do not forget the crossword puzzle book next time.
Further to Mr. Mhor’s plans for dealing with the Apocalypse, he decided to purchase a self-assembly love seat to enhance the Mhors’ experience in their garden whilst isolating themselves.
It arrived as a flat-pack, with the usual instructions in Serbo-Croat, and I was bewildered by the number of component parts within the parcel.
Mr. Mhor looked gleefully at this conglomeration of wood, screws and odd parts which did not seem to match anything on the instruction sheet. I did say to him that I had never succeeded in putting together any flat-pack furniture. He waved me away.
In fact I may have reminded him of the time when I assembled out first baby’s cot bed, nearly forty years ago, on my own.
I never did find Cross-Dowel H.
All of yesterday evening, Mhor Cottage was covered in screws, nuts, bolts, pieces of wood and an English/Serbo-Croat dictionary.
I left Mr. Mhor to it. No good even comes of wives challenging their husbands when they are trying to assemble furniture.
This morning Mr. Mhor triumphantly announced that the Love Seat was in the garden, and that he predicted it would take the cats five minutes to pick a side each, so that they could languish in the sun.
It was also very useful for there to be a table in the middle of the love-seat, so that supplies of beer and sherry could be placed upon it.
I look intently at the love-seat and eventually uttered the immortal words, “Why is there an obvious word on the middle bit of the table?”
Mr. Mhor gave the Mustress a hard stare.
He had managed to construct the love-seat so that the manufacturer’s logo was clearly visible on the front. In other words, one of the panels was the wrong way round.
Muttering and in a fine temper, Mr. Mhor went out to the garden to rectify this undoubted error. Presumably this would take a further twenty four hours.
The Mustress went to the kitchen and started the dinner. Sometimes it is best not to labour a particular point.
Today, Mr. Mhor and I went to the village fifteen miles away, to collect a parcel.
The Robbing Butcher was shut as we drove past his shop. The Mustress thought she could see his silhouette at the back of his storeroom, but maybe this was paranoia. Surely the RB does not spend his entire day working out where the Mustress has got to?
Mr. Mhor had announced that stocks of Stornoway black pudding were seriously depleted at Mhor Cottage. The Mustress pursed her lips and sent several very hard stares in the general direction of the Robbing Butcher’s shop. If he would stay open for more than five minutes a day (or more than two days a week) it would not be a problem.
On arrival at Village X, the Mustress made the brave decision to try out the produce of their Robbing Butcher. This would teach her own RB to stay open a little more often and he would also lose custom.
Village X’s Robbing Butcher turned out to be a Robbing Butcher With A Vengeance. He charged nearly twice as much as our usual RB.
AND HE DID NOT HAVE EGGS FROM THE NEW HENS.
Mr. Mhor fainted when the Mustress told him how much of the Mhors’ savings had been expended in the Rival Robbing Butcher’s shop.
When he came to, Mr. Mhor suggested to the Mustress that their own RB might have spotted the Mhors’ car leaving the village and could have warned his colleague in Village X that they might attend his shop.
It seems quite likely, really. A Win – Win for both Robbing Butchers. Possibly the Rival Robbing Butcher was going to share his booty with the Mhors’ Robbing Butcher.
The Mustress will update this blog asap, once the Mhors have sampled the Rival RB’s goods.
He did not have circular square sausage, either. Surely the manufacture of circular square sausage is essential if one if going to set up as a butcher, robbing or otherwise?
Donning his Dressing Gown of Doom, Mr. Mhor today pontificated about his plans in relation to preparing for lockdown. Essentially, he thought everything would be fine as long as the Mustress made arrangements to obtain the following:
Beer, tobacco, barbed wire, a hammock and a wooden bench.
I had a feeling that he shared this list with me because he is so technologically challenged that he does not even know how to turn on the laptop. It would therefore fall to his very excellent wife to obtain sufficient supplies.
I queried the inclusion of barbed wire on the list. Mr. Mhor alleged that his intention was to put it on the top of our garden wall, so that marauders would not be able to access the garden, and by implication, his supply of beer and tobacco.
Obviously the hammock and wooden bench were to provide a comfortable little corner for himself in the garden.
The beer was regarded by Mr. Mhor as an unequivocally essential item, and although I did not entirely agree, I said nothing, since I would only have to tell him that there had been an administrative error in the ordering system if it failed to arrive. He would never know, after all.
I could even tell him that it had got lost in the post. Or that the country had run out of beer. It would come to the same thing in the end.
I confess that I knew it would be futile if I tried to make objections to the tobacco. Mr. Mhor has smoked for over forty years and says it keeps him young.
So – to recap – the Mustress Mhor has to get busy online and obtain everything except for the beer.
It occurred to me that I could always put in a devious, bulk order for sherry while I was about it.
Now that really would be a useful addition to my stock cupboard.
Mr. Mhor once fell off a wall and broke his leg (as discussed in a previous post) and made it clear that he considered gardening to be a new and untried method of healing fractures.
This seemed highly unlikely to me but I did tell him to posit this theory to an orthopaedic surgeon and thus make their respective fortunes, assuming he was correct, and the usual medical advice to rest and elevate fractured limbs was wrong.
Mr. Mhor spent an inordinate amount of time in the garden. Whether he was trying to prove his theory or whether he was avoiding doing his share of the housework, I do not know, but the fact remains that he was in the garden all day long, even taking his meals outside.
He hobbled in on his crutches one evening and informed me that he had moved a magnolia bush. Or maybe it was a bed of marigolds. Whatever. I am not well-versed in gardening terminology and quite frankly I wasn’t terribly interested.
Mr. Mhor knows this, but he pretends he doesn’t. He is forever asking me difficult questions about the garden, such as “Do you remember when we had some sweet-scented stocks over there” and “Have you seen my hoe” when he knows full well that I have no idea what he is talking about.
So. He had moved a bush/plant/shrub to a different location. I think he was hoping that I would ask him why he had done this, but I carefully refrained from doing so, as I had a feeling that the ensuing conversation might become acrimonious, and I wanted to avoid that at all costs (I had a shelf that I wanted him to put up) and it seemed politic just to nod non-committedly.
Mr. Mhor then appeared to be full of mirth about something. Wearily, I enquired what was so funny.”The bees”, he said. “The bees keep flying towards where the bush used to be. They can’t understand where it’s gone.”
I said (with some asperity) “Surely they are not the same bees? You are not claiming that you recognised those actual, individual bees? Next you will tell me that you have named them.”
“Oh yes, I did recognise them, ” said Mr. Mhor. “They were the same bees. I know my bees.”
Now I may know nothing about gardening but this claim stretched credulity. How can anyone recognise particular bees? Mr. Mhor was adamant, however, and unfortunately the discussion DID become acrimonious, and the unconstructed shelf remained in the cupboard under the stairs, as flat a pack as it had been when I’d lugged it into Mhor Cottage in the first place.
I can only assume that the painkillers Mr. Mhor had been prescribed had temporarily addled his brain.
I now await a series of vexatious emails from my loyal followers, telling me that they, too, can recognise individual bees.
Why, even the Robbing Butcher himself does not have such pretensions.
Many years ago I was wandering round the Labour Ward, at rather a loose end, if the truth be told. It was a Sunday and we had no patients.
We had restocked every cupboard to within an inch of its life and had had several cups of tea. Midwives survive almost entirely on tea, and cakes and biscuits are generally available.
On this memorable day there wasn’t so much as a packet of Rich Tea (generally looked upon with disfavour by midwives, but supplied reluctantly by the hospital’s catering department.)
Very possibly the Rich Tea are for the patients, not the midwives.
I spotted a pregnant woman and her (I assumed) husband, and approached them to offer my assistance. She told me that she was in labour – with her eleventh child.
Despite midwifery textbooks always advising that midwives should be diagnosing labour, not mere patients, I assumed that as she had had ten babies previously she was going to be correct with regard to knowing if the eleventh baby was starting to make its appearance.
Reader, that woman was right and that baby was nearly there. Despite the fact that she did not appear to be having contractions and was not in any distress, her cervix was 9 cm. dilated.
About three minutes after I had established that fact, she gave birth to a son.
It was a very easy gig for me, I have to say. I daresay the woman herself regarded it as such.
Anyway – after giving the baby a quick suck on the breast, she asked me to hand her her holdall – then she extracted a massive box of very expensive chocolates.
“For you,” she said. “I always like to thank my midwives when I have a baby. You work so hard.”
It brightened up my Sunday, I can tell you. And the collective Sundays of the rest of the staff. We always share booty like this.
Someone made another pot of tea and the Labour Ward returned to its previous state of Nothing Going On.