Wish number one was to go for a full makeover... she looked a bit like Rose, from the series The Golden Girls, if anyone ever saw that? A bit fluffy, soft, ditzy too. We love her ditziness, but the image could definitely do with an update, we agreed.
Wish number two.... go rollerblading.
Wish number three.... learn how to fly a glider.
Wish number four... have a home of her own, away from her sister.
Wish number five... fall in love again.
Wish number six... to be more assertive.
And so the list goes on, mostly fairly straightforward wishes, and when I asked why there wasn't something really outrageous (and no, I didn't think rollerblading and learning to fly a glider was THAT outrageous at all) she said that she wanted to keep to things that she felt were actually achievable, since one of her wishes is to stop setting herself up for disappointment, something that has happened to her all her life.
Well, she has had the makeover now. It is over a week since the perm was cut out, and the new, really beautiful Daisy emerged, minus the pinky blushers and too-heavy eye makeup. Now she has this short cropped irregularly cut, we can see she has the most fabulous green eyes without all those layers of colour and mascara, which have been pared down to the lightest dusting of eye shadow and the merest brush of mascara, and no blusher at all. She's thrown out the old lady clothes as she calls them, and has a whole new wardrobe.... she took herself off to a personal dresser type of woman in one of the big department stores in the city, who gave her loads of advice, and now has a wardrobe more suiting her age and build. And underneath the clothes she had been wearing has emerged this sveldte lovely woman, one who makes heads turn, or so it seems.
Remember Darren, the young lad who helped Daisy become savvy with computers? Well, when Daisy went to the library the other day, Darren was in there with an older man. Quite tall (one of Daisy's prerequisites), clean shaven and well dressed with polished shoes (more boxes ticked) all his own teeth and a gentleman, both of which she noticed when he smiled at her, whilst holding out her seat at the computer for her. Darren introduced them, this was his Uncle Alan he said. And with the bluntness and honesty Daisy knew him for, he calmly announced that he thought, since Daisy didn't seem to be getting anywhere with internet dating, and as his Uncle Alan had been widowed well over a year now and was ready to start meeting ladies again, they should get to know each other. Having said which, he stood up, winked at his Uncle and left. Daisy and Alan looked at each other, and as Daisy said to me this morning when we met in the village butchers, something happened, something magical and unexpected, and what's more, it happened to both of them! She's not getting carried away, bearing in mind one of her wishes, but things are definitely looking up for Daisy on the lerve front.
Don't they just look so dejected? Wouldn't you think that escaping the tyranny of a foul-mouthed loud parrot shouting at them all day, not to mention superior, squinty-eyed Persian cats hissing and charging at them, that they would be walking with a skip to their waddle? These are some of the ducklings that were, crossing the road in the village, making for... well, we are not exactly sure where they are going next, but this was taken just a couple of hours ago. They are the ducklings that were who lived with their ma and pa in Phoebe's orchard. She has a pond in her garden, which is where their parents decided to take up residence last year, being joined earlier this year by another branch of the family. All together three females and two males were cohabiting happily in Phoebe's garden. Then there were all the ducklings as well, and now there are none. Phoebe doesn't know when the adults went, she's not one to keep an eye on these things, just lets nature and animals get on with life really. Anyway, far too many ducks for a pond that size, even though it is a natural pond and bigger than your average garden pond. And nobody seems to know quite why they are going either, but the direction they are headed leads to the road down to the farm, where there are several wild life ponds on a piece of what was set aside, and which became so much loved by wild life of all kinds, that it remained a sort of wild life haven, with newts, frogs, toads, dragon and damsel flies, all sorts of moths and flora and fauna, with muntjack deer coming to drink from the pond right on the edge of the field as well. So maybe the ducks got wind of this superior site and are, as we speak, settling into a new home? I don't suppose Phoebe will miss them, and Birds Eye will still carry on blaspheming to all and sundry, and the cats will go back to bullying each other.
Deep in the heart of the woods on the edge of the village, not much goes on. You can walk through and see the deer, the squirrels scurrying up tree trunks, hear lots of scrabbling noises in the undergrowth, the tap-tap-tap of woodpeckers, the calling of wood pigeons. All of which are noises you like to hear, it's part of why you walk in the woods perhaps, a welcome sound. The same cannot be said for the loud BOOM BOOM BOOM we all heard a couple of weeks ago.
The warm weather was with us, so bedroom windows were being left open at night to let in what bit of fresh air there was. Some of us hear the owls as they go about their business in the dark of night, the occasional shot of a poacher's gun in the distance. Sometimes you can hear tractors and harvesters working in the fields a few miles away, the sound carrying in the night, as they pick peas for the frozen food factory. (Which is why the local produce in the local shops and supermarkets, doesn't include peas. Instead they have been grown in Yorkshire or Worcestershire as a rule.) There will be the odd car driving through the village, maybe a doctor on a call out, someone coming home from a late night out, or a late shift at work, maybe going to work. We notice the sound, realise we need to go to the loo (again?), then get back into bed and acknowledge the sound is there, but it doesn't prevent us drifting back into the land of nod. Usually. On this particular night we were all awoken by BOOM BOOM BOOM, and screechy female voices. For those on the edge of the village, and those living on little lanes with no lighting, they could discern a glow in the sky above the treetops of the woodland, which was where the noise was coming from. Everyone turned over, tried to sleep. Some got up and closed the windows, others didn't manage much sleep and awoke in the morning, opened the windows, expecting quiet, only to hear BOOM BOOM BOOM.
It eventually went quiet mid-morning, and talk in the shops was of nothing else but this illegal rave, why hadn't the police put a stop to it sooner, what do we pay our taxes for, and so on. Those interested enough went to have a look, and came back with tales of discarded condoms, needles, drink cans, food wrappers and other deposited items which I shall not go into but leave to your imagination. Of course, there is no knowing how accurate these descriptions are... one or two bits of debris can grow to a veritable refuse tip by the time the story gets passed from one person to another. Safe to say though, that a group of well-meaning locals were seen later that day, armed with plastic bin liners and rubber gloves, some with those long-handled grabber things, ready to turn back OUR bit of woodland as they like to call it, to what it was before these bleep bleep kids came along and made a bleep bleep mess.
And who said country life was quiet?