An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Monday, October 17, 2005


Dontcha just love it when the smart people in the world, and that's straightaway excluded me and Eddie, can't answer simple questions? Ever since he turned up here Eddie's been asking so many questions that it sometimes makes my head hurt. Mostly I can answer them because he's new to the place so there's lots he doesn't know but this morning we were sitting outside the carage having just put the brush-cutter together for G and then I had to give her a driving lesson - well anyways we were sitting down when Eddie looked up and took a deep breath. "What, in the name of all that's fucking holy, is that appalling stink?" He wrinkled his nose and feigned sticking two fingers down his throat. he then did a very convincing mime of someone upchucking violently.

"Now bruv, it's funny you should ask that because it happens every Monday and every Monday it turns my guts over and yet I have no idea what it is. The xtractor fan is always going when I notice it so I've always assumed it's something she cooks - but to be truthful I just can't imagine what it is. It is pretty foul though isn't it?".

"You're pulling my plonker right? That ain't food. No way. Nobody in their right mind, and trust me on this I've got the qualifications, would eat anything that smells like that. No bloody way!"

"I've told you that the husband - Ron - can't smell, he's got no sense of smell at all haven't I?"

"But if she's cooking it, she can smell it surely? Can't be. You'd be vomitting into the pan if you were cooking something that smelled like that... and as for eating it - jesus no. There's got to be another explanation - lets ask the boss when he turns up next."

And so, awaiting the return of the boss, we got on with the new drive gate that Eddie designed using plegma and bamboo. Attaching bamboo to plegma involves lots of wire and twisting so by the time the boss turned up we both had cuts all over our hands and sore wrists. Luckily ,the stink was still with us and the xpelair was still running flat out."

"Boss, is she boiling horse hooves, fish heads or something equally hideous in there, 'coz it smells like the old knackers yard in Dagenham that we used to pass on the way to school?"

So, Eddie had been trying to identify the amazing aroma all morning! Well, to cut a long story ... the boss called G up from the bottom of the garden where she was planting out the chestnut tree (she'd finished cutting the lawn and planted out some thyme before the boss shoed up) and we had a "family forum" (it's great that Eddie's invited to these nowadays - makes him feel right at home). So we had the combined brains of D&G&S&S and the upshot is that nobody really knows. D&G seem to think that it's some concoction of bones and chicken's necks and livers that she boils up and feeds to their dogs - god help the poor curs, don't they have it hard enough already living with the living dead? Shem, who's usually so inventive and coruscating, begged to be excused because of the smell and Shaun finally came up with my favourite explanation: "When I was alittle boy, and Shem was a litlle boy too, we used to live in the bogs of Ireland. Now Ireland in those days was a poor country - this was before they discovered how to milk the EC dry and you must remember that we are now, in the beloved Bohumil Hrabal's phrase, advanced of age - and the Kleenex corporation had not set foot on those benighted shore so everyone used proper linen handkerchieves. The constant damp of the emerald isle and the smokey peat fires played havoc with the phlegm and the handkerchieves (what a lovely word that is) became very heavily soiled over time. And so, every housewife had a special saucepan, usually aluminium, and a wooden spoon reserved for just this disgusting job. Every Monday your woman would boil the family's hankies - and boil them - and boil them. And that, my chums, is what I think happens next door every Monday morning!"

1 comment:

  1. And they used to do that with terry-towelling nappies too, after scaping as much of the faecal matter as possible off them -- boy, what a disgusting job that was.

    So another possible explanation is that perhaps one or both of your neighbours is double-incontinent, and this is simply part of an unpleasnat but necessary regime?

    Either that, or she's making Sheep's Heid Broth, though it's not the boiling of it that makes the abominable stink , it's the singeing off the hair first that does that.

    Either way, I fear that S & S are far from the mark.